… great glory. This was my thought this morning as I reflected on John 11.
John 11 records the death and miraculous resurrection of Lazarus. Lazarus and his two sisters were close to Jesus (we are told twice in the first 5 verses of Jesus’ love for His three friends), but what does Jesus do for them as they are in the midst of this trial (Lazarus’ sickness) that is about to get worse (Lazarus dies)? Does Jesus quickly travel to Bethany to heal His sick friend? Does He complain to the Father for allowing His friends to suffer this way? Does He start praying, “Father, make Lazarus get better quick”?
I imagine that most of us would probably do something along those lines for our friends and family if we could. If we could heal our mother of cancer or mend our son’s broken heart after his divorce, we would rush to the rescue. But John tells us: “So when [Jesus] heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was” (v. 6). Jesus didn’t rush to His friend’s side, but delayed His departure two extra days. Why?
Because Jesus saw trials differently than we often do. As Jesus looked at the coming trial (the death of His friend Lazarus) listen to how He assesses the situation: “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (v. 4). He allowed the trial to become greater so that He might clearly display the greatness of His power.
Notice the results. Because Jesus miraculously raised a dead man from the grave, not simply a sick man from his bed, the disciples grew in faith (v. 15), Martha came to understand that the resurrection is about Jesus not just a future event (v. 27), and many Jews came to believe in Jesus (v. 45). All of this happend through an immense trial, not in spite of it.
Father, next time I’m faced with a tremendous trial please help me to take my eyes off of the difficult situation and put them on Christ so that I might see the wonderful display of His glory.