11 A man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2 Mary would later pour perfume on the Lord. She would also wipe Jesus’ feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick in bed. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus. “Lord,” they told him, “the one you love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory. God’s Son will receive glory because of it.” 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So after he heard Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. 7 And then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short time ago the Jews there tried to kill you with stones. Are you still going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there 12 hours of daylight? Anyone who walks during the day won’t trip and fall. They can see because of this world’s light. 10 But when they walk at night, they’ll trip and fall. They have no light.” 11 After he said this, Jesus went on speaking to them. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep,” he said. “But I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking about the death of Lazarus. But his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your benefit, I am glad I was not there. Now you will believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who was also called Didymus, spoke to the rest of the disciples. “Let us go also,” he said. “Then we can die with Jesus.”
I see three things in this passage. The sisters loved Jesus and had faith in his power, so they went to Him when their brother was sick.
Jesus already knows what He will do in this situation, He will not let Lazarus remain dead – but the healing is to glorify God.
The disciples are more concerned about the danger to themselves of going back into hostile territory than the needs of their friends.
Jesus loves us and wants the best for us, he does not want us to suffer. His compassion is always with us. If He heals us by his power in miraculous ways it is always for God’s glory. We are then doubly blessed.
Jesus loved us so much that He walked into danger and death on a cross. I need to think about whether I am willing to sacrifice my convenience and security to act in compassion. It’s not without personal cost to love on others, but it is so rewarding as well as pleasing to God.
To God be the glory for his power and presence with us. Lord help us to be brave and effective in serving those you love.
Written by Dimity Milne