Bible Reference: John 11:14-16
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)
Bible Text: 14 Then Jesus made it plain to them, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sake, I’m glad I wasn’t there, because now you have another opportunity to see who I am so that you will learn to trust in me. Come, let’s go and see him.”
16 So Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, remarked to the other disciples, “Let’s go so that we can die with him.”
OBSERVATION: Although somewhat of an unusual account of Jesus and his disciples, yet it is filled with applications for our lives. Just as the disciples could not fathom what was going on, you may also struggle with the intent of Jesus and how this might apply today. Let’s ask Jesus to open our eyes of understanding so that we may clearly see Him, and His message for us today.
APPLICATION: No doubt, we all have a favorite miracle of Jesus, and perhaps each one speaks miraculously to us in their own way. For some, it may be the very first miracle recorded where Jesus turned the water into wine, but for others it may be when He walked on the Sea of Galilee towards the boat filled with His disciples, and with a very calm tone of voice, He calmed the rough waters. But in our Scripture today we see for the first time that Jesus ignored the request of His very good friends, Mary and Martha, in order to achieve an ultimate goal He had in store for His disciples. He wanted them to catch a fresh glimpse of the power and glory of their risen Savior! Adding to the mystery of Jesus’ actions in not responding immediately to the request of Mary and Martha, is the fact that Jesus told His disciples that He was glad that He was not there when Lazarus died. That really seems callous, doesn’t it? But ponder with me for a few minutes how many may have been saved, or in this case recognize the power of God, if Jesus would have instantly healed Lazarus when He got word 4 days earlier, that he was sick to the point of death? I have a situation in my family where it was the result of the death of a nephew, that my dad came to know Jesus as Lord. Was it a good thing that the nephew died? Absolutely not. But the Bible teaches us that the angels in heaven rejoice when they welcome one soul surrendered to the call of God on their lives. Furthermore, God had many years to work in and through my dad to touch other souls that rubbed up against. As mere earthly mortals, we are devastated when we lose a loved one, whether it’s due to old age, or what we often feel is prematurely. But would it make us feel any better if, when we get to heaven, Jesus reveals to us how many entered into a personal relationship with Jesus because of our unfortunate loss? Notice that Peter struggled with the whole scene, because He thought that following Jesus, into the city where He was so sought after, would lead to certain death for them. We have no record of Peter or his fellow disciples rejoicing over this move by Jesus to go and visit the grave of Lazarus. But, like the disciples, we must learn to trust and follow Jesus where He leads us. I believe that still today He is seeking after His children to trust Him more; worship Him more; have more faith in Him; know that He’s with us when we have a witnessing opportunity; know that His Word will not return void, especially when we stand in front of a class or on the podium of a sanctuary to share the plain Word of God with folk that came to learn more about Him. God never mentioned about us being capable, or any other attribute that folk tend to look for in a first-class preacher or teacher. I believe that if He was able to use uneducated fishermen, tax collectors, doctors and more, to start the whole Christian movement, then how much more can He use you and I who can often stand and talk on any subject that comes our way. Let’s learn to trust Him Brothers and Sisters. Perhaps if we empty ourselves of ‘self’ and ask God to fill us afresh with His love, His power and His boldness, then perhaps others will see Jesus instead of the wicked men and women that we are. Just like Peter and His companions, let us learn to trust God more – in every circumstance of life.
PRAYER: Dear God, as others look on us today may they see Jesus. Please help us to stop acting like spoiled children, for we are called to service, so may our lives be fully spent on Jesus. As Jesus went to see Lazarus, there was no doubt, and there was no hesitancy. Others saw the awesome works of the Almighty God. May that be the case with all those that we come into contact with today. There is probably nothing about ourselves individually for others to like, or care about. If there is, then perhaps they will see that thing, instead of the awesome God that we seek to serve, and be seen through us. Lord, may any personal, likable, thing become invisible to the eyes of the one that need to see You in us. Please have Your will and way in and through us today, for there may be one that we encounter who may need to be awaken from the death of sin and self destruction. They may see no true value in life. Oh may the joy of the Lord be evident in us, and through us today. This is my humble and desperate plea of my almighty King – Jesus my Lord! AMEN!