John 11:1-16 Everything happens for a reason
John 11:1-16 Everything happens for a reason
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”
This miracle that Jesus performed was even greater in substance than that of Moses. Moses’s powers presided over the elements of nature and but Jesus presided over the power of death. The raising of Lazarus caught so much attention that the people started to really believe that Jesus was that promised Messiah. The circumstances surrounding this incident, the timing of Lazarus death and Jesus’s movement that resulted in this great miracle pointed to God’s power over all creation and life itself.
This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.
Jesus, having heard of Lazarus’s illness, declared that Lazarus would not die but be resurrected for God’s glory. After Lazarus was dead, He told His disciples that He wanted to return to Judea where Lazarus was.
Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
The disciples were concerned about their safety as the Jews were looking to kill them. Jesus replied that if anyone walks in the day he does not stumble because he is guided by the light. By this, He was referring to the guidance of the Light of the Spirit, that keeps one from harm’s way: stumbling. However, if one walks in the night in the absence of the light, he would stumble and be in severe danger.
Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.
Jesus added that Lazarus has fallen asleep and He has to go to wake him out of sleep. The disciples did not understand Him until He said it plainly that Lazarus was already dead. Why did Jesus use this figure of speech? Jesus knew that Lazarus would be raised and hence, you used the term “sleep”.
Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe.
Jesus was not present at the time when Lazarus fell ill. Unknown to Jesus, God had planned for Him to be absent during Lazarus’s sickness so that the disciples may witness the power of God in raising Lazarus from death.
Be led by the Spirit and not by circumstances.
Jesus returned to Judea despite the dangers they faced and performed a great miracle there. This episode showed us the importance of being led by the Spirit’s directives and not by our own interpretation of circumstances. Fear and anxiety keep us from hearing the voice of God that deprive us of opportunities and blessings. Hence, we must cultivate an attitude of complete trust and submission to God’s instructions. Walking in the day symbolises walking according to right discernment of truth and falsehood. Walking in the night describes those who live by false instincts and being overcome by the circumstances around them. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.”
Everything happens for a reason so that God’s power and love can be revealed.
Psalms 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.” God puts you in a place and time so that you may be the instrument that wields great miracles for His glory. Hence, we must never at the face of dire circumstances be given to complains and despair. But learn to understand the mind of God and His perspective in our situation.
Under all circumstances, we declare the fulfilment of God’s promises with our tongue.
Jesus upon hearing Lazarus’s terminal illness declared that it would not end in death. He further described Lazarus as having “fallen asleep”. Given that God has already planned to glorify Himself through Lazarus’s resurrection, Jesus’s words matches with His faith to perform the miracle. Hence, having confidence in God’s provision, we must always affirm our faith by declaring with our tongue.
Divide your prayers into three portions daily (morning, afternoon and evening) to converse with the Spirit. God will put His plans in our heart through intuitions mixed with peace. A prayerful person is not hurried because he does not react to circumstances but to the prompting of the Spirit.
Make it a habit to fill our minds with truths of God’s word and promises. Affirm the truth and conviction by declaring with your tongue. In any situation, we may say, “We can do it”, or “I am sure things will turn out fine” or “I believe God will provide.” By doing so, you will feel more confident and faith-filled throughout the day.
Dear Lord, I thank you for the current circumstance that you have put me in. Help me see how You could work a miracle through me. I thank you that everything happen for a reason so that Your power may be displayed. Use me to glorify Yourself. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.