Gladness and Glory
God, I invite You to speak to me through Your Word, and I commit to being open to hear You.
Read John 11:1–16
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHas Jesus ever showed up “too late” for you?
“We’re all doomed!” says Thomas (16), “But we might as well keep him company.” Thomas was convinced that turning up in Bethany would end up with an actual stoning rather than an attempted one (8), but Jesus was undeterred by the risk. How different Jesus is from you and me. On hearing that one of his beloved friends is seriously ill (3), he isn’t knee-jerked into rushing to his side (6,7). When told by his disciples returning to Judea will mean certain death, he simply says, “I have work to do” (9,10), and goes anyway (15). What is Jesus thinking?
The disciples clearly didn’t understand his explanation (4,11–13). Surely, if Jesus really loved his friend, he would sprint over to Judea to heal him in the nick of time in response to the great faith shown by Mary and Martha. But Jesus paused.
Why did Jesus wait? Because the Father was going to be glorified through what the Son was about to do (4). Greater than a healing, something was about to happen that would never be forgotten.
When Jesus doesn’t show up at the “right” time, how do you respond? Do you trust him or question his goodness and his motives?
If you have any doubts about how God is working in your life, let him know about them today and give him your trust.
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