There’s so much to unpack in this story. It happens just before the final chapters of Jesus’ journey to the cross, and it’s really his great signifying miracle, at least in the way that St. John tells the story of Salvation.
Anyone who hears it is left with all sorts of questions. Why did Jesus tarry? Did he choose to let Lazarus, the person he loved so deeply, die deliberately? What was that purpose? He healed others from afar, why didn’t he heal Lazarus that way too? Why let his family go through the pain and grief of losing their brother?
Someone said that Jesus, calls forth the dead from their tombs by the power of his voice. In this case, he very specifically calls Lazarus to come forth, and only Lazarus. Why didn’t he call forth everyone else buried in that graveyard? Or why not all the dead at once? God speaks in the vision given to Ezekiel of the valley filled with dry bones, and an entire multitude is given new life. Why only Lazarus here? Why not the people we’ve lost too?
Jesus is weeping as he comes to the tomb. Why is he weeping? He sees others weeping, and it disturbs him greatly – maybe even making him angry. Why does he react that way? Why does it make him weep?
The direct link to the sermon that considers these questions is found here.