By Sandy Kirby Quandt
John 11 records the account of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha.
The Bible tells us the two sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick. Their expectation was that Jesus would come to Bethany right away and heal their brother. Why wouldn’t he? They knew Jesus had the power to heal. They knew Lazarus was Jesus’ friend. They had hosted Jesus and his disciples on many occasions. Surely, Jesus would fulfill their request.
But that isn’t what happened.
When Jesus received word about Lazarus’ condition, he stayed where he was for the next two days. It wasn’t until the third day Jesus told his disciples they were headed to see about Lazarus. Jesus knew Lazarus had died. He also knew this was another opportunity for people to believe in him.
By the time they arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in his tomb for four days. Martha heard Jesus was on the outskirts of the village and went to meet him. She told Jesus she knew if he’d been there, her brother would not have died.
Mary said the same thing when she fell at Jesus’ feet outside the village…if only you’d been here, my brother would not have died.
At that point, the Bible tells us Jesus was deeply moved and wept.
Jesus went to the cave where Lazarus was buried and shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
Out came the no-longer-dead-man, still bound in his grave cloth.
There’s a PS to this story.
Verse 45 says, “And so at last many of the Jewish leaders who were with Mary and saw it happen, finally believed on him.” (TLB)
Jesus delayed on purpose so God’s glory would be shown and others would believe in him.
Sometimes Jesus does the same with our requests, doesn’t he?
He delays. We know he can. No doubt. We pray he will, realizing he may not.
Struggling with delayed answers? Maybe those delayed answers are to show us God’s glory and sovereignty, and so others will believe on him.
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When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
“Where have you put him?” he asked them.
They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. John 11:32, 34-35 (NLT)
I wish you well,
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