If you had the power to keep one of your friends from dying, wouldn’t you use it? What could be more important than saving a friend from death?
In the passage we’re going to study for several posts, we see the Lord Jesus, the One who has the power of life and death, make a really strange decision. Let’s look at the first part of John 11:
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
Jesus dealt with sickness wherever He went. We read in Matthew 4 that “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” (v. 23) Four chapters later in Matthew 8 we read “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” (v. 16) In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 9 that “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (v. 12)
His ministry was to proclaim the good news of the kingdom and to heal “every disease and sickness” (Mt. 9:35). In fact, Jesus sent out the Twelve and “gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (Mt. 10:1). He commanded His disciples to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons” (Mt. 10:8).
On one occasion Jesus saw a large crowd, and we read, “He had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Mt. 14:4). How is it He has no compassion for His friend who is dying? (to be continued)