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The story of Lazarus, V
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke

John 11:11-15 Lazarus is dead. Martha and Mary are crying. Jesus is about to walk into danger. The disciples are freaking out! They don’t yet know that Lazarus is dead, but Jesus is about to tell them. Just when things were going so good.

They thought Jesus was about to become king, chasing away the Romans and setting up the kingdom of David again. Their world will soon be rocked like nothing they’ve ever experienced. Suddenly Jesus looks at them and says, “Lazarus is dead.” If that wasn’t enough, for Lazarus was their friend also, Jesus then utters another earth-shattering statement. He said something they had never before heard their Lord say. “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him” (John 11:15).

What? Did Jesus really say that He was glad He wasn’t there to help Lazarus? They had seen Him leave the crowd and go restore from the dead the daughter of a Jewish synagogue leader. They were there when He spoke healing to a Gentile woman’s daughter as well as a centurion’s servant. He healed everyone. Never did they know of Him turning away from a hungry soul. Time was spent talking to and instructing even a hated Samaritan woman. He gave up sleep to pray. He gave up food to fast. He surrendered all to save the lost, even the crooked tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus. Now suddenly He was glad He wasn’t there to heal His friend?

How do you explain this?

We must remember the word of the Lord. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD” (Isa. 55:8). His way is always best. If Jesus had been present when Lazarus was sick, Mary and Martha might have prevailed upon Him to heal Lazarus. However, greater glory would come to the Father by waiting and not healing him. Jesus came in the will of the Father and a greater miracle was performed that had a much more powerful impact than healing another sick man.

Through this display of wonder- working power many people believed on Christ and accepted His testimony of the Father.

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