Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha and a friend of Jesus. In John 11:1-19, we read that the sisters sent a message to Jesus to let him know that his dear friend was dying.
I am sure that Mary and Martha assumed Jesus would come quickly and heal Lazarus in order to prevent his death, but he didn’t.
When Jesus received their message his response was, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (vs. 4). Then he waited two days before heading to Bethany.
Jesus Waits & Lazarus Dies
Lazarus was on the verge of death and Jesus decided to wait. If I was one of the sisters, I would have been really frustrated, disappointed, and confused. Even more so when my brother died and Jesus never showed up.
After two days, Jesus tells his disciples that it is time to head to Bethany for Lazarus. He tells the disciples that Lazarus is dead and he’s going to wake him up! I wonder if the disciples thought Jesus was losing his marbles or if they had full confidence in his power.
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. In the heat of the Middle East just imagine how smelly his body would have been already, but Jesus came to wake him up.
As we read this story we know how it ends, but Mary, Martha, their community, and the disciples had no idea. There must have been confusion on all fronts, but that didn’t make Jesus’ timing and will any less perfect.
In our lives, it is easy to give up or lose hope when things happen that don’t make sense to us. It is easy to accuse God of being unjust or uncaring, but it’s in those moments when we should be leaning on the hope we have received through Christ. Things might not make sense and you may be a little frustrated or disappointed, but God is working in ways you can’t yet see and the outcome will be worth it.