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.”
APPLICATION: No doubt, we all have a favorite miracle of Jesus, and perhaps each one speaks miraculously to you 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 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 one more, or a fresh, glimpse of His power as 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 seemed callous, doesn’t it? But ponder with me for a few minutes how many may have been saved, or in this case recognized the power of God, versus 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 he 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 premature. 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? Or how He got our attention and caused us to get serious about our relationship with Him? Notice that Peter struggled with the whole scene, because He thought that following Jesus into the city where He was already sought after, would lead to certain capture and ultimate death for Jesus and His followers. 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 Word of God simply and plainly with folk that came hoping to see Jesus. 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, so wouldn’t He, all the more, 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. Instead of doubting when we see life for our family and friends going terribly wrong, at least in our opinion, let’s instead look intently on how God might get our attention and minister to us through those unfortunate circumstances.
PRAYER: Dear God, as others look on us today may they see Jesus. Please help us to stop acting like spoiled children, for as we are called to service, so may our lives be fully spent on Jesus. As Jesus went to see Lazarus, He never doubted, or showed any hesitancy, in fact it appeared like You orchestrated the whole event perfectly and with purpose. 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 to have seen through us. Lord, may any personal, likable, thing become invisible to the eyes of the one watching us but need to see You. 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 as my readers and listeners join with me in desiring more of You through Your mighty works almighty King. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!