Highlights In Today's Reading:
Inevitably death enters all of our homes, but there is hope because believers in Jesus pass from death unto life eternal (11:25-26). Power of the Word and prayer (11:38-44).
Jesus was in Perea on the east side of the Jordan river when word came to Him from Mary and her sister Martha (11:1) that their brother Lazarus was sick (11:2). His response to His disciples was: This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God (11:4). However, He remained in Perea for two more days (11:6) and then said: Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. . . . Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead (11:11-14).
Jesus, the true Comforter, eventually arrived at the home of Mary and Martha. But to these two sisters, Jesus was four days too late. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died (11:21). To the unbelieving world, death is the most dreadful, horrifying word known to mankind; but for the Christian, there is a special comforting assurance that Jesus spoke of regarding His power to give eternal life as He said to Martha: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die (John 11:25-26).
It must have startled Mary and Martha, as well as their friends who had come to mourn with them, when Jesus stood at this grave sealed by a large stone (11:38) and suddenly commanded the people to take . . . away the stone (11:39) and then cried (shouted) . . . Lazarus, come forth (11:43). Without a doubt, it was a shocking experience when Lazarus came forth. Jesus' delay in returning to the home of Mary and Martha when Lazarus was sick caused temporary suffering and sorrow that the glorious resurrection power of God might be revealed (Rev. 1:18).
This also points out that our human understanding falls short of knowing what is truly best for our lives and often our "unanswered" prayer has simply been postponed for our best interests. We cannot judge the love of God by our circumstances. If our faith is in Him, we will, without exception, trust Him regardless of the circumstances. It is a fact that without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
Thought for Today:
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is (Jer. 17:7).
12:46 I am come a Light =b> I have come to reveal the Truth.
For John 12:13: See Ps. 118:26. John 12:15: See Zech. 9:9. John 12:38: See Is. 53:1. John 12:40: See Is. 6:9-10; Ex. 4:21.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Official: Gov. Ted Kulongoski (OR) • Country: Kazakhstan (15.4 million) central Asia • Major languages: Kazakh and Russian • Religious tolerance • 47% Muslim (largely Sunni); 25% Russian Orthodox; 2% Lutheran; 2% Catholic; 1% Jewish; 2.3% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Begin every day with prayer (Ps. 88:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:24