Why did Jesus not go to Martha and Mary’s house and lay hands on Lazarus to heal him? If He would have just done that, his friend would not have had to die. As word reached Jesus of Lazarus condition, the disciples surely started packing their bags for they knew Jesus would immediately go, but He didn’t. The truth of the matter is that Jesus allowed Lazarus to die.
Yes, Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead and God was greatly glorified, but the unmistakable truth is that because he tarried His friend died and many others spent days in unspeakable sorrow. What kind of man, who having the power to heal his friend doesn’t go do it? How can such a man claim to be walking in love?
If Jesus loved Lazarus (along with Mary and Martha), He would have dropped everything and got there as fast as He could upon hearing he was sick. Instead, He deliberately didn’t go.
When Jesus finally did show up, Lazarus had been dead for days. Jesus was greeted with a combination of anger, bitterness and confusion as no one could understand why He had not come earlier and spared them this awful scene. Mary reminded Jesus that if He had been there her brother would not have died. She then broke down into tears along with everyone else.
The questions that arise from the account as recorded in John 11:1-44 are deep and troubling. Beyond the obvious question of why Jesus tarried two full days after hearing Lazarus was very sick is the deeper question of why Jesus allowed someone as close to him as Lazarus and his two sisters to go through the pain, suffering, grief and sorrow they endured.
The interesting thing about this record is that there is nothing said to indicate anyone believed as a result of this raising of the dead. There are no verses stating that the miracle of Lazarus rising from the dead empowered Jesus’ ministry. To the contrary, John 11:45-57 speak of the pact made by the Pharisees to kill Jesus for what He had done.
Jesus Christ ALWAYS did the Father’s will. Jesus Christ did not go heal Lazarus because God told Him not to go. That is why John 11:35 says that Jesus wept. Jesus cried because of His love for those involved and that He genuinely hated that they had to endure such a tragic event. But, Jesus was bound to do the Father’s will in every situation. Jesus also had to be tempted in every way too. The temptation of course was for Him to race to Lazarus’ side and heal him. God said NO.
We do not have the reasons revealed to us in the written Word of God as to why in this case the will of God was for a decent and honest man who loved Jesus and whom Jesus loved dearly to die. It is situations such as this one which cast a very deep shadow upon the idea that God’s will is ALWAYS for a person to be healed on the spot of everything afflicting them.
The question is not one of ability for God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think. There was never a question as to whether Jesus could heal Lazarus from his sickness. The question is simply why Jesus did not do it.
We cannot impose our will upon God, no matter how well intentioned it may be. We must strive to accept that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus taught us how to pray and that line sits prominently in the middle of the "Lord’s prayer".
I know all about the power we have available to us as children of God. We have the living Christ in us, the hope of glory. We have the power of the Holy Spirit and the right to exercise the power of attorney—using the name of Jesus Christ. Yes, we have the power within us to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons WHEN IT IS THE WILL OF GOD TO DO SO. But, we do not have the right or authority to walk around laying hands on every sick person and raising every dead corpse in the city morgue. We have the power but it must be used in accordance with God’s will and as we have seen in John 11, God’s will is not always what we want it to be.
I have taught about the spiritual authority we have in Christ for years. I used to teach that it was ours to use all the time. I am older and wiser now for God Himself has shown me in His Word that although the power is there, HE is the one who has to tell us when and where to use it. We must know what is available but we must be ever mindful that our will must be set aside and that in all matters, what is important is God’s will be done—no matter what it may be or how difficult to understand it is at times.
Dear B2Y--Well said. Well written. The bottom line with Jesus was and is always His Father's will. It's only when I think of myself as more important than I am that I struggle with God's lack of explanations. Where God's will in your life is concerned, my role is only that of a catalyst. I'm a tool for God to use--hopefully, with my willing cooperation--in whatever way He sees fit. "Does the clay ask the potter, 'Why are you doing this?'"
When I was in Alcoholics Anonymous, a grizzled old ex-drunk said that he only retained his sobriety when he stopped asking God, "Why me!?" and started asking, "What are You trying to teach me?"
Sometimes the Lord loves us more than we think. The people had gotten used to Jesus healing the sick. Then the Lord had to reveal Himself in a new and living way - raising the dead. What an impact -despite at first the greater pain suffered by the family . Sometimes we are allowed to suffer and then the Lord teaches a new thing about Himself through that pain which has greater impact on our faith and other's faith. We cannot limit God in how He wants to work in our lives for we are His workmanship our thoughts lower than His. He is the Master, we are the clay. How dare we question God's ways? Yet again, do we refuse His new and living way by insisting on the old ways we are used to? I don't think so.
Moment by moment
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Moment by moment I"™m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I"™ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I"™m under His care.
Never a heartache, and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger but there on the throne,
Moment by moment He thinks of His own.
Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.
by Daniel W. Whittle
Let's give Him the glory.. for moment by moment He keeps us in His love.
B2Y, excellent blog! Many treasures in the account of Lazarus being raised, you brought out a good one!! I personally am glad God is supreme and knows what He is doing. A lot of folks think they speak for God as a board of advisors or something. Heard a preacher once preaching from Job, where God indeed answered Job,(last chapters). His point was, along with the scripture, that God is not as we are at times, needing counsel or advice, or help because things have gotten too hard for Him to control. HE is GOD, and we are NOT! Job 42:1-3 Thanks Brother, again, excellent blog.
Amen, B2Y! May we place our hand within His and follow Him wherever He leads us. I must echo your words... [quote]We must know what is available but we must be ever mindful that our will must be set aside and that in all matters, what is important is God"™s will be done""no matter what it may be or how difficult to understand it is at times. [/quote]