Context: While teaching and ministering east of the Jordan, Jesus gets word from two sisters he dearly loves (Martha and Mary) that their brother, Lazarus, is ill. This Mary is the one who would soon anoint the Lord with ointment and wipe his feet with her hair. They lived in Bethany (Bethphage) about two miles from Jerusalem. They knew he dearly loved Lazarus, too. Jesus is moved by their request, yet tarries two days until Lazarus dies, then tells his disciples he is glad for it so that they might see the glory of God at work. They are very concerned about Jesus’ safety and their safety (the Jews in Jerusalem had tried to stone him the last visit) and Thomas even tells the disciples, ‘Let us also go (to Jerusalem with Jesus), that we may die with him.’
Observations: If Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters so dearly, why didn’t he go immediately to heal him? How do you think the sisters felt? To press further, why did Jesus allow such a close friend to become ill in the first place? What was pre-eminent in Jesus’ thinking? In the disciples thinking? Jesus is now entering a ‘place of no return’ since his claims and miracles are forcing the hand of the Jewish leaders. Btw, the answer to yesterday’s quote about danger and opportunity is General Douglas MacArthur who headed the Pacific operations for Allied powers in WWII.
Application: Consider a time in your past where your timing was not God’s timing, especially when it felt like God ‘showed up late.’ Could there be disappointments and timing issues in your world right now stemming from COVID-19 and all its ripple effects? Do you really TRUST in God’s timing? Try to see what good is coming from altered plans.
Prayer: Jesus, we do believe, but help us in our unbelief!! Amen.