John 11.1-7, 20-23, 32, 38-44
Key verse: John 11.6 ~ “So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”
Why? Jesus loved Lazarus, so why would he wait to go to him when he got word that he was very ill? Mary and Martha sent word to him because they knew that Jesus could heal Lazarus; they counted on the fact that he would. Waiting seems contrary, doesn’t it?
Ultimately, of course, Jesus goes … Jesus goes to Mary and Martha, and then he goes to Lazarus, and raises him from the dead. But as we have seen several times in John’s gospel, Jesus goes in his time. In his first sign, Jesus turned the water into wine, revealing God’s glory; and here in his last sign, raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus said again that it was “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
We pray and we ask God to come and heal, or we ask him to come and be God in our lives and situations—but of course, we want him to be God like we think he should be, which includes answering our prayers when and how we think we ought be tended. And then we remember what he said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55.9 Jesus’ entire goal was to do the will of his Father and bring glory to him—so when Mary and Martha longed for him to heal their brother, Jesus was looking at the situation through a much larger lens. He did not just raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus healed him too! In doing so, he showed his power over death—for Lazarus, for himself (post crucifixion), and for us, who are promised victory over death.
Jesus does not do the predictable. He does not always do as we ask either. His purpose for us is to transform us, to make us holy as he is holy, not to make us comfortable. We oft shrink him down to a nice little God, a safe God, a God who colors in the lines. “Our God is a consuming fire,” the writer to the Hebrews penned … does that sound safe? No. But he is good … always good.
Trust him with your 'all',