When Jesus hears that Lazarus was deathly ill, He stayed where He was. In fact the logic of the two verses suggests that He stayed two days longer where He was—therefore allowing Lazarus to die—because He loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

Here we all pause and ask almost instinctively, how is this loving?

There are at least 2 reasons:

1.  It is loving because Jesus knew what He was going to do—namely, raise Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:4, 43)
2.  It is loving because Jesus is aiming for something much deeper than mere physical healing. He intends to use this moment to bolster the faith of His disciples, (cf. John 11:15 “…so that you may believe.”) And also, given His conversation with Martha, —especially John 11:26 "do you believe this?”—He aims to bolster the faith of the sisters, Martha and Mary, as well.

It is loving for Jesus to pursue, even though human tragedy and death, that which holds the most eternal value. To those who believe in Jesus, death is merely a comma and not a thing to be feared above all else. He raised Lazarus from the grave and will likewise raise all who believe in Him. He alone is the “resurrection and the life.” ( Jn 11:25). He alone speaks to us as He spoke to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Do you believe this?

by Craig Lester, Pastor of Worship and Music

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