February 24, 2023 – Friday
John 11:14-15 NIV
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,
15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
This is a follow on from Jesus in a discussion begun a few verses before. Earlier Jesus told His disciples, 11 Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up. They did not understand so they replied, 12 Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better. However, 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
Then we come to our verses for today, 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Sleep was and is a common metaphor for death but having been told earlier (v1-3) that Lazarus was sick they believed his sleep, a natural sleep, would lead to his being well. But he did not get better, he died.
What does Jesus mean when He says, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe? They already believed, but Jesus wants to further confirm and deepen their faith by an additional extraordinary demonstration of His divinity. If He had been there Lazarus would not have died, but now that he has died Jesus will add to their faith. Earlier in Luke 7:11-15, Jesus had brought back to life the son of a widow before he could be entombed. But this would be different as Lazarus will be entombed for four days by the time Jesus arrives. That is why Jesus says at the end, But let us go to him even though His disciples thought it dangerous for Him to return to a place near Jerusalem where the Pharisees wanted Him dead.
Certain of the danger Thomas in the next verse says, 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” It was a test of their faith to go with Him, and Thomas says we need to go with Him even if it means our death as well as His. They really had no idea about what Jesus had planned. Maybe they thought He was returning simply to comfort Lazarus’ sisters as He was close to the entire family. Nonetheless, they went with Him.
Bottom Line: What will God permit to happen in our lives so that He can demonstrate who He is in our lives? We don’t know, but a large number of believers will tell you that is what has happened in their lives that brought them ever closer to Jesus and His Father.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your love and mercy always shows up to us when we least expect it and as a result our faith deepens and grows. Thank You for such love and mercy as demonstrated in our lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton