I’ve been thinking about this story a lot, trying to reconcile my feelings about who Jesus is with the fact that he waited, causing his friends some mental anguish.
This is just conjecture, but …
Although Jesus raised at least a couple of other people from the dead, this instance seems to be the only one where he knew the people well – the gospel says he loved them. Maybe he’d known them even before he came out of the “spiritual closet” and started his public ministry. Mary seems to have accepted Jesus as the messiah, but did Martha and Lazarus? Perhaps it was particularly important to Jesus to prove to those he loved that he was more than just as a healer?
This is making Jesus out to be very human but there are other places in scripture where he lets his feelings out (like the cleansing of the temple). I guess “God only knows” why he waited … my old spiritual director would have said … “Just ask him!” 🙂