by Christina Farris
1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: What was it to walk with Jesus in his day. It was not just healings, wonders signs of his authority when it came to calming of the sea, it was also the prophesy coming forth from his mouth and thus not understanding his prophesy, until it was revealed to them. The story of Lazarus we did last week or week before in regards to the end of the story where Larazus came back to life. Now if we knew not the events after this scene in scripture of Lazarus resurrection would we been more amazed by the communication between Jesus and His disciples? Perhaps but with knowing how would we view it. I seen prophesy that would shake anyone if they understood it as being prophetic. The fine line between magician act and reality can often be in question. For the disciples especially Judas, had no clue if he was present, but let for a moment say that Judas being one the disciples was listening to this speech. Would it make his doubts of Jesus clearer, or questioning. Let us go a step further, Thomas, called Didymus was a doubter by nature and not until the crucifixion, resurrection and seeing Christ himself was the reality of resurrection so clear.
The disciples were not present at the death of Lazarus nor was the one that went and told Jesus Lazarus was sick could not have had human knowledge of Lazarus death. However if you examine the distance Jesus was from Lazarus it was only two miles/15 furlongs off. It is less then hour walk. Now the disciples knew the power of God and about the miracles Christ did first hand , but we are only readers and do not have the ability to question this scene so easily. Knowing characters and understanding when they actually had faith makes it even easier to understand the story of the resurrection of Lazarus. Now Jesus speaks of the light of the world being able to walk and not stumble, "but if it be night he will stumble because there is no light in him." Judas the betrayer was he present we do not know, but we know that Satan enter into Judas Iscariot at the last supper before the crucifixion. Was it hoax because it would not been hard to get a a second message from Mary and Martha from a friend that could of come told Jesus his friend was dead. He had remained not going to his friend perhaps because he knew the enemy wanted to kill him. The enemy was all around him watching and waiting to kill him. Faith was still a distance off for some of the disciples. What is faith? It about not walking blindly in the dark but having the light of Christ before oneself showing you it is okay to examine the truth and not just take things blindl, but trust the knowledge first God gives to your heart. The jewish leaders were still seeking his life.
Learning to trust Jesus is not so easy. It easy to trust him over things you know will probably be okay. Now you have to believe not only Martha and Mary and their friend that Lazarus is dead, but you have to believe the prophesy or the foretelling before your own arrival that Lazarus is dead. What is the issue. Is Lazarus death told to Jesus? Was Lazarus even dead for Jesus said he was asleep. Jesus had to clarify Lazarus was dead. The third thing first mention he was only two miles away. The story then becomes unbelievable by some and believable to others. We realize at the end of the story of Lazarus resurrection that some of the jewish went and told the elders. Many of them had no faith in Christ yet.
Are you rocked to the core by Jesus that you know without doubt of Christ reality. If God gives you fore knowledge individually will you believe or will you doubt. Will you doubt only in regards did you speak it where someone hearing could take your words and play a hoax. To prophesy in the reality of coming or after would either make you look like a god or a idiot with no compassion. If Christ gives you foreknowledge of event in your life and He being in heaven and in your heart, you learn to obey His voice and hear his voice. Yet we must be careful to understand that disciples themselves had no preknowledge of something being amissed, because whatever was occuring at the time the message came of Lazarus being sick did not stir the disciples themselves to go and pray for Lazarus healing. Even if Christ did not go why did he not send one disciple to pray. Why was the word just spoken and Lazarus needed not to die. Only two miles away.
If we take the side of the jews that may of been in observation of these events of Christ talking to his disciple and then seen Lazarus rise from the grave who would you believe. Mary and Martha and their friends or Jesus and his disciples. To be a fly on the wall in this case one would almost have to see the corspe. Yet something else why would Jesus who spoke to the leaders in the streets not just go up and speak to those seeking his life. Why is Jesus hidding? He had escaped plenty of times. The crucifixion was coming of Jesus, and this one resurrection was preparing the disciples and Christ followers for the big event of Christ death and resurrection.
This event was not the only one to come back to life in Christ ministry. One has to examine scripture carefully. Study it examine it to get to the cross and decide do you believe. Thomas would refuse to believe until he seen the nailed scarred hands. Who would believe without evidence at the time Christ and who will believe the story after Christ ascended into heaven, if God did not still speak prophesy to the listeners of faith. Your experience with God is as valuable as his word in your life. Without it you will not have hope. If you do not believer yet, why not give God a try. Why not receive Christ as Savior and ask him to forgive you of your sins. Allow his will in your life and ask him to teach you about himself about his Spirit and about His Christ who is not only a man and the Son of God but also God's word that came in the flesh, who is the spirit of prophesy. God will enable your faith. Learn to listen to his spirit and not the world, beyond knowing God is at work. Do not be surprise if some of the evidence is questionable at times, that is why faith is needed. Faith is needed to get through the times with evidence is not as strong as faith in God is. Learn to pray and learn to seek God in everything give thanks. Learn to know and hear God's voice so you know the enemy has no power but what God allows. Have faith in him.
Dear Heavenly Father, give your people faith as they learn to trust you and strengthen them for the road of Christ return is coming, and our trust in you must be greater then our trust in the world. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:John 20:24-29 KJV
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.