Video Host: Tyler Tufte - South Dakota DYD
Big Scripture: John 11:32–44 (NLT)
32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” 38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
In this story, Jesus’ friend Lazarus had died. Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was very sick, but by the time Jesus arrived it was too late—or at least that’s what everyone thought. Jesus walked onto the scene and displayed sadness, anger and confidence, all in the face of a terrible tragedy. Jesus approached Mary and Martha, and even approaches each of us individually, according to our needs and how we best receive truth and hope. Notice in this chapter that with Martha, Jesus offered the gift of words of truth and hope. He reasoned with her. But with Mary, He gave the gift of His presence and empathy.
What does this teach us about Jesus?
Jesus’ sadness shows us that He enters into our pain with us. The shortest verse in the Bible simply states, “Then Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus didn’t remain emotionless in the face of death and loss. He responded with real tears. And He did this even knowing that in a few moments, He would turn this great grief into an even greater joy. Jesus never guaranteed that we will avoid loss, but He did promise to be present in our pain.
Jesus’ anger shows that He hates sin and the effect of sin in our lives. The phrase “deep anger” made the original reader imagine a furious bull stomping its hoofs and angrily snorting as it prepared to charge. Jesus hates sin and He came to rescue us from the penalty of sin and the power of sin. One day He will free us from the very presence of sin.
Jesus’ confidence in the face of death teaches us that He has the power over life and death. We can trust Him even in situations that seem beyond hope. With just the power of His word, Jesus can speak life into any situation, any life, and any heart.
What are some things that make you sad? What do you do when you are sad?
How do your friends deal with their sadness? How is it the same or different than how Jesus enters into Mary and Martha’s sadness?
What does it mean for Jesus to be angry at sin and the effect of sin in our lives?
What is an area of your life where you need more confidence in what God can do?
Thank You that You don’t distance Yourself from our sadness, but You join us. Thank You for Jesus who understands what it means to be human, to be tempted, and to experience loss. Thank You that Jesus is praying for me. Help me to be appropriately angry toward sin, and its effect in my life and the lives of those around me. Give me confidence to trust in Your resurrection power at work in this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.