"When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to him, 'Sir, come and see.' And Jesus wept." Jn 11: 33-35
The raising of Lazarus from the dead is confusing at best and impossible at worst. If Jesus is such a good friend of Lazarus and knows Lazarus is sick, why does he wait two days before going to him? It seems to most of us that Jesus' delay is unnecessary, even cruel. No wonder Lazarus' sisters complain when Jesus finally appears in Bethany. Convinced Jesus was the Messiah, Martha and Mary wonder aloud to Jesus: If you had been hear, our brother would not have died. Are they accusing Jesus of not caring about them or Lazarus?
The story of Lazarus is curious for other reasons as well. Jean Vanier, the founder of the L'Arche community, a group that works and lives with persons who have intellectual and other disabilities, thinks there is evidence in the scripture that Lazarus was disabled. The Greek word used to describe Lazarus' sickness is asthenes and can be translated without strength or feeble. Moreover, the gospel calls Martha not Lazarus the head of the household, further suggesting that Lazarus' illness or disability made it impossible for him as a man to take responsibility for his family home.
In any case, when Jesus finally speaks with Martha, she and those grieving with her are weeping. Distraught and upset by his friends' sorrow, Jesus weeps and proceeds, even though Lazarus has been in the tomb four days to raise him from the dead. Jesus' power over death calls us to a new level of faith. We must trust the Lord no matter how sick or disabled we might be and how often he seems to be absent, because he is Lord of the living and the dead.
Today, don't be afraid to weep about your own unbelief. Submit yourself to the Lord and ask him to raise you up.
In what ways are you drawn to the humanity of Jesus?