4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
To read this passage from a purely human point of view is very confusing. Lazarus gets sick, messengers are sent to Jesus to come heal him and Jesus tells his disciples that this sickness is not unto death. We then read of the great love that Jesus has for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus but He does something not very loving, He does not leave right away to run to their aid but intentionally waits two more days.
Back in Bethany, every hour Mary and Martha looking for Jesus to come. Their eyes are constantly looking down the road for His familiar walk. As they wait, their brother’s sickness gets worse until he breathes his last. If you have ever been in a hospital room when someone was dying you know that when the person dies the nurses turn off all of the noise making devices and the room takes on an eerie silence. All of the hustle and bustle accompanying Lazarus illness and efforts to keep him alive stopped as death overtook him. Since he was dead, the next thing to do was to anoint him, wrap him and bury him, which they did.
But Jesus said that his sickness was not unto death. Then in verse 14 Jesus says to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” Since Jesus knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead and present him alive to the family and friends, He was at peace. He knew that the sickness was not unto death but unto greater life for when Jesus raised Lazarus the sickness that killed him would also be gone. Lazarus then becomes a picture of the resurrected believer who is raised ready to sit and eat with Jesus.
But the sisters had to go through the grief of death first. Later they would understand what happened but at first their faith tanked and they blamed Jesus which we will see tomorrow. Take this home today; Jesus knew what He was going to do and that in raising Lazarus from the dead He would teach both the sisters, Lazarus, the disciples and us that He is the resurrection and the life. The lesson was more important than the pain that the sisters went through. In Jesus’ eyes, Lazarus did not die, he just went to sleep for four days and Jesus woke him up. In 1 Thessalonians 5 we read that all who sleep in Jesus God will bring with Him. In this case, none of us who die in Christ really die; we just fall asleep in Christ to be awakened to return with Him. Hallelujah! What a Savior.
Pray with me today for a man named Al and his son Alfredo. Al is Jesse’s brother who is going blind. He needs a place to live. I spent time with them last night pointing them to Christ. Pray for them to come to the place of full surrender to the Lord Jesus. Pray for God to show them how He is going to care for them.
Pray with me also today for God’s abundant provisions. He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, who gave His Son for our salvation, both knows our need and is able to meet it. Join with me today in labored prayer for God’s provision.
Pray with Rob today for his family. He is shouldering several burdens and needs our prayers.
Have a great day in the Lord,