Sep 14 2015
John 11: I-48 (The Message)
Jesus never panicked. He was always a step ahead of everyone. This was quite obvious from the conversations surrounding the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus’ sisters sent an urgent message concerning his condition, they needed the Jesus to come quickly. But Jesus delayed two days saying “This sickness is not fatal.” The NIV Bible says, “This sickness will not end in death.” Lazarus’ family was panicking while Jesus was relaxed.
His disciples thought they knew why he was delaying. The Jews in Jerusalem and its surroundings wanted to kill Jesus, and they thought he was avoiding them. But after two days Jesus said “Let’s go.”
His disciples said “Rabbi, you can’t do that. The Jews are out to kill you.” Jesus replied, “Anyone who walks in daylight doesn’t stumble.” This statement explains everything. It explains why Jesus was about to go into enemy territory, and why he had delayed when his friend was desperately ill.. He was walking in the Father’s light. He was doing what the Father was telling him to do.
What is true for Jesus here is also true for us. The person that walks in the light of God is not always understood by those he loves. It is clear that his disciples were confused. They thought some of his descisions were dangerous, and Lazarus’ family must have been wondering how much he really cared.
When Jesus arrived at Lazarus’ home he had been dead four days, and both his sisters questioned him. But so did their friends. They said, if Jesus loved Lazarus “why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying?” At the time Jesus displayed two types of emotion. His first was anger, and later saddness with weeping. I believe both were responses to their blindness. They lacked the Father’s light. And their darkness caused them to be confused and bitter. When our friends are lost and confused we are sad, and when they are bitter due to blindness we are angry.
When Jesus speaks he speaks as one who is seeing by the light, and one of the most interesting things that keep emerging from the things he says is his understanding that the kingdom of God is partly here now and not fully yet. This comes across from his conversation with Martha, Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.” Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time. “You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all” (John 11: 23-26).
Like most Jews, Martha believed in the resurrection of the dead at the end of time. So did Jesus. But Jesus says “I am resurrection and life.” If Jesus is the one who gives us resurrection life at the end of time then he can raise the dead now. There was a breaking in of the future here; resurrection life was coming to Lazarus before time, but one day it will come to every believer. Certain people like Lazarus will be raised from the dead now, but all will be resurrected in the future. Certain people will be healed now, but all will be healed when Jesus returns. The rule (kingdom) of God has begun to break in, but it will only come in fullness at the second coming.
So how do we know who God wants to raise from the dead, and who he wants to heal. We know the same way Jesus did. By walking in the light. Jesus did not raise all the dead, just Lazarus. At the pool of Bethesda he did not heal all the lame, just the man who had been that way 38 years. Why him alone? Why Lazarus only? Because that’s what the Father was doing. There is only power when we are doing what the Father is doing. And we know what the Father is doing by hearing his voice. This is walking in the light.
On this occasion the end result of Jesus walking in the light was huge. The very Jews that the disciples feared came to Bethany for the funeral. There they witnessed a great miracle. Jesus raised Lazarus before their very eyes. And this had a massive effect on the Jews in Jerusalem. Scripture says,
That was a turnaround for many of the Jews … They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him” (John 11: 45-48). What an impact!
Sons of God and daughters of God are supposed to be representatives of God. We are supposed to do what God is doing. If we want to know what God is doing and do it with him, we need to hear the Father and walk in his light.
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