Bethany-Response: Part 3

John 11  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Part 3
John 11
Companying with Jesus, hearing His Word, receiving His ministrations of love, sympathy, power and glory in John 11, leads to His loved ones (John 12) ministering to Him, gratifying divine longings for response.
The Lord's love is a wise and a faithful love. His glory and our blessing are bound together. Two days delay (v. 6) may chafe our spirits. Our impatience would hasten relief, making the grave mistake of seeking immediate ease from pressure, rather than the glory of God; and hindering our viewing, as we surely may, the bright rainbow yet to shine through clouds however dark.
Jesus looked on the progress of sickness, the sister's grief, on death itself, yet gave no relief until every human hope had vanished (Lazarus was dead four days). A real mercy it was; nature says "No," faith says "Yes," for "precious" faith emerged from the trial "unto glory" (1 Peter 1:77That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:7)). For our example, we behold as Jesus' motive, the divine will; and as His object, divine glory. We witness at the grave of Lazarus heavenly glory shining out over the dreary region of death, glory soon to be participated in by all His own, for He will deliver them from the grasp of the enemy, just as He raised Lazarus.
Meanwhile faith may answer every evil suggestion as to apparent lack of sympathy or succor, by use of His Word, "blessed are they that wait for Him" (Isa. 30:1818And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)), "His due time," knowing that the Lord's delays are not refusals., Paying no attention to man's vaunted "common sense," but every attention to that true wisdom of Prov. 3:5, 65Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5‑6); welcoming every means that He employs to rid us of all hateful vain confidence-to faith, the tears and groanings of our blessed Lord call for heart appreciation of His sympathy with human misery so real; and also of His sorrow, so profound, because of the unbelief and hardness of heart exhibited by careless souls, indifferent to the evil conditions that so grieved His heart; conditions akin to the distressing moral departure from God, prevalent in our day. O, for hearts to feel, as He does, the moral corruption of our worldly surroundings!
Thanking God for the record of our Savior's sympathy with human sorrows, and sharing the grief by which holiness regards sin's havoc, may our souls now rise to witness the Savior's triumph. The sisters sought Jesus in their distress, and so may we. They called Him "Lord," and so honored the Nazarene. "He whom Thou lovest" as much as says, "His love, not mine, the resting place." "Is sick" humbly owns that divine love permits illness. And all this is supplemented by the further lesson that not even natural affection, but God's glory should impel our every action.
The Spirit of God would stimulate our faith to see the glory of God displayed on the darkest background; to see the grace of our Beloved's heart revealed. Jesus waited Mary's coming (v. 30); she, his call (v. 25). Surely the words "calleth for thee" lent wings to her feet. Thus she was found "where Jesus was" to behold His face, to fall at His feet, and then only to speak her heart's burden. Happy example for us! Exposure of corruption the flesh dreads (v. 39). Unbelief saw but a decomposing body; faith, the glory of God (v. 40). Note the order. "Believe" and then as surely "see.”
New creation we too experience (Eph. 2:1010For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)) by the same mighty "working" to walk in the newness of resurrection life, brought into being by His word as in verses 43,44. The tender touches of His ways of grace appear the sweeter as power and glory fill the scene. We are encouraged by the very mention of His dear ones; Mary named first in v. 1, for commendation v. 2. Martha first in v. 5, for Jesus "loves" the weakest; and we shall see in John 12 the testimony of risen life that Lazarus rendered to His praise and the glory of God.
(To Be Continued)