Jesus was always about his Father’s work because he knew that time was not on his side.
John 9:4 We must do what the one who sent me wants us to do while it is day. The night when no one can do anything is coming.
Time is not on our side either.
In John 11 we read about the death of Lazarus. Scripture says that he “ lay sick.” What we don’t know is what his illness was. It could have been any number of things. Right from the beginning of this passage ( 11:4) we see Jesus saying, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
Jesus knew that Lazarus wasn’t going to die, but did the others? No! They were full of unbelief. They could not hear, see or believe the promise that Jesus had spoken to them. “This sickness will not end in death. “ Why couldn’t they hear the promise? Because they were viewing the situation through the lenses of their own lives and not the promises of God. All they could see was the moment, the imminent death, the situation at hand. But whose death was it really?
Lord, help our unbelief…
Aren’t WE the same way? We get so tied up in our own problems that we view everything with our own eyes and not through God’s. How do we view our lives through God’s eyes? Well, first, we go to God in prayer and belief. Just like Jesus did, we are to spend some time with our Father, in His house. In Luke 2:49 Jesus says: “ “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Jesus made it his business to be in the House of God- we must do the same thing. Jesus said, “ I had to be” meaning that there was no other place for him to be. We need to commit to making it our personal duty to be in God’s House! This means to be in prayer, in church, bible study, life groups, Sunday school, and reading the Word of God daily. The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy tells us this: Deut.11: 18-21 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…”
In my words…
We are to fill our hearts with the Word of God, we are to let our eyes be fixed on the Words of our Creator, let our homes glorify God and sing of His wonders, let our tongues speak of love and teach our children who our beloved Savior is and let our actions always be a reflection of Jesus. We might be the only “Jesus” that the world around us sees.
This brings us back to Lazarus. God teaches us things through people. He uses you, me and the guy down the street. In this incident he used Lazarus. What was making Lazarus sick? We don’t know but we do know this: Jesus said, ““Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” The interesting thing is this, and I have poured over this passage many, many times as it is one of my favorite stories, but get this: the disciples were saying, “but Lord….BUT, BUT, BUT, if he sleeps he will get better!” They wanted him to stay asleep EVEN AFTER Jesus had said “ I AM GOING THERE TO WAKE HIM UP!!!!!!” Sometimes there are people in our lives who want us to stay asleep! Ouch!
Jesus knew better didn’t He? He said, “ But let us go to him!!” I thank God for His perfect, plan of restoring our sight! WOW!
So, let me ask you this…was Lazarus the one who was dead or was he being used to teach the disciples a lesson? Were they the ones who were suffering from spiritual death and unbelief? It seems evident to me that this is the case. We don’t hear anything at all from Lazarus but the disciples were saying plenty- “ BUT, IF, WHY…” They were negative, complaining and whiny. Just like some of us today. When we can’t see or hear God we like to argue using our opinions-just as the disciples were doing. We also question God over and over again. “ Are you sure Lord? I think we should do it this way, my way is better, cheaper, faster, prettier.” We want to control God. But the joke is on us-just as it was the disciples!
In verse 35 we see these words: “ Jesus wept.” To me these are the saddest words in the bible. Why? I think Jesus was weeping over the blindness of the disciples and what they refused to see-the promises of God. I mean Jesus kept telling them over and over again- “ this sickness will not end in death, I am going to wake him up, let us go, do you believe, I told you so, and come out!” These are all words of promise! They aren’t just from anyone- they are from the Son of God! He said, I AM GOING TO wake him up!” There are if’s, an’s, or but’s here. This is what I hear-“ get out of my way, you aren’t going to stop me, I’m going with or without you and I won’t quit. I AM going….” RESOLVE!
But they still could not see or hear what He was telling them. I think this is why Jesus was crying. Have you ever tried to tell another person something that they just couldn’t comprehend? It might make you angry or it might make you sad. In this case, Jesus was sad and he cried. I think of our many Preachers who share God’s Word from the pulpit with passion only to look out and see those who are asleep. Do they quit? NO! They continue on and they might even get louder, or thump their bible on the podium! Why? In an effort to WAKE PEOPLE UP! They KNOW and understand the POWER of God’s PROMISES and they long for all people to have that understanding. They are following the example of their Lord and Savior right here in John 11. I have been convicted to never give up-even when I am frustrated and the devil wants to keep me down-I must continue on-sharing God’s Word and telling people about His promises. They aren’t mine- they are HIS! ( and for those of you who are reading and thinking there isn’t a devil-that it’s all a fairy tale-that’s how the devil is keeping YOU down-by getting you to believe the lies he tells! Scripture ( John 8:44) says that Satan is the father of lies, and if you believe Jesus is the Son of God then you should be believing the rest of the bible too. It’s not a vending machine where you pick and choose what you want to believe- you believe it ALL!)
Let’s look at Thomas for a minute-in verse 16 he says “ let us also go so that we may die with him.” He wanted them all to go and die with Lazarus. Huh? Well, I find this interesting when Lazarus rose it took all of the them, his friends, to unwrap him-to take off the grave clothes. I imagine that when they saw Lazarus come out of the tomb-a part of them did die- their UNBELIEF. When it died, a part of them came to life! The part that Jesus was weeping over. Jesus was weeping for all of those outside of the tomb who could not see His promises of life. Jesus said, “ Our friend Lazarus, has fallen asleep, I am going there to wake him up!” Today God has many messenger’s throughout the world who are calling people to RISE from their deadness so they can be set free!
They have resolved to GO and WAKE THEM UP!
Let us pray for RESOLVE. Let us pray for SIGHT. Let us pray for the SALVATION of all the world. Let us pray for REVIVAL in this land. I thank God for the doubting disciples and the resolute Jesus-they bring us stories of Hope and words of Truth. Let us stand together on the everlasting WORD of God.