John 11:1-6 KJV
 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
 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.
 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
Anytime I read this passage of the Bible, about how Jesus treated the situations of His friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, I got encouraged in my Christian journey.
I love to read this passage over and over again because of some deep secret of Christian life embedded in it. And at times, I wonder why some people dont look at this part of the scripture at some point of their Christian life.
FIRST: Lazarus was sick and he was described as the brother of May and Martha. And the Bible says: It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with the precious ointment and wiped His feet with her very long dignified hair, it was her brother who was sick. So, Mary had invested in the life and ministry of Jesus. Mary loved Jesus and the family had a very close relationship with Jesus.
We even read in the Bible how Jesus had gone into their house and Martha was busy preparing food for Jesus and His disciples, while Mary sat at His feet listening to His words. So, the family had a close relationship with Jesus.
No wonder, when Lazarus fell seriously sick, they had no problem sending for Jesus. The Man who was famous for healing the sick and raising the dead was their close friend. The Man who turned water to wine in Cana was their close friend. The Man who was famous for walking about opening the eyes of the blind and making the lames to walk usually came to their house to eat. They were very close friends.
They sent for Him immediately, to come and heal His friends. It was expected that He would just rise up wherever He was and would be coming immediately, because it was an urgent call from His friends.
John 11:3 “Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.”
But when Jesus heard the message, He said it was not necessary for Him to respond immediately, because the sickness is for the glory of the Lord to be manifested and for the Son of God to be glorified.
Verse 5 says: Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that His friend Lazarus was sick, “He stayed two more days still in the same place he was” without going to heal Lazarus.
Can you pause a bit and meditate on that?
JESUS SAID LAZARUS SICKNESS WAS TO GLORIFY THE LORD.
WHEN JESUS HEARD THAT LAZARUS WAS SICK, HE DID NOT RESPOND IMMEDIATELY, HE DELAYED TWO MORE DAYS THERE, BECAUSE THE SICKNESS WAS THAT THE SON OF GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED.
And Jesus did not rise up to go until the sickness became more serious and resulted in death of His friend. When Lazarus had died, Jesus now said it was time for Him to answer their prayers. By the time He got to Bethany, the house of His friends, Lazarus had been dead for four days, buried, rotten and stinking. THEN…..IT WAS SHOW TIME!
Jesus got to the tomb, commanded that the Covering stone be removed from the mouth of the tomb. and He raised up His voice and called His friend out of the tomb: “LAZARUS! COME OUT!” And His friend came out of the tomb wrapped in grave clothes.
Everybody was stunned. The atmosphere became charged. LAZARUS BECAME A WONDER TO EVERYBODY. Jesus had just performed His greatest miracle on His friend, Lazarus.
No wonder, He did not respond to come and heal him when he was sick, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A CHEAP MIRACLE.
No wonder, He did not arrive in Bethany when he was seriously sick to the point of death, IT WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN SPECIAL.
No wonder He did not arrive to raise him up the moment he was just dead, HE HAD DONE SAME THING TO MANY OTHERS.
No wonder He even waited two more days after he died so that He could arrive there four days after his death, so that his body could have been decomposing and stinking, and his situations got hopeless and forgone.
HE WANTED HIS FRIEND TO BE WRITTEN OFF BY THE TIME HE GOT THERE!
HE WANTED HIS FRIEND TO BE THE ONLY ONE UPON WHOM SUCH TYPE OF MIRACLE WOULD BE BESTOWED.
HE WANTED HIS FRIEND TO BE THE ONLY ONE WHO WOULD HOLD THAT CERTIFICATE OF “A MAN DEAD FOR FOUR DAYS, DECOMPOSING AND STINKING, BUT RAISED FROM DEAD TO LIFE”.
HE DID NOT WANT TO PERFORM THE SAME TYPE OF MIRACLE HE DID ON THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS.
Few days after the incidence, a dinner was made for Jesus in Bethany by Mary, and Martha, guess what happened. A lot of people came to Bethany to do what?
TO LOOK AT LAZARUS WHO WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD AFTER FOUR DAYS.
Lazarus was instantly raised to the position of prominence in the region.
“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.”
Lazarus suddenly became a celebrity. They never gathered like that to go and see the daughter of Jairus. Neither did the Blind Bartimeaus attracted such crowd of people.
In the beginning of John 11, Lazarus was described as “A certain man”, but in John 12, Bethany was described as “Bethany of Lazarus….where Lazarus who was dead was raised to life”
LAZARUS BECAME BIGGER THAN HIS CITY.
The Jews, the people, everyone, want to set their eyes on him and behold him.
THAT WAS WHY HE WAITED FOR LAZARUS TO DIE BEFORE ANSWERING THEIR PRAYERS.
THAT WAS WHY HE DID NOT WANT TO HEAL HIM FROM HIS SICKNESS, BUT WAITED TILL HIS SICKNESS LED TO DEATH.
THAT WAS WHY HE DID NOT EVEN WANT TO ARRIVE THE MOMENT HE DIED TO RAISE HIM UP….
HE WANTED HIS MIRACLES TO BE A SPECIAL ONE.
Ah-a-a-a! IT IS A SERIOUS MATTER TO BE LOVED BY JESUS o-o-o-o!
IT IS A SERIOUS MATTER TO BE JESUS FRIEND o-o-o-o.
By the grace of God, I love Jesus deaarly…and I know I love Him. He is my friend….and I know He loves me dearly….MAY BE THAT IS THE REASON ALL THESE ARE HAPPENING TO ME O-O-O-O!!!
MAY BE THAT IS THE REASON….HE DELAYED A LOT IN ANSWERING SOME OF MY CRUCIAL PRAYERS.
MAY BE THAT IS WHY WE ARE SOMETIMES SO CONFUSED, FRUSTRATED AND EMBARRASSED WHEN WE WAIT FOR HIS ANSWERS TO OUR PRAYERS WITHOUT SEEING ANY.
AND….. MAY BE THAT IS THE REASON….HE SOMETIMES DROWN ME AND MY WIFE IN THE POOL OF INEXPLICABLE WONDERS AND MIRACLES!
MAYBE THAT IS WHY HE IS NOW EXPOSING ME TO A LEVEL HIGHER THAN I AND GIVING ME AN ASSIGNMENT MUCH BIGGER THAN I…!!
MAYBE THAT IS WHY I FIND MYSELF VERY HELPLESS AT TIMES
AND IT SEEMS MY GOD HAS TRAVELLED ON A FAR JOURNEY AND MY PRAYERS WOULD NOT BE ANSWER UNTIL HE RETURNS FROM HIS LONG JOURNEY.
MAYBE THAT IS WHY HE DAZES ME WITH WONDERS AND FAVOR AT UNEXPECTED TIMES…MAKING ME TO SIT DOWN WITH KINGS IN HIGH PLACES….AT THE TIMES I HAD NO MONEY IN MY HAND.
AND AT TIMES I AM TERRIBLY EMBARRASSED WHEN HE IS DOING ASTOUNDING BIG THINGS THROUGH US WHILE WE HAD NOTHING ON US…..
HE IS DOING ALL THE SPENDING…WHILE I AM DOING ALL THE SHOPPING.
He does great wonder-ment with whoever becomes His friend. He shower them with FAVORS, MERCY, GOODNESS….AND…AND….A LOT OF INEXPLICABLE EMBARRASSMENT….AND …AND….
(Abi….what is the meaning of Lazarus body getting rotten….and stinking)
For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
My Prayers This Morning:
– MAY MY EMBARRASSMENT AND SHAME BE TURNED TO LIFTING AND GLORY….as I invest in Him more and more to be His friend.
– Whatever Happens to Me, And Whatever He does to me, May I Never Stop Loving Him as My Friend.
Source: Evang. Mike Bamiloye