Incredibly loved yet fighting for his life.
John 11 v 1-7
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.”
Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. Their home was where Jesus would stay on regular occasions. They would provide for his needs; bed, food, money. Martha would have everything just right. Mary would sit at Jesus’ feet and learn. She was the one who wept tears onto his feet and wiped them with her hair, displaying wonderful intimacy.
It is this context of hospitality, intimacy, discipleship, worship and friendship that we read these words:
V1 Lazarus was sick.
Almost as if to stress the point that bad things do happen to good people John writes,
V2 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.
How do we respond when life is not kind to you?
When bad things happen?
When life is not fair or just?
When things break down, fall apart, get sick?
How will you respond when Jesus does not respond as quickly as you want him to?
There was no apparent reason for the 2 day delay. In fact it looked like Jesus purposely delayed because Lazarus was sick.
When God doesn’t jump to attention to do what is blatantly obvious, how do you respond?
Then when things get worse and then completely end what then?
Lazarus died presumably from his sickness but there was a plan.
It involved not just Lazarus.
If this life is all about you then you are going to be very let down and miserable.
It is about God.
V4 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.”
And though we may not realise it straight away it is about other people and specifically about them believing in God, v14-15 “So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Finally and crucially it is about God who loves you:
V3 Lord, the one you love is sick.”
Actually it is the only thing that matters.
To know you are loved and that this is not just perception based on your love for Him, but this is fact and confirmed in the many times He has demonstrated this.
Mary, Martha and Lazarus knew it.
Today is the 3rd anniversary of David Tinnion being taken to heaven. He knew he was loved by God.
Today my friend, colleague and member of my team, Dave Ayling is fighting for his life. He also knows he is loved by God.
It is the only thing.
Whatever you are going through, whatever you are facing, let your life be changed and turned around by the simple truth of the love of God. He loves you and His love draws near to you.