Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

John 11:1-

This is such a beautiful chapter,  that I decided to stay here for a little while.  Hence,  the ” Part 1″. 

 It starts out like one of Jesus’ miracles usually does. ” Need announced. Need met. ”

But this one is especially different!

The end of the scripture passage above starts out telling us how much Jesus loved Mary,  Martha, and  Lazarus. 

And then, things get CRAZY! 

The first thing we have to realize is that the Greek word for “so” literally means “therefore”, or “consequently “. 

Are you seeing what I’m seeing yet??

Okay, put the word ” therefore” or “consequently” in place of the word “so.”

” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  THEREFORE,  when He heard that He was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. ”

In other words, BECAUSE of His love for them, He stayed away for two more days!

If you read on in the chapter, you’ll see that Lazarus died while Jesus was still away. 

Okay. Now, Jesus KNEW Lazarus was sick. He got the message. He knew His friends wanted Him to come.

But He doesn’t. 

So, He let Lazarus die because He loved them so much?

This makes no sense to our little, tiny, human minds.

Why would God allow the people He loves to go through such great, indescribable grief?

Isn’t that such a common thought of those of us who suffer?

“God, You just won’t stop telling and showing me  how much you love me…but you aren’t delivering me from ANY of this!!!”

“How is this love??”

Well, Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, here.

Before He tells us that He loves them, He explains that Lazarus’ sickness is NOT going to result in death, and that it was for the glory of God.

If you read on, you’ll see that Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, in front of a very large crowd of mourners. 
Sometimes the love God has for you and me doesn’t really feel like love at all.

Some of our days are jam-packed with so much pain, we just can’t see it.

But it’s there.

It’s there because God wants to do something EXTRAORDINARY  with your life!

It’s there because God wants to get maximum glory from maximum pain!

It’s there because He wants to SHOW YOU just how powerful He really is!

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;

Isaiah 48:10,11

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 5:3,4

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory

2 Corinthians 4:17

One day, we will see what it all meant.

One day, we will know what all the ripping and tearing apart of our hearts was all about. 
One thing we CAN know right now ….

He loves us. 
Of that, we can be certain.

Lessons in Bethany Part 1

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