John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
This is not the first time in scripture we have had mention of Lazarus’ house. In Luke 10:38-42, we see Martha invites Jesus into their home, and although Lazarus is not mentioned, it is commonly believed that it is the same two sisters. Jesus does indeed come into the house while Jesus communes with the others that are there. Martha gets busy readying some food for the travelers, but Mary sits to listen to Jesus. Martha thinks Mary should be helping her, but Jesus said it is better for her to sit and listen.
Which would you be doing? You have to consider Jewish custom here, which would ask that an visitor to someone’s house be provided food and drink, so what Martha was doing was a typical response. She was about the work, while Mary sought the word. Which is more important to you? Is it the work you do for the Lord, or getting into the word and learning more about God and His ways. I hate to admit it, but I do not spend enough time in the word. I meditate on it, I can quote a lot of scripture, I write about t, but actually sitting down and reading it and studying out the truths contained takes little of my time. I realize that needs to change, but getting into the pattern of works is so easy. Right now, my work for the Lord is writing poetry for one blog, and writing this piece for the other. I am a Martha at this stage, but I need to be more of a Mary. How about you?
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
We will be looking at this incident with Mary in a few days, as it happened right before Jesus enters Jerusalem. John wrote this gospel well after the events, so all he was doing here was identifying which Mary he was referring to. It’s a wonderful story!
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
The age old question of why Jesus waited two days before going is a good one, but s easily answered by His own words. He knew Lazarus would live again, and He told them the sickness would not result in death. There is never a moment that Jesus does not know what He is doing and how it will be perceived. It is the same in your life today. You say you have not received an answer to prayer yet? Jesus knows what he is doing. That trial you are going through seems to hard? Jesus knows what he is doing. You can’t seem to find a job and finances are running low? Jesus knows what He is doing. In all things, at all times, he is in control.
The question is will you trust Him? Do you have enough faith not to worry (Matt 6:34)? Do you know he will not give you more than you can handle (1 Cor 10:13)? Are you looking to Him first (Matt 6:33) and not the things of this world? Are you casting your cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7), knowing He cares for you? You see, God has your best interest at heart, no matter what it looks like to you. He had Mary and Martha, and yes Lazarus best interest at heart by waiting a couple days, even though no one else understood it.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
We just finished looking at the details about how the Jews tried to take Him twice, and yet Jesus is not phased by it at all. He knew His mission, and that He had to go back to the region. Going to Bethany, where Lazarus was, would be nothing compared to entering Jerusalem again, which Jesus knew would be coming soon.
I need to learn to carry the gospel wherever God gives me opportunity to do so. I am sure there are many opportunities I have missed through the years to minister to people in need, or share the word with them, or be someone they can lean on. Most of the time, for me anyway, it is fear that keeps me from doing those things. fear of rejection, fear of being made fun of, fear of them not accepting my help. I need to be more like Jesus, and walk in the light while it is day! How about you?
We didn’t get too far into Lazarus’s story today, but I promise tomorrow we will finish His story. Stay tuned!