Daily D – John 11:5
So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. JOHN 11:5 (NLT)
This is a season of delays. Pretty much everything is delayed. Baseball is delayed. Graduations are delayed. Annual events of all kinds are delayed, or worse, canceled. At times it feels like the whole world has been placed on hold with the same sappy version of The Girl from Ipanema playing over and over as we wait.
Delays are not denials.
Jesus received news that his good friend Lazarus was seriously ill (v. 2). The man with healing in his hands decided to stay where he was for the next two days before making the journey to his friends’ home (v. 6). He loved his friends (v. 5). However, there was a bigger purpose at work than Lazarus, Martha, and Mary could see or his disciples could perceive.
“Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this,” (v. 4).
Jesus had progressively revealed himself to the world. He could turn water into wine. He could open blind eyes, heal broken bodies, multiply bread and fish, and speak words of truth and life. Now as he prepared for his suffering and death, he gave them words of assurance and a demonstration of the truth they proclaimed.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die,” (vv. 25, 26).
Lazarus died while Jesus delayed. Neither the delay nor the death was the end of the story. No, this story ends not at Lazarus’s grave, but with people who were offended by resurrection power plotting Jesus’ death (vv. 45ff.). Apparently, they missed the lesson of Jesus’ words and actions.
What do we need to learn in this pandemic delay? What do we need to see that we might otherwise miss? How will people see the goodness of God and take hope from it?
As the renowned philosopher Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This is a good time to take notes on how God is at work all around us. What evidence of his activity do you see? If you cannot see it, ask around. You will be pleasantly surprised. You tend to see what you are looking for. Open your eyes and see the glory of the Resurrection and the Life.
I will look for evidence of God’s unmistakable activity.
Our Father, open our eyes that we may see what you are doing all around us. Give us your words of truth and life so that we may join you in your work. Use us to bring healing and hope. Draw people’s attention to yourself that they might know you and experience you and find a way to build a better world under your leadership. Amen.
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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”