Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent – April 6, 2014
Have you ever wondered why Jesus performed the miracles that He did? Certainly, it wouldn't be just to astound the crowds of people around Him. To say it was because He had compassion on those who were sick and suffering would be closer to the Truth, but even that falls short of explaining the true reason for His miracles. Fortunately, we don't have to guess because He tells us the reason plainly in today's Gospel reading, “that they may believe that You have sent Me.” What this means is that His miracles were done to prove to us that He is who He said He is – the Son of God. But the miracle from today's Gospel gives proof to more than just His Divinity. The raising of Lazarus from the dead goes one step further than most of the other miracles because it reveals to us not only Jesus' full divinity but also His full humanity. St. John reveals this to us so subtly that if we are not careful we could miss it.
When Jesus saw (Mary) weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”
And then, in the shortest verse in the whole Bible, we are told simply, “Jesus wept.” Two simple words, which could easily be overlooked; and yet, they are very important for our understanding of who Jesus is. To put this into perspective let us recap what happened. First, Jesus is told that His friend is sick. After hearing the news Jesus stays where He is for two more days at which point His friend is dead. Then, He tells His disciples they are going to Bethany in order to restore Lazarus to life. And, even though He knew that He was going to bring Lazarus back to life, when He arrived on the scene and saw everyone weeping, He too was overcome with grief and wept. Continue reading