This is the shortest verse in the Bible, but perhaps the most powerful. The context is the raising of Lazarus which shows the power of the Lord Jesus over death and the grave. But three times we read that Jesus loved Lazarus; no doubt an underlying theme.
Jesus’ love is a personal love (vss. 3-5). He knew Mary, Martha, and Lazarus innately, but He also knew them intimately. They were more than mere acquaintances, they were His friends. He loved them. And he loves you too if you are His child. He knows all about you and still loves you. He knows you will disappoint Him, sin, and even fail often, but He still loves you. His love is not based on your performance. He loves unconditionally.
His love is a perplexing love (vss. 6-15). Instead of coming to heal Lazarus when Mary and Martha sent word, He purposely withdrew from them and withheld any message as to His plans. They didn’t understand this. They both said, “If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” It didn’t make sense to them that Jesus would let Lazarus die when He had the power to prevent it.
Many Christians doubt the Lord’s love because He doesn’t answer our prayers like we think He should. But His love is a proven love. This is seen clearly in verse 35 – “Jesus wept.” This is no abstract Deity who can’t feel the emotions of the human heart! This is the man Christ Jesus who wept when He saw the grave of His friend Lazarus. He proved His love. He identified with Mary and Martha in the sorrow of pain and loss. And He also proved His love when He died on Calvary, paying the ultimate price so we could be forgiven and guaranteed a home in heaven.
How do we know Jesus loved? Two words: “Jesus wept.”