This post has been written by Dave Wilson.
I have been thinking a lot about the story of the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11: 1 - 43 NASB), and would like to share some thoughts with you.
The plan is to cover the first two in this post, then the next two in another post.
God's timing and answer to prayer
We tend to think in very black and white terms (or in modern terms, binary terms). We pray to God, and expect a response either positively or negatively, because we do not see the bigger picture, and here we see Jesus behaving in what outwardly seems to be a very strange way. Instead of rushing to Bethany at the first word of Lazarus taking ill, he waits for a few days and then turns up. By the time he arrives, Lazarus has been dead for four days. What He knew, and the others didn't, was that they were about to see their deepest prayers answered. They wanted Lazarus to continue living with them and he was about to be restored in a way they did not expect or even imagine. Jesus had been involved in two previous resurrections, in both cases just after death, but this was different. After four days in the tomb, Lazarus was not exactly going to be in his prime. As the KJV says "By this time he stinketh!".
Jesus didn't come when Mary or Martha wanted, or heal him as they wanted, but instead came at a time that was right for him and wrought a miracle that brought much more glory to God.
God's answer to our prayer can sometimes not be a "Yes" or a "No", but a "Not Yet" and his response can be something that meets our deepest need, but in a totally different way to that which we imagined or asked for.
"Jesus wept". The answer to many a Bible quiz, and the shortest verse in the Bible. Sometimes people believe that Jesus wept because he had lost his friend, but logically that does not make sense, as He knew that Lazarus was going to be raised. In fact, reading carefully, you begin to realise that the reason for His weeping was that he was touched with compassion for his friends in their mourning and loss, and in fact was moved to the point of tears as a result.
Whenever we find ourselves in a place of distress, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus draws alongside us and is deeply touched with compassion for us.
Copyright © 2014 Struthers Memorial Church All rights reserved
Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.