Highlights In Today's Reading:
Lazarus' dying unfolds (11:1-44). Seeing Mary's sorrow, Jesus wept (11:35). When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead many are converted but Pharisees want to kill Him (11:45-57). Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem hailed as King (12:12-19); foretells His death and why (12:23-36,42-50).
The "occasion of grief" introduces us to one of the few homes where Jesus was lovingly received while He was on earth. But, at this time, its occupants were grieving as Lazarus' two sisters watched helplessly as their brother lay dying.
They sent a message to Jesus: Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick (11:3). It was a considerate and gentle message, as much as to say: "You will know what to do." They did not insist that Jesus leave His work, nor did they ask that a miraculous message of healing be flashed to them as there had been between Cana and Capernaum when the nobleman's son was healed (4:46-54). They left their brother in the hands of Jesus, knowing that He knew what was best.
As Jesus tarried, the weary hours and long days of waiting were sorrowfully ended and their brother died. The message to Jesus from Lazarus' two sisters seemed to have been in vain. Four days later, when the bereaved sisters heard that Jesus was near, they were overwhelmed. Jesus had come! But, to them He seemed to have come too late. Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died (11:32).
In order to strengthen their faith that He was the Resurrection and the Life (11:32), Jesus had delayed His arrival until four days after Lazarus' death (11:39). At Christ's Word, death set free its prisoner and Lazarus came forth from the grave.
Oh, that our hearts might learn to truly trust and wait for Him! We often have beautiful visions of what God has promised, and we may even quote them in stirring words; but, these alone do not measure our faith in the power of God's Word. No, it depends greatly upon our surrender to Him as Lord of our lives. We must be determined to reject all evil thoughts of the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). These evil thoughts are from Satan and can destroy the answers to our prayer.
If we truly desire God's best, we must truly yield to His Word. His Word sanctifies (John 17:17) and is powerful (Hebrews 4:12). Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (Romans 6:12-13).
Thought for Today:
Are we as willing as Lazarus' sisters to wait on the Lord? Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience (James 1:3).
12:46 I am come a light =b> I have come to reveal the truth.
For John 12:13: See Psalm 118:26. John 12:15: See Zechariah 9:9. John 12:38: See Isaiah 53:1. John 12:40: See Isaiah 6:9-10; Exodus 4:21.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Pastor Tony Foglio • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. John O'Donnell • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Gov. Ted Kulongoski (OR) • Country: Malta (388,000) about 60 miles south of Sicily • Major languages: Maltese and English • Religious freedom • 97% Christian; 1.7% non-Religious/other; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Your prayers should be lifted up with confidence in God (Psa. 56:9,11).
Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 14:33