In tonight’s Bible study we learnt that timing is everything, and the time of the Lord is never too slow or too fast, but always-just right. Jesus chides his followers and us too for our lack of faith, reminding us again “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
When Jesus learned that his dear friend Lazarus was dead he did not rush to his friend’s side as one might expect but instead waited two more days to make the short journey to Bethany. This was necessary to fully demonstrate the glory of God in the miracle he was to perform. The Disciples did not know what Jesus intended to do and were confused by his slowness. We should remember this when God seems slow to answer our own prayers and needs. We must trust in his plan even though we do not know what it is.
When Jesus finally arrives in Bethany he is met by Martha, the sister of Lazarus. She, and later her sister Mary, scolds Jesus, saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” These women who were close personal friends of Jesus show the limits of their faith. While they believe that Jesus had the power to prevent the death of Lazarus they do not understand that his power is limitless. Jesus is God. The creator of everything! His power extends over every living thing and even over death itself. The scriptures go on to tell us that Jesus was “greatly disturbed by the spirit” and that he “began to weep”. Have you ever had someone not believe you when you were telling the truth, or had to explain something to someone that they couldn’t understand? Sometimes you feel so angry and frustrated by the experience that you start to cry. Well, this is how Jesus felt when after all of his teaching and preaching, his miracles and ministry, his friends still didn’t understand who he really was! He makes his identity perfectly clear telling Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26.
The story continues with Jesus ordering that the stone be rolled away from the tomb, which is a reminder to us that miracles cannot occur unless we roll away the stones of unbelief from our hearts. Lazarus is revived. This return to life is nothing like the total transformation that Jesus experiences after his own resurrection. Lazarus will get hungry and tired and sick, and eventually die again. Jesus will become fully body and spirit, able to walk through walls, share his body and blood, and reign both in heaven and in our hearts! Isn’t that cool? The most amazing thing is that Jesus intends for us to experience this incredible transformation, too. All we have to do is have faith. Believe in the goodness of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40