Has God ever offended you? (Or it seems to feel like it.)
Jesus started His public ministry with a miracle at a wedding. He performed His last one in the gospel of John at a funeral.
His friend Lazarus had just died. Lazarus’ sisters called on Jesus to come for he was a day’s travel away from Bethany.
But when Jesus heard that Lazarus had died, Jesus stayed 2 days longer (John 11:6). Now THAT didn’t make sense. You heard your very close friend was severely sick, and you stayed where you were for 2 days? Was He busy? Well, it didn’t seem that physical distance was a barrier when he healed the centurion’s servant healing for if He wasn’t there.
Have you ever felt that God didn’t make sense?
Why did He allow my baby to die?
Why did my husband lose his job?
Why did God let my mom and dad split up?
But Jesus already established the purpose in verse 4 – “This is for the glory of God!” Question, are you okay with that? If God chooses your situation to display His glory, are you okay with it?
But He didn’t just do it to bring glory to God. He also did it to strengthen the faith of His disciples. Verse 15 tells us, “And for your sake, I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.” Jesus was glad that Lazarus died? Now, THAT surely is offensive!
Jesus was doing a work in the hearts of the disciples. They were about to embark on a difficult journey filled with persecution and hardships. They needed to have a strong foundation. Jesus was building that foundation through this.
The sign was not just to REVEAL God’s power but also to REINFORCE the disciples’ faith.
Jesus let Lazarus die. He missed his funeral by 4 days. He didn’t just miss the opportunity to pray for him. He missed the memorial services altogether! When he came, Martha met him but Mary stayed in the house. Mary was always excited to meet Jesus and would sit at His feet and be in His presence. But this time was different. She was offended at Him for He didn’t show up when they needed Him.
She later tells Jesus, “If only you had been here.” (John 11:42)
You and I have had those “if only statements”.
If only you gave us a baby, we won’t be separated now.
If only you stopped my brother from starting that business, we won’t be in debt today.
If only you didn’t allow me to be molested and abused by my uncle, I won’t be as messed up today.
But Jesus moves past the ash heap of disappointment and tells them a profound truth – “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
Because HE IS, then WE CAN.
Lazarus was raised from the dead.
Because HE IS, WE CAN.
If you have something that seems dead today, Jesus’ resurrection power can bring that thing back to life.
Dead business concept.
Whatever is lifeless today, He can breathe life into it.
Remember, He breathed life in Genesis. He created something out of nothing. As humans, we can only create something out of another thing. But only He can create something out of nothing.
Out of something lifeless, He can breathe life into it.
Have a great week ahead!