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Don't Miss The Glory.



Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.  John 11:5-6

If you are familiar with this story in any way, then you are aware of the background, but let's refresh it for our minds. Jesus had some very close friends named Lazarus, Martha and Mary.  They were such good friends that Jesus stayed with them anytime he was close to Bethany.  Quite a bit of space is reserved for them in scripture by Mary's washing of Jesus' feet with expensive perfume and then drying it with her hair, Martha being admonished for not choosing wisely, and then the story that we are focusing on today concerning the death of Lazarus.  

Basically what happens in this passage is Lazarus gets sick, the girls send word to Jesus. He tarries and Lazarus dies before Jesus gets there.  When Jesus finally shows up, Lazarus has been dead for four days. Jesus then comforts his friends, prays this amazing prayer and Lazarus is brought back to life.  You can read all of John chapter eleven for the details.  It's a great story.  But something new caught my eye today and I just love that about the Bible.  This is what scripture means when it refers to the Bible being living and active (Hebrews 4:12).  

I wrote the verse we are focusing on for you above, but I want to look at it again.  

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.  John 11:5-6

Please don't miss this!  Jesus loved them.  Scripture even calls the ones he loved by name.  He loved them, but he chose to stay and not immediately send relief their way.  Verse four gives us a clue as to what Jesus was up to when it says, "This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it (John 11:4)."  This entire circumstance was orchestrated for the glory of God to be manifested (or made known) through the Son, who is Jesus.  

This entire circumstance was orchestrated for the glory of God to be manifested (or made known) through the Son, who is Jesus.

So, I have a couple of questions that have been rolling around in my mind and I'd like to share them with you - 

What glory do we miss out on being made known because we are unwilling to wait?  

Or perhaps, more importantly, what glory are we preventing others from seeing because we are more interested in our own comfort?

This hits me hard because I am one of those people that when I am going through a difficulty, I pray for relief to be sent as fast as possible.  I don't like to hurt!  And I really don't like for those I love to be hurting.  It goes against everything humanly reasonable to prolong suffering when it can be alleviated.

But, Jesus waited two more days.

We know that Lazarus, Martha and Mary were believers.  They had confessed that Jesus was the Son of God in scripture (John 11:27).  It's safe to say they were church folk, probably a lot like you and me with attending services, helping out in their community, and attempting to shine their light when the unthinkable happens.  Their entire world falls apart.  

And Jesus just waits.

I praise God that he doesn't operate the way I think he should! How many blessings, how much comfort, how much glory-shining would I miss out on if he did.  

Jesus tarried in sending relief because he knew a greater blessing was coming.  The blessing to show the Father's Glory.  

Why is that such a blessing?  Well, let's talk about it!  

If you are like Martha and can confidently say you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that you possess a relationship with God through Jesus - then friend, this world is not your home!  This earthly living is not the be-all-end-all of all there is.  This life down here is not what we live for.  This life is only temporary and we have eternity!   We can gladly suffer down here when we understand that some small part of our difficulty is manifesting the glory of God and that glory is being shown through us!  The Bible tells us that when we live in such a way that enables men to see the glory of God, they will be drawn to him. That is our sole purpose as a believer - who is living this temporary life - for others to see the glory and believe (John 11:14, 40-42).

That still may not do anything for you and you still may want to quit and I completely understand.  I really do.  But what I am constantly clinging to is death in not the final word for me, but for some it is.  If my suffering, if my difficulty can get the attention of someone who needs to see the glory, then I am all in.  

Death is not the last word for me.

Jesus waited two days and on the outside it looked as if he didn't care.  Some even questioned his authority and his power (John 11:37).  Those closest to him were beginning to doubt his love and loyalty as well. (John 11:21,32).  But Jesus knew there was something more at stake.  He had a heavenly perspective that if we are not careful, we lose sight of in the midst of our difficulty.   He knew that if Martha and Mary would just believe (trust him) they would see the glory of God and so would everyone else. 

I love the last part of this story.  After all is said and done, Jesus calls Lazarus to come out of the tomb so he can say these words, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."  John 11:44

Friend, I do not know what you are going through, what suffering, what trial, what difficulty weighs you down, but I do know that there will be a day when the grave clothes are removed.  It may not be in this life here on earth; we may achieve that victory through death, but death is not the last word for me!  

The grave clothes are coming off!  

So for me, and perhaps for you, let's wait patiently on the Lord.  Though he tarries, he will come.  And when he does, his glory will be made known for those who believe, but most especially for those who need to believe. 

I don't want to miss it!

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

“Where, O death, is your victory?

  Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:17

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.


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