FRUSTRATION, a human stressor.
A BUSINESSMAN gets all the way to the office and realizes he left his briefcase at home. Frustration!
A MOTHER hauls her six excited children into Chucky Cheese then realizes she left the diaper bag on the garage bench. Frustration!
ALMOST two decades ago, while living in Colorado, I received a call from my mother in Hawaii. “Your dad died. A car accident.” Hurricane Iniki had closed down the island of Kauai — no planes going in or out. I could not help my mother. Frustration! (That might be too light of a word in this case.)
WHILE reading in the book of John chapter 11 about the account of Lazarus being raised from the dead, the humanness of the Lord captivated me. (Note: I did not say humane).
JESUS CHRIST was without a doubt, fully God and fully human
WHEN He first arrived in Bethany, he had an interesting exchange with Martha, sister of the deceased. I don’t have time to go into it here, except to mention that Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life… Believe, and you will see the glory of God.”
AND THEN he approached the home of Lazarus. Mary, the other sister, RAN to him. “That Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair” ran to her Messiah in her sorrow and poured out her feelings, “Lord, if you had been here . . .” She knew Him as a source of comfort despite her disappointment that He hadn’t come when they initially called for him.
ACCORDING to the biblical accounts, this Mary truly understood who Jesus was, and she worshiped him with reckless abandon—i.e. wiping His dirty feet with her ‘glory’ (a woman’s hair was considered her glory.).
SO WHAT does Jesus do when he sees her weeping and mourning over her dead brother?
“He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.”
Then He WEPT.
“When Jesus heard that (Lazarus was sick/dead),
He said, “This sickness is not unto death,
but for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So, when He heard that he was sick,
He stayed two more days in the place where He was.”
One more time?
“When Jesus heard that the one he loved was sick,
He stayed away two more days in the place where He was.”
I SPECULATE over the last two phrases. Since Jesus ALWAYS and ONLY did the Father’s bidding, this “staying” was an act of obedience. Although His Spirit commanded Him to wait, did His heart ache to go as mine had when I couldn’t get to my mother after Dad’s death?
HE WEPT with Mary because the fully human Jesus, the Anointed One and Messiah, empathized with her crushed heart. Empathy, an expression of human compassion.
HE EMPATHIZED with her grief to the point of weeping. In fact, I speculate the inner ache that started four days prior with knowing how much Mary was going to hurt, had built up inside Him and seeing her in such sorrow opened the floodgates of His own compassion. He embraced and comforted the woman who worshiped Him for who He was.
HE WEPT from human frustration because He had not been able to be two places at once: Present with Mary from the beginning; away from Mary out of obedience to His Father.
HE HAD NOT allowed his empathizing emotions to sidetrack Him from God’s ultimate will—raising Lazarus.
ULTIMATE FRUSTRATION: God’s omnipresent compassion bottled up in a mortal human shell.
LATER, in chapter 14:26, Jesus says:
“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things . . .”
Omnipresent compassion . . . RELEASED!
HOW FREEING for Him to leave earth so the omnipresent Helper and Comforter could come on His behalf. One man can only be in one place.
BUT the Comforter is e v e r y w h e r e . . . 24/7
I AM eternally grateful that Jesus left earth.