Jesus loved Lazarus, and he also dearly loved Lazarus’ two sisters, Mary and Martha. Their home was an oasis for the Son. We know Lazarus and his family loved Jesus, but the scriptures are most emphatic in pointing out Christ’s love for them. “Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick” (John 11:3, NKJV).
“When Jesus heard that, he said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’” (John 11:4).
Jesus knew that his Father intended for this miracle to give him glory and give them confidence and faith, but what an experience of deep suffering it turned out to be for Jesus. The disciples doubted him; Mary and Martha doubted him, and so did the weeping friends of Lazarus. Did Mary know how deeply she hurt him when she accused him of being preoccupied and disinterested in their problem? “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21).
Did Martha know how it hurt her Master when she questioned his resurrection power? He had plainly told her, “Your brother shall rise again,” but his word was not enough. She answered, in essence, “Oh, yes, on resurrection day he will arise, but that doesn’t help today” (see John 11:24).
How painful it must have been for Christ to have his dearest friends doubt that he had all the power they needed. “Don’t you know who I am yet?” is what the Lord seemed to be asking when he said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
I don’t think we know how deep his pain was at that moment. His own disciples couldn’t grasp the concept of who he was. It was hurtful enough that his own nation of people knew him not, but could those he dearly loved not recognize his power? If we, his dearest friends, will not trust his power and faithfulness, who will? We call him friend and Lord, but we do not live our lives as though he has the power needed to keep us victorious and joyful in all our pain and difficulties.
What truly satisfies the heart of our Lord is the child of his who rests completely in his love and tender care.