John 11:1-7

In John 11:1-7 Jesus hears about a dear friend that is ill.  “A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick”.  The relationship goes back a ways.  Jesus had a close relationship with this family, and it was expected that if He miraculously met the needs of so many others, He would meet their need also.  Only makes sense that if He is healing others and doing miracles for them, He would do the same for a family that has been dear to Him.

The two sisters were concerned about their brother, “So the sisters sent word to Jesus, Master, the one you love so very much is sick.” They do not state their exact request, but they do not need to. Where there is a true bond of love, there is no need to request a specific favor; it is enough to make the need known.  They expected Jesus to respond and He did, but probably not in the way they expected. He does give them good news though.

When Jesus got the message, he said, This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” Lazarus was already dead when Jesus said this; but He knew the end result of this would be the glory of God, not death.

Most of us would see it as odd that Jesus didn’t respond by immediately running to the family and their needs.  But there was a much bigger plan in place here.  “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days.”  Jesus didn’t have to get there before Lazarus died because He knew God’s plan for his life.  He waited two days to make sure everyone knew his good friend was dead.  This allowed him to have a very true miracle moment by raising him from being very dead.

Guzik points out that in John’s gospel, there are three times when someone near and dear to Jesus makes a request of Him (the other two are His mother at Cana, and His brothers on their way to Jerusalem). In each of these three cases, Jesus responded in the same way.

  • He first refused to grant their request, then He fulfilled it after asserting that He does things according to the timing and will of God, not man.
  • Through His actions, Jesus demonstrated that His delays were not denials. They would bring greater glory to God.

This story needs to help shape our view of prayer and Jesus ability to impact the world we live in.  He is not bound by the same restrictions we have.  He is able, more than able, to deal with anything in our lives that need His hand, at any time and any place He chooses.  We must never lose hope, because He is above all the limitations we believe exists in the circumstances of life.  We must only trust.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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