Lent Reading: John 11:1-45
In John 11 Lazurus, a good friend of Jesus was dying and his sisters Mary and Martha sent word for Jesus to come. When Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, the scripture says “he stayed where he was two more days.” With such critical news Jesus made no plans to leave, he did not even tell his disciples, he stayed where he was. Within this time, Lazurus died. This might be our experience of God. We ask, pray, plead and there is silence. Because we do not know yet what is to come, we experience the silence as inactivity. Like Martha (v21) we might feel God’s inaction is what let the tragedy of Lazurus’ death happen. After 4 days of grieving Mary was so distraught, possibly at Jesus, she would come to see him (v20).
I do not think Jesus stayed to test the sisters’ faith, or from fear of threat to his own life. In v41 once they pulled aside the tombstone, Jesus spoke, ““Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” What was Jesus doing while he stayed? He was praying, wrestling with God for Lazurus, for his sisters. How will this sickness not end in death? How will God be glorified? How will God’s son be glorified? He was preparing to bring the power of God to defeat the darkest place of death.
John 11 is a moving account of Jesus in the face of death and people suffering. For our time we need to hear once again how our Lord responds to our prayers. How his timing is not the same as ours and any delay is being used for good and his glory. How God’s heart is towards us and he will act.