Read John 11
Death inevitably enters all of our homes, but there is hope because believers in Jesus pass from death unto life eternal (John 11:25-26). Power of the Word and prayer (11:38-44).
The "occasion of grief" introduces us to one of the few homes where Jesus was lovingly received while He was on earth. But, at this time, its occupants were grieving as Lazarus' two sisters watched helplessly as their brother lay dying.
They sent a message to Jesus: Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick (John 11:3). It was a considerate and gentle message, as much as to say: "You will know what to do." They did not insist that Jesus leave His work, nor did they ask that a miraculous message of healing be flashed to them as there had been between Cana and Capernaum when the nobleman's son was healed (4:46-54). They left their brother in the hands of Jesus, knowing that He knew what was best.
As Jesus tarried, the weary hours and long days of waiting were sorrowfully ended and their brother died. The message to Jesus from Lazarus' two sisters seemed to have been in vain. Four days later, when the bereaved sisters heard that Jesus was near, they were overwhelmed. Jesus had come! But to them it seemed that He had come too late. Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died (11:32).
In order to strengthen their faith that He is the Resurrection and the Life (11:32), Jesus had delayed His arrival until four days after Lazarus' death (11:39). At Christ's Word, death set free its prisoner and Lazarus came forth from the grave.
Oh, that our hearts might learn to truly trust and wait for Him! We can often quote what God has promised, even in stirring words; but this alone does not prove our faith in the power of the Word of God. No, it depends greatly upon our surrender to Him as Lord of our lives. We must be determined to reject all evil thoughts of the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). These evil thoughts are from Satan and can prevent us from receiving answers to our prayers.
If we truly desire the Lord's best, we must truly yield to His Word. His Word sanctifies (John 17:17) and is powerful (Heb. 4:12). Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (Rom. 6:12-13).
Thought for Today:
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
For John 12:13: See Ps. 118:26. John 12:15: See Zech. 9:9. John 12:38: See Is. 53:1. John 12:40: See Is. 6:9-10; Ex. 4:21.
12:46 I am come a Light, I have come to reveal the Truth.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Ben Quayle (AZ) and Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL) • Country: Denmark (5 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Danish and Faroese • Religious freedom • 92% Protestant; 1% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% cults; .1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national revival, for righteousness exalts a nation (Prov. 14:34).
Memory Verse for the Week: