John 11 opens with an introduction. We meet Lazarus and we learn that he’s sick. Many of us in life are in a similar circumstance to him. We are sick and waiting for Jesus to come, and heal us.
However, our timing and God’s timing are two different things. We tend to believe that he’s on the way as soon as we ask. In reality, Jesus might still be strapping on his sandals. We don’t know his time, he might be late to us, but he’ll always be on time for his plan.
The book of John teaches us about Jesus, how he lived, loved, and cared for the people around him. It also shows that he is the Son of God, and yet he’s a man.
John 11: Jesus Learns That Lazarus Is Sick.
11 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”
4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days. 7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”
8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”
9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. 10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” 11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”
12 The disciples said, “Lord if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” 13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.
14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now, you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”
16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”
John 11: Sometimes God Makes You Wait, So You Can See His Power
In the first few verses, we see Jesus get word that his friend Lazarus was sick, and Jesus even states something that later on seems contradictory.
He says his sickness will not end in death, but Lazarus died.
I think it goes to show that Jesus sees death a whole lot different than the rest of us, and that makes sense. Death isn’t final, it’s just moving into the kingdom of God.
Also, I think it’s very encouraging that Jesus views death as falling asleep, and he can wake people up at any time.
So Why Doesn’t He Wake Us All Up?
God has a plan that he put forward, and there’s a reason Jesus came and had to die. In his plan, he was reconnecting us to God. He was the sacrifice that was put forward, and he was the one who gave his life.
However, there’s one crux to the plan. We have to choose him. He can a million times and it won’t matter if we don’t choose him.
That’s the major problem with free will, and with love. But it’s the only way to have both. We have to choose Jesus, and we need to love him. Jesus is the way, and he came because he loves us.
John 11: Jesus Arrives In Bethany:
17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. 18 Bethany was only a few miles[d] down the road from Jerusalem, 19 and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. 20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” 29 So Mary immediately went to him.
30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. 31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Jesus Always Shows Up When He’s Needed, But Sometimes You’ll Have To Look Around
Whether you’re in the pits of despair, or you’re happy as a clam. Jesus is there right next to you. I even believe that we can put distance between ourselves and God, but he’s still always standing next to us. (it hurts my head to dig deeper than that).
So Jesus shows up and is immediately chastised about not being there. This is exactly how we all react to pain. I’ve done this myself so many times in my life, and I’m sure you’re remembering times you’ve done this as well.
Truth be told, wrestling with God, and what you believe is a good thing. The bad times are also the times of your greatest growth. They didn’t even think Jesus could raise someone from the dead, and a few minutes later they were talking with their brother once more.
That’s the healing power of God, he loves us, and restores us all to him, together.
John 11: Jesus Wept
33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him,[f] and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.
They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.
But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
The Dead Can Be Raised Through Jesus:
In John 11, we see what Jesus will do when his heart is moved. I love the verse where it says he was troubled. Other translations say angry.
I don’t think we realize that Jesus knows that death is not normal, it isn’t something we should be dealing with. We were made for a better life, but we chose to sin.
This ruined our world, the connection with God, and let death roam free.
The power of God is amazing, but the love of God is what we need. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a horrible situation and I’ve been praying for release. However the answer I was praying for never came, but his love did.
When you realize the love of God is what you’re craving, every situation of your life will change. Flat tires and lost jobs will no longer affect you.
Because you’ll realize the creator of the universe is providing for you, he’s got your back.
John 11: The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. 46 But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. 48 If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.”
49 Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! 50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
51 He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. 52 And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world.
Religious Leaders Plot Jesus Death
53 So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. 54 As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.
55 It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, and many people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the purification ceremony before Passover began. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, but as they stood around in the Temple, they said to each other, “What do you think? He won’t come for Passover, will he?” 57 Meanwhile, the leading priests and Pharisees had publicly ordered that anyone seeing Jesus must report it immediately so they could arrest him.
John 11: There’s Always A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing:
The end of this chapter used to puzzle me, why would someone go and tell the High Priests what Jesus did? They witnessed his power, how can they not believe.
People are weird, living through the covid pandemic should’ve taught us all that. However, I’ve realized a few things about people.
Some of them might have actually been reporting to the priests thinking they’d believe, and others might’ve wanted power.
Also, some people never grow up and stop being a tattle tale too.
This story in John 11 teaches us that God can be moved by his emotions, and it shows that he reacts to how his people are feeling. This means that he truly loves and cares for us. Regardless of how some would teach you.
What are you waiting on God for? is there something in your life that he’s promised and hasn’t shown up yet? Give it to him, and understand that your timing might not be right.