Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love 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 may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days 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, lately the Jews sought 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 one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
For the glory of God… Several times Jesus mentions that a situation we would call distressful has occurred so that God would be glorified and Jesus validated. The man who was blind was born blind, spent his childhood blind, was reduced to begging and Jesus said this was permitted for the glory of God and to validate Jesus. Now we see a friend who suffers an illness and death, his sisters suffer loss and grief and Jesus once again states this happens to glorify God and validate Jesus. Deliverance comes, from God, in both cases and it does bring belief in Christ. Does this change the way we view our own suffering and that of those around us? Do we hold that all things work out for God’s glory? There is a greater good to be served. If this suffering has the result of pulling others away from the eternal death which is separation from God is it worth it? If the deliverance brings glory to God and holds Jesus up before men in such a way as to bring them to belief in God and His Son, is the suffering worth it? We all have storms in our lives, do the storms bring us to a place where we give glory to God and realize deliverance through the mercy of Christ? Look at the suffering in the world around us and see the hand of God in its deliverance. It seems as if mankind does not turn to God unless they find themselves in a place of distress. Let’s be a part of the deliverance without bemoaning its existence. There is a bigger picture that we do not see. Let compassion pour from us to those who suffer without the judgment that asks why it was there in the first place. Let God be God, who are we to question? Let us just be faithful to minister to those in need and share Christ’s message in love so that God can be glorified and Jesus validated, so that salvation and deliverance can come to them. For the glory of God….
“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 one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
The light in us that comes from the Spirit of God gives us understanding and allows us to continue to walk, because the light is in us not from the world as they see. We will not stumble over what we see around us in the world when we walk in his light. This does not make us better than any other, it does mean we have more light. Let us share that light so that others may see. Let us remember that sin entered this world through the acts of mankind and its results exist all around us as proof of that, not as proof that there is a God who doesn’t care. We can be the proof that God does care as we share Him with those who do not have the light. This light brings healing, eliminates poverty, reunites God’s creation with Him. Be a part of that process rather than sit in the company of the critical, scornful, and questioning. For the glory of God…