Do you know the story of the miracle of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha? Let me take a quick moment to share it with you.
Lazarus was gravely ill. His sisters, Mary and Martha sent for Jesus to come quick and heal him. Jesus replies to this request, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of Godmay be glorified through it.” I am pretty sure the sisters, Lazarus himself, and all of those in transit with Jesus thought quite literally that this illness COULD cause him death, thus the urgency in which they sent for Him. Continuing on in His journey, Jesus tells the disciples that Lazarus has in fact literally died, and that it is for all of their sakes that He wasn’t there to heal him. I cannot fathom the great confusion they must have had. Nevertheless, they arrive, four days after Lazarus’ passing, and Jesus, filled with grief, looks up and prays. Then, He calls for Lazarus to come out-and he does!
See, Jesus knew that more would believe in Him if they saw the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead, rather than healing his sickness. When He stated that this illness would not lead to death, He already knew it would not only lead to Lazarus’ resurrection and life, but also have the life-saving resurrection power that others would need as well. This illness lead to everlasting life.
Now, many who witnessed this incredible miracle believed in Jesus, who had never believed in Him before. But the others doubted His actions saying, “Could He who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
They totally missed it. Did they not just experience the same miracle?
Above all else, this is what really spoke to me this morning. The others.
The others doubted His process. The others doubted why Jesus would allow Lazarus to die in the first place. The others thought they knew better how Jesus should have handled this whole thing.
Ah yes, I have been the others. Many times over, I have been the others.
I have doubted the processes. I have doubted why God would allow such great travesties in life. I have doubted why God would have handled things the way He did. And I too, have missed it completely. The miracles that happened in my life, I have doubted away, missing it altogether. I wanted it to look this way, and I searched for it to appear in the way that I thought it should appear, and I missed it, time and time again. Dang! I have been the others more times than I would like to admit. Instead of seeing boat sinking miracles, right in front of my face, I have wondered and doubted, “Why, God? Why would you let my boat sink?”
Many of us are there right now. We are looking at all that we can tangibly see and wondering why? We are doubting the process. We are doubting why He would wait to do what only He can do. Why is He not acting now? Why when He can create the world with a single word, can He not make all of this illness stop and rebuild the nations?
Because, this illness will not lead to death. It will lead to everlasting life. Those who didn’t believe before will come to Him. And yet, there will always be the others.
Father, let me not be found in the crowd with the others. Let me be found, full of belief and faith, knowing that this all is leading to everlasting life in You. Father, I beg of you to raise up this earth, as You did Lazarus, for Your glory, not our own.