“The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus to inform him, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Upon hearing this, Jesus said: ‘This sickness is not to end in death; rather it is for God’s glory, that through it the Son of God may be glorified.’
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus very much. Yet, after hearing that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two days more. Finally he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would never have died. Even now, I am sure that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ ‘Your brother will rise again,’ Jesus assured her. ‘I know he will rise again,’ Martha replied, ‘in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus told her: ‘I am the resurrection and the life: whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied. ‘I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God: he who is to come into the world.’
Jesus was troubled in spirit, moved by the deepest emotions. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Lord, come and see,’ they said. Jesus began to weep, which caused the Jews to remark, ‘See how much he loved him!’ But some said, ‘He opened the eyes of that blind man. Why could he not have done something to stop this man from dying?’ Once again troubled in spirit, Jesus approached the tomb.
It was a cave with a stone laid across it. ‘Take away the stone,’ Jesus directed. Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, ‘Lord, it has been four days now; surely there will be a stench!’ Jesus replied, ‘Did I not assure you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?’ They then took away the stone and Jesus looked upward and said: ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I know that you always hear me but I have said this for the sake of the crowd, that they may believe that you sent me.’
Having said this, he called loudly, ‘LAZARUS, COME OUT!’ The dead man came out, bound hand and foot with linen strips, his face wrapped in a cloth. ‘UNTIE HIM,’ Jesus told them, ‘AND LET HIM GO FREE.’
This caused many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, to put their faith in him.”
Spend a bit of time sensing the friendship of Jesus with Lazarus and his sisters.
How do you feel about Jesus not going to Lazarus immediately?
With what spirit will you respond to a friend’s need today?
Heritage word—“Be detached from your own spirit, and then the Spirit of God will fill all the faculties of your soul.”