Day 11: John 11

There's a greater mission at play

1 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair.Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”
4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days.
John 11:1-6
39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.
But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
John 11:39-44

By time Martha and Mary’s message reached Jesus, Lazarus was likely already dead. And Jesus probably knew this. But strangely He decided to stay in Jerusalem for two more days after finding all of this out. I believe He knew all along that God was going to bring Lazarus back to life, He knew God had a greater mission for Him than rushing to save Lazarus when Mary and Martha wanted.

If you pay attention in the beginning, starting at verse 14, Jesus says to the disciples “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” And this is where it starts to get good.

We start to see this greater mission play out. Jesus knew God was going to bring Lazarus back all along. But Mary and Martha only had faith in Jesus to heal his sickness. They trusted Jesus in the beginning by sending a message to him. They thought if Jesus can come and be here to be with my sick brother, he will be healed. And while that would’ve been an awesome blessing for them, He waited Jesus only acts within the will of his Father.

From our view, it no longer seems crazy that He stayed where He was for two days before traveling to Bethany. There was an even bigger blessing in the end, and God’s glory was put on display in an amazing way in front of many people. He did what seemed impossible by raising Lazarus after being in the tomb for four days!

I'm sure Mary and Martha would have been a lot more comfortable if Jesus would’ve showed up in the beginning, but—because Jesus waited—we can learn putting our faith in Him is far more important than being comfortable.

If we follow the example of Jesus by only acting in God's will, then there will be greater blessing in the end for us, and God's glory will be put on display. Sometimes we get impatient or uncomfortable and act upon our own will for our lives. This could result in us cheating ourselves out of the fullness of what he has to offer. But if we would just camp for awhile and wait for the Lord to give us the green light, it could be the difference between living an empty life, and living an abundant life.

Our Prayer

God I thank you that when we put our faith in you, and allow you to take control amazing things happen. Help us to lay our will for our lives down at your feet in exchange for your will for our lives. Increase our faith in you God. When we think we know what you should do for us in an uncomfortable situation, remind us that you know exactly what you’re doing even if we cant see it. Thank you for always being there. Amen.