John 11.34-36 cont.
34 And He said: “Where have you put him?” They said to Him: “Lord, come and see.”
35 Jesus shed tears.
36 Then the Jews said: “See how much He loved him.”
As we look back on these verses we do so with the benefit of the revelation of Jesus being God in human form. In the very first chapter of this gospel John declares the Word (Jesus) as being God, and later in the first chapter to declare that the Word became flesh.
Even if some of His disciple had any thoughts of the divinity of Jesus, the vast majority would not have had. In the other three gospels Jesus asked His disciples what was the opinion of men about Himself. They said: ”that some are saying John the Baptist, and others Elijah, but others one of the prophets” – Mark 8.28. We know that Jesus followed this by a direct question to His disciples regarding their opinion of Him, and Peter declared: “You are the Christ” – Mark 8.29.
It is evident from this that the crowds did not understand who Jesus was and is, even if the disciples had some idea.
However, the fact remains that Jesus was and is fully God, and therefore, He would have known where Lazarus had been buried. However, He was also fully man. Therefore, He asks the question from within His humanity. It was a question that was to get Mary and Martha to lead Him to the tomb of Lazarus.
They, the crowd, and His disciples would have thought it very strange if Jesus had have made His way there without being led by the sisters. Therefore, in His humanity He asked to be taken to the tomb.
As we have seen, the sisters would not have thought this unusual.
Jesus still asks us questions, and the reason is not because He does not know the answer, but because He wants us to come to a clarity of faith.
In the teaching world one tool of teaching is to ask questions, the purpose being to draw from the pupil something that they have already been taught. By answering a question the pupil will also be establishing what they have been taught.
As Jesus asks us questions we will find the answer in something He has already led us into, and as we answer we will find we take another step forward in faith in Him and in growing more like Him.