In this Chapter:
1-37: The Death of Lazarus
38-44: Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
45-57: The Plot to Kill Jesus
Dead Man Walks out of Grave!
Two sisters, Mary and Martha, are part of a family that was suuuuper tight with Jesus. These sisters find themselves in a tragic situation. Their brother, Lazarus(and one of Jesus’s super close buddies), comes down with a very serious sickness that looks like it’s going to take his life. They know Jesus has the power to save their brother since they had seen Him do other crazy miracles. So, they send a message to Him concerning their brother’s condition.
Jesus’s response is totally unexpected…and seemingly a little rude. He says that there is no need to worry because this sickness is not to end in death, but it is for the purpose of bringing glory to the Son of God (John 11:4).
Instead of leaving right away, which is what the sisters would hope for, Jesus waits a few days. During this time Lazarus dies. When Jesus comes to them, the sisters are incredibly heartbroken because of Jesus’ delay. They hoped He would have come sooner to heal their brother from his sickness.
Jesus reassures them that there is purpose behind what seems to be a tragedy. Like He said earlier, this sickness was to bring glory to the Son of God, and that is exactly what it did.
Okay, stop right here for a second. Remember back to the beginning of this study when we said that John’s gospel shows Jesus challenging every person to take their own personal step of faith. These sisters are some of Jesus’s closest followers. Their “faith capacity” is already super high. If Jesus challenges every person to boost their own faith capacity, He sought to boost his truest believer’s faith with an amazing miracle.
Jesus always does things in a way that will bring the most glory to God. He wants to show the world the power of God and leave us in awe of how amazing He is, even if this means that He doesn’t always do what we think is best. Jesus is the Son of God and He knows what is best and will always do what is best for us and what is best to God.
Mary and Martha wanted Jesus to heal their brother of His sickness. That would have been amazing and may have boosted their faith, BUT Jesus knows that raising their brother from the grave would be even MORE amazing. It would bring God the most glory, and it would also “ante up” the faith of His closest believers.
They thought their situation was hopeless and maybe even began to doubt Jesus’ goodness. They had their own expectations in mind rather than trusting in the plans of Jesus, the Son of God. Through this, they were taught a lesson that they would surely never forget: you can always trust in Jesus, because He will always do what is best.
God’s Plans Over Our Plans:
Jesus never does anything by accident. There is purpose behind everything He does. And we know from the Bible that His purpose behind all He does is always TO BRING GLORY TO GOD.
Sometimes we think we know exactly how things ought to be. We think we know what is the best. We plan and we plan and we pray God would make our plans work. I mean, we should know what’s best for us, afterall…right?! Unfortunately, what we often do not realize is that our minds are limited. So, when an injury happens or a move to a shred town falls through, we get super bummed because OUR plans are ruined.
God, on the other hand, not only has our future mapped out, but He has all eternity in mind and does everything that will ultimately be best in the end.
In God’s eyes, the thing is best is the thing that will bring us to realize how truly amazing and wonderful He is, because this will cause our relationship with Him to be strengthened. And unlike one ski season or maybe our entire career, our relationship with Him lasts forever. Trust Him always; His plan for you is best!