HOST: Ron House
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Today, and for the next couple of days, we will be thinking about the beautiful story of the raising of Lazarus. There are so many lessons in these texts that give us great insights into the mind and heart of God, insights that I believe are relevant to us today. In the beginning of the story, Jesus receives word that His friend Lazarus is sick, but despite Lazarus’ sisters’ plea for help, Jesus tarries two days before making the trip to Bethany. Why? If Jesus had the ability to prevent the death of Lazarus and the overwhelming sorrow that it brought to Mary and Martha, why did He not go immediately? Why did He not speak the word that would have healed Lazarus of his sickness? So often in our own lives, we ask very similar questions: Why isn’t God answering my prayers? Why doesn’t He help me? Doesn’t He understand how urgent my need is? The answer to our questions is found in Jesus’ reason for not going immediately to Lazarus. For both him and us, the Lord works in His own time, knowing that our struggles are sometimes necessary for growth. He not only knows what we need but when we need it, and His timing is always perfect according to His will and purpose.
How can we grow from our struggles?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!