Tuesday, 18 September 2012

John 11: Jesus was human too

John quite often gives us a dazzling and somewhat confusing picture of Jesus is. I love what happens in John 11 because it emphasises Jesus' humanity.
  • What makes humans human?

John 11 focuses around a single event: the death of Lazarus. Lazarus was good friend of Jesus, to such an extent that his sisters called him "the one you love" in a message to him. Lazarus was a really, really close friend.

At the beginning of the chapter, Lazarus gets sick. When Jesus hears about it, he says that this sickness will not end in death. Jesus goes to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, to find out that he had already died. This was not because Jesus had got it wrong, he had already alluded to the fact the Lazarus would die and Jesus would wake him. So, Jesus was fully prepared for what had happened. But something remarkable happens. Jesus weeps.

If Jesus knew Lazarus would not remain dead why did he weep? Perhaps he was overwhelmed by the grief of Mary and Martha, perhaps it because of the thought of the pain of Lazarus during his illness, but we can safely say it was because Jesus was human. Jesus, like any human, in the presence of death and the suffering of others, is moved. What a beautiful picture of Jesus' humanity.

I love Mary and Martha's response. Even in the midst of what is happening they recognise who he is. The know he could have stopped it. Martha even says to Jesus, "I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

Quite often, when we have grief or troubles of our own, we feel like God doesn't care. Yet, when someone he loved died, when he witnesses the pain of others, Jesus cried. Jesus loved us enough to die for us. So when we are suffering, or in pain, perhaps, even in heaven, Jesus grieves with us. And in the midst of this pain we need to recognise who Jesus is.

I'll leave you with 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

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