“3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” John 11.3-7
Usually when we hear that someone is sick, in need or dying, we rush to their aid. Even those of us who have no medical training drive to the hospital or home to offer moral support and prayers. Jesus, who had the ability to do much more than offer moral support stays put.
The word has just reached Jesus that he one he loves, one of his best friends and friends’ to Mary and Martha is sick. Lazarus is on his deathbed. Jesus is known for the miracles he can perform and so word is sent to him, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
Now you would think that Jesus would begin the days journey from the Jordan River to Bethany, a town just outside of Jerusalem. You would think, being one of his close friends, that Jesus would do what we do — drop everything and go to his friend in need. But Jesus doesn’t move a muscle. However, he does say something of importance to the messenger and those listening — “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
And upon hearing those words we might find comfort or we might think, “That’s all well and good Jesus but can you answer my prayer in the way that I asked! Now come and heal your friend!” So after hearing that Lazarus was not just sick, but was on his deathbed, he “stayed where he was two more days.” Meaning, he was three days from returning to Lazarus (including the day of travel).
Of course, we know the end of the story and how everything turned out for God’s glory and Lazarus’ benefit. But in our own experiences, we don’t always know the end. We don’t know how God’s going to answer our prayers, meet our needs, heal our sickness. We don’t know what job is next, how he’s going to pay the rent or put food on the table. We do not know and thus, we do not trust. Sometimes our faith is only as good as our sight.
Yet we can be assured, that those Jesus loves, he takes responsibility for. A life that is entrusted to the Lord is upheld by his hand. Lazarus was allowed to suffer and die so that he might be brought back to life and so that Christ’s power might be on display.
What is happening in your own situation that is a testimony to the one who saved you? How is God providing (or going to provide) in a way that he receives unexpected glory and through a miracle brings more people to faith? Don’t be shy in trusting. Don’t hesitate in believing. The God who would raise Lazarus from the grave is the same who gives life to your mortal bodies.
“O Lord God, today is the day after the resurrection. It’s a testimony to your power, God’s grace and your strength to overcome sin and death. You are indeed the Resurrecting King. Come now, Holy Spirit, pour out your grace upon my life and help me live in line with your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen