Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Not surprisingly, I have been reflecting on the Lazarus story in John 11 a lot over the past few days, and there is something remarkable about it that I have never seen commented upon (though I have no doubt such comments exist; my insight is not very great).

What struck me as truly remarkable is the fact that Jesus had a friend who was not a disciple, nor a member of the larger following that went with him from place to place. Does it not seem odd, when first noticed, that the Son of God should have formed the sort of friendly attachment and even deep love that people normally form, without it leading, as in the case of the Apostles, to Lazarus being called?

And we know it was a real friendship from the language of the Gospel. In verse 35, Jesus wept.

For myself, I find it odd but in a good sort of way. It reveals an affection between Creator and creature. It blesses that natural bond that springs up between unlike people. It shows in unmistakable terms that Jesus was indeed fully human. And it reveals a profound sorrow that the state of the world is such that people must, in the course of things, die.


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