Well, have you ever God the saying “God is never late, rarely early, and always on time”? Some may be feeling that it is too late, but the reality is that it isn’t Some may hope that it comes early, but then it won’t have accomplished or have the same impact. On time brings the biggest bang for the buck!
Let’s consider this as we take a look into today’s reading! Some may wonder why He didn’t go earlier. Some may wonder why the emotion when He knows. Some may wonder what can He do when they feel it is too late. Expanding the text to help answer all these questions…
The Death of Lazarus
1A man named Lazarus, who lived in Bethany, became sick. Bethany was the town where Mary and her sister Martha lived. ( 2This Mary was the one who poured the perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was sick.) 3The sisters sent Jesus a message: “Lord, your dear friend is sick.” 4When Jesus heard it, he said, “The final result of this sickness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened in order to bring glory to God, and it will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory.” 5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he received the news that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. 7Then he said to the disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8“Teacher,” the disciples answered, “just a short time ago the people there wanted to stone you; and are you planning to go back?” 9Jesus said, “A day has twelve hours, doesn’t it? So those who walk in broad daylight do not stumble, for they see the light of this world. 10But if they walk during the night they stumble, because they have no light.” 11Jesus said this and then added, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I will go and wake him up.” 12The disciples answered, “If he is asleep, Lord, he will get well.” 13Jesus meant that Lazarus had died, but they thought he meant natural sleep. 14So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15but for your sake I am glad that I was not with him, so that you will believe. Let us go to him.” 16Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, “Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!”
Jesus the Resurrection and the Life
17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been buried four days before. 18Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many Judeans had come to see Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother’s death. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. 21Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for.” 23“Your brother will rise to life,” Jesus told her. 24“I know,” she replied, “that he will rise to life on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; 26and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27“Yes, Lord!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
28After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. “The Teacher is here,” she told her, “and is asking for you.” 29When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him. ( 30Jesus had not yet arrived in the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.) 31The people who were in the house with Mary comforting her followed her when they saw her get up and hurry out. They thought that she was going to the grave to weep there. 32Mary arrived where Jesus was, and as soon as she saw him, she fell at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” 33Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved. 34“Where have you buried him?” he asked them. “Come and see, Lord,” they answered. 35Jesus wept. 36“See how much he loved him!” the people said. 37But some of them said, “He gave sight to the blind man, didn’t he? Could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?”
Lazarus Is Brought to Life
38Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrance. 39“Take the stone away!” Jesus ordered. Martha, the dead man’s sister, answered, “There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!” 40Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believed?” 41They took the stone away. Jesus looked up and said, “I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. 42I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me.” 43After he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44He came out, his hands and feet wrapped in grave cloths, and with a cloth around his face. “Untie him,” Jesus told them, “and let him go.”
–from John 11
God’s plan is for good! God’s timing is perfect! Our hope is not only for the future, but for today! God is working in the world today! We can help shine light and hope into the world around us! Yes there is the eternity part, but we don’t have to wait till then to get to enjoy everything God has for us! Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us today! By grabbing onto this hope and living our lives with Jesus, we have become children of God!
Children of God
1See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God’s children—and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God. 2My dear friends, we are now God’s children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is. 3Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure, just as Christ is pure. 4Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law. 5You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him. 6So everyone who lives in union with Christ does not continue to sin; but whoever continues to sin has never seen him or known him. 7Let no one deceive you, my children! Whoever does what is right is righteous, just as Christ is righteous. 8Whoever continues to sin belongs to the Devil, because the Devil has sinned from the very beginning. The Son of God appeared for this very reason, to destroy what the Devil had done. 9Those who are children of God do not continue to sin, for God’s very nature is in them; and because God is their Father, they cannot continue to sin. 10Here is the clear difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: those who do not do what is right or do not love others are not God’s children.
–from 1 John 3
So let’s live differently! Let’s live with the knowledge and faith of our relationship with Jesus! Let’s live in daily relationship with Jesus! Let’s walk with Him and talk with Him throughout our day! Let’s build upon our relationship with God! Just because something hard, challenging, or bad happens doesn’t mean you did something wrong. Consider the blind man…
1-2Everything you say, I have heard before. I understand it all; I know as much as you do. I’m not your inferior. 3But my dispute is with God, not you; I want to argue my case with him. 4You cover up your ignorance with lies; you are like doctors who can’t heal anyone. 5Say nothing, and someone may think you are wise! 6Listen while I state my case. 7Why are you lying? Do you think your lies will benefit God? 8Are you trying to defend him? Are you going to argue his case in court? 9If God looks at you closely, will he find anything good? Do you think you can fool God the way you fool others? 10Even though your prejudice is hidden, he will reprimand you, 11and his power will fill you with terror. 12Your proverbs are as useless as ashes; your arguments are as weak as clay. 13Be quiet and give me a chance to speak, and let the results be what they will. 14I am ready to risk my life. 15I’ve lost all hope, so what if God kills me? I am going to state my case to him. 16It may even be that my boldness will save me, since no wicked person would dare to face God. 17Now listen to my words of explanation. 18I am ready to state my case, because I know I am in the right. 19Are you coming to accuse me, God? If you do, I am ready to be silent and die. 20Let me ask for two things; agree to them, and I will not try to hide from you: 21stop punishing me, and don’t crush me with terror. 22Speak first, O God, and I will answer. Or let me speak, and you answer me. 23What are my sins? What wrongs have I done? What crimes am I charged with? 24Why do you avoid me? Why do you treat me like an enemy? 25Are you trying to frighten me? I’m nothing but a leaf; you are attacking a piece of dry straw. 26You bring bitter charges against me, even for what I did when I was young. 27You bind chains on my feet; you watch every step I take, and even examine my footprints. 28As a result, I crumble like rotten wood, like a moth-eaten coat.
–from Job 13