Friday 23 January, 2015

John 11:38-53

38 Once more Jesus felt very sad. He came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone in front of the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad smell. Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see God’s glory?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up. He said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I know that you always hear me. But I said this for the benefit of the people standing here. I said it so they will believe that you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus called in a loud voice. He said, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out. His hands and feet were wrapped with strips of linen. A cloth was around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the clothes he was buried in and let him go.” 45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary saw what Jesus did. So they believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees. They told the Pharisees what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What can we do?” they asked. “This man is performing many signs. 48 If we let him keep on doing this, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will come. They will take away our temple and our nation.” 49 One of the Jewish leaders spoke up. His name was Caiaphas. He was high priest at that time. He said, “You don’t know anything at all! 50 You don’t realize what is good for you. It is better if one man dies for the people than if the whole nation is destroyed.” 51 He did not say this on his own because he was high priest at that time. He prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation. 52 He also prophesied that Jesus would die for God’s children scattered everywhere. He would die to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on, the Jewish rulers planned to kill Jesus.

I find myself repeatedly asking the question, “what are you doing?” if I am unable to see the logic in someone’s actions. I want to know what they are thinking and why they are doing what they are doing. I want to know the outcome they are going for. Sometimes it’s really none of my business nor of immediate consequence to myself, yet I WANT to know!

When Jesus asks Martha to remove the stone I can see her processing what He’s saying and trying to follow where He’s going with this. I see her wanting to know what He’s doing and why. His actions seem ridiculous to her, Jesus seems to have forgotten that a man dead for four days does not smell pleasant!

Jesus replies in a frustratingly vague manner, He says that if she believes she will see the glory of God…. well what does THAT mean?! I suppose it’s like when we reflect on promises that tell us God has good things in store for us and a future for us… What does THAT mean?!

In that vague place, when I don’t know what God is on about, will I act like Martha and remove the stone, even if I have no idea what’s going to happen. Will I trust that whatever it is will be good, and worth the risk of some seriously pong-y air!

God, help me to let go of control and to trust you even when things are unclear. Thank you that no matter what it looks like you DO know what you are doing and are doing it for a good reason! Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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