Letters to the Prison - Week 120

Hello, everyone!  We’ve been so grateful for the opportunity to meet with some of you in person.  We’re also grateful for the chance to study God’s word with you remotely.  It’s never too late to start studying God’s word.  Join us!  We’re in John’s gospel, chapter 11.
In John 11:4, Jesus said something unexpected:  Lazarus’ terminal illness is for the glory of God.
This week, Jesus does something unexpected:
•5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  -John 11:5-6
So, let’s be plain about some things here:  
Jesus can heal a total stranger from a distance.  Immediately.  
oWe saw him do this in John 4:46-54.
Jesus can heal a man born blind on the spot (John 10).
oThe blind man was a stranger.  We’re never told his name.
Jesus loves Martha, her sister (Mary) and Lazarus --this very familiar family.
oYet, when he hears that Lazarus is gravely ill, he waits.  For two days.
oAnd does nothing for Lazarus during that time.  Remotely or otherwise.
Interestingly, in the next few verses, look what happens:
•7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?-John 11:7-8
Jesus finally gets around to deciding to go to his beloved friend, Lazarus (who lives in Judea), and then his disciples want to stop him.  In their defense, we’re going to see that the disciples misunderstood the seriousness of Lazarus’ illness.  Why risk everyone’s lives going back to “enemy territory” if Lazarus is going to recover on his own, right?  
But things just aren’t happening the way we might expect them to.  We would expect that a loving friend (who happens to be God in the flesh) with the power to heal would rush immediately to the aid of his dying friend.  We would expect that the men following Jesus would do just that… follow him without question.  Especially after everything they’ve seen so far.
Others in this account have expectations, too, as we will see.  And yet it’s not about what anyone expects.  It’s about what God has planned to do.  God has higher thoughts (Isaiah 55:9) and wiser plans.  We don’t possess even a fraction of God’s unfathomable wisdom.  So, when we, in our limited wisdom, try to impose our expectations on God… and then when God doesn’t meet our expectations of him, how do we respond?  Do we question?  Do we doubt?  Do we resist God’s plans for us when they don’t match what we’ve planned for ourselves?  Do we disobey because we think we know better?  Do we even seek the counsel of God at all?  Do we, through prayer and study, work to discern God’s will for our lives?  We need to ask ourselves these things frequently.  And answer honestly.  And act accordingly.  We love you!  Until next week!

Dean A.

Recent

Archive

 2022
 November
A Day of Celebration?Letters to the Prison - Week 25Letters to the Prison - Week 26Letters to the Prison - Week 27Letters to the Prison - Week 28Letters to the Prison - Week 29Letters to the Prison - Week 30Letters to the Prison - Week 31Letters to the Prison - Week 32Letters to the Prison - Week 33Letters to the Prison - Week 34Letters to the Prison - Week 35Letters to the Prison - Week 36Letters to the Prison - Week 37Letters to the Prison - Week 38Letters to the Prison - Week 39Letters to the Prison - Week 40Letters to the Prison - Week 41Letters to the Prison - Week 44Letters to the Prison - Week 45Letters to the Prison - Week 46Letters to the Prison - Week 47Letters to the Prison - Week 48Letters to the Prison - Week 49Letters to the Prison - Week 50Letters to the Prison - Week 51Letters to the Prison - Week 52Letters to the Prison - Week 53Letters to the Prison - Week 54Letters to the Prison - Week 55Letters to the Prison - Week 56Letters to the Prison - Week 57Letters to the Prison - Week 58Letters to the Prison - Week 59Letters to the Prison - Week 60Letters to the Prison - Week 61Letters to the Prison - Week 62Letters to the Prison - Week 63Letters to the Prison - Week 64Letters to the Prison - Week 65Letters to the Prison - Week 66Letters to the Prison - Week 67Letters to the Prison - Week 68Letters to the Prison - Week 69Letters to the Prison - Week 70Letters to the Prison - Week 71Letters to the Prison - Week 72Letters to the Prison - Week 73Letters to the Prison - Week 74Letters to the Prison - Week 75Letters to the Prison - Week 76Letters to the Prison - Week 77Letters to the Prison - Week 78Letters to the Prison - Week 79Letters to the Prison - Week 80Letters to the Prison - Week 81Letters to the Prison - Week 82Letters to the Prison - Week 83Letters to the Prison - Week 84Letters to the Prison - Week 86Letters to the Prison - Week 87Letters to the Prison - Week 88Letters to the Prison - Week 89Letters to the Prison - Week 90Letters to the Prison - Week 91Letters to the Prison - Week 92Letters to the Prison - Week 93Letters to the Prison - Week 94Letters to the Prison - Week 95Letters to the Prison - Week 96Letters to the Prison - Week 97Letters to the Prison - Week 98Letters to the Prison - Week 99Letters to the Prison - Week 100Thanksgiving Blessing

Categories

Tags