Read through the Bible in 2 years: Proverbs 2:1-5; Psalm 9:1-10; John 11
"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.” - John 11:4
Like the man born blind in John 9: 3, Lazarus’s illness was for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified in 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." - John 11:5-6
Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus… So he stayed away two days longer. God’s ways are not like ours. His timing is not like ours. He has bigger purposes than our ease and comfort. We must fix our eyes on him rather than our circumstances. Paul learned the secret of being content in all circumstances, that he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength. We can live likewise, and as we do Christ will be glorified in our lives.
"... for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe....” - John 11:15
Lazarus’s life and death and healing aren’t just about him or even just about his own family. Jesus wants his disciples’ faith to be grown through this tragedy. We need to remember that our brothers and sisters in Christ are watching us and being either encouraged or discouraged by how we live.
"So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” - John 11:16
Thomas often has a bad rap as the unbelieving disciple, the doubter, but here you see that he was willing to die for Jesus. We, too, as disciples of Christ have our ups and downs, our good moments and are bad moments. Praise the Lord that He knows our hearts, and that He is a just and righteous and all-knowing God who sees us through the cleansing blood of His Son.
"So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house." - John 11:20
Martha, too, often has a bad rap, but she was the one who ran out to meet Jesus while Mary stayed in the house. Mary and Martha each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses and God can use both of them for His glory. Martha can learn from Mary, and Mary can learn from Martha, and we can learn from both of them!
I am thankful to have an older sister who is both very different and very similar to me. We were both created in the image of God, but with very unique gifts and purposes.
"But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” - John 11:22
Lord, please, give me faith like this! Help me to KNOW the truth! Help me to TRUST that Jesus is the resurrection and the life!
"She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” - John 11:27
Yes and Amen! Write this on the doorposts of your home and your heart! Shout it LOUD! Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God! It reminds me of John 20:31 ESV — “… these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Thank You, Jesus!
"... I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” - John 11:42
Jesus has purpose not only for Lazarus and his sisters, not only for His disciples, but also for the people standing around watching. My life isn’t just for myself, it’s not just for my family and friends, it’s not just for my brothers and sisters in Christ, it is also for those who are just standing around watching, my neighbors, the people at the grocery store, the people in the park, the people driving next to me on the street. Lord, be glorified in me!
"But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death." - John 11:49-53
Caiaphas spoke words of truth and wisdom, yet he was working against God and for the devil. Just because someone speaks the truth, it doesn’t mean we should just follow and trust them. Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Wolves disguise themselves as sheep. We must be discerning and prayerful in who we allow to lead us and speak into our lives.
"Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand...' - John 11:55
It’s now the Passover. That means that it’s springtime. In John 10:22, it was the Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah. Several months have passed already.
Let’s pray together.
We pray that we will treasure up Your words in our hearts, calling out for insight and understanding, seeking wisdom like silver and searching for understanding as hidden treasure, that we will fear You and know You, that we might believe in You and trust You with all of our hearts.
Thank You for the truth that those who KNOW Your name put their trust in You for You, oh Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Help us to be wise, being careful who we listen to, and being careful how we live. Help us, Father, to remember that people are watching us – our children, our husbands, our parents, our brothers and sisters in Christ, those who are far away from you are watching us. We pray that our lives would testify to the truth of the gospel. We pray that people will see our good deeds and give glory to You, our Father in heaven.
Help us to have faith as a mustard seed that grows and multiplies and fills our cities and nations.
Help us to share the good news of the gospel, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who has come into the world, that all might believe in Him and receive the gift of eternal life.
It is in the good and holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen