Bible Reading Day 150

by markburlinson

Day 150 – John 11:18-46

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Good morning!
Day 150 – Well Done!
 
Today we read the conclusion of the account of the raising of Lazarus. Yesterday we read that Jesus waited two days before setting off to Bethany, and that when He arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. We can see the intentionality of the way Jesus handles this need – not according to the desires of the sisters, but for the demonstration of the power and love of God. Also Jesus will use this episode to state something very significant about Himself and His mission.
 
First we see the difference between Mary and Martha – Martha, ever practical, goes to meet Jesus and tell Him Lazarus would still be alive if He had come sooner. You may hear some accusation in those words, but when Jesus makes His significant statement “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” Martha has no hesitation in replying “Yes, Lord,” “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” In other words, Martha comprehends Jesus’ mission, and believes in Him.
 
Then the focus shifts to Mary, who also goes to meet Jesus. This time, all the mourners from Jerusalem go along too! In the midst of all this wailing and mourning, there are also questions from unbelievers about why Jesus didn’t prevent this from happening. John does not tell us whether Jesus’ anger is caused by the unbelief of the critics, or the grief of His friends, or the fact that our fallen world regularly snuffs out human life too early, but the depth of emotion He felt is captured in the shortest verse in the Bible: Jesus wept.
 
The anger (righteous anger, not vindictive anger) moves Jesus deeply as He tells them to roll away the gravestone. The word we translate anger means to have your guts churned with compassion and desire for justice. And we know the result – Jesus calls out “Lazarus, come out” and out comes the four-day corpse, resurrected! Preachers love to say that Jesus specified Lazarus’ name because this was likely a local burial cave, with many bodies inside, and Jesus had to be specific to avoid being overrun by resurrections!
 
Notice what happens when unbelievers see the power of God released by the depth of compassion and anger that Jesus displayed: they become believers. And that explains why Jesus managed this need and this answer in the way He did; for many to believe through witnessing God’s power at work. 
 
How does God want to demonstrate His power through you today? If you are unsure, ask yourself what it is that moves you deeply with anger and compassion; then see what God is doing there.
 
Have a great day!

Mark.
 
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