The flip side of faith. I’ve been spending time in the gospel of John.. reading about how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It is a powerful story. Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus. He spent time with them and shared His life with them. When Laz got sick, his sisters knew that Jesus could heal him so they sent Him a message. Jesus took His time getting back to Bethany where they were living. When he returned, Lazarus had died 4 days earlier.
As I read through this story, I saw things that I had never noticed before. From the beginning Jesus told the disciples that all this was happening so that God would be glorified. They completely missed the point. He knew exactly when to return and He was clear about the purpose of the whole event. The interesting thing is that when He saw Mary and all the others weeping.. He was angry. Did you ever notice that? Then He wept and then He was angry again.
What was happening? He was grieving.. not because Laz had died, but because of the way everyone interpreted His actions. Their desire was for Him to show up and heal..His plan was much greater.. He showed up and called Lazarus from the grave. Their unbelief was difficult for Him.. but He handled it by doing the one thing that would help them to understand who He truly was.. the son of the living God with the power to give life.
I came away from this passage feeling ashamed of my own unbelief and doubt. It was hard to see the broken heart of God in this story. All those around Jesus.. his closest friends did not see Him clearly. They underestimated Him..don’t we do the same thing? No matter how many times we see God move in our lives, we easily fall into unbelief, wondering if He will come through for us this time.
My heart was encouraged by seeing that He was willing to do whatever He needed to do..to help them remember His goodness. He is the same way with us.. never giving up and ready to show us His presence and His power by rescuing us over and over. He continues to reveal Himself to us.. just as He did over 2000 years ago. His love for us is unchanging and unending!!
“Even if we are not faithful,
he will remain faithful.
He must be true to himself. “