Reading: John 11: 1-15 & 38-45
Verse 40: Christ said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
In this story about death, the focus is on what Jesus can do for Lazarus and for us. Although it is Mary and Martha that call for Jesus and it is they who are given the gift of having their brother back, it is Lazarus for whom the significant change has been made. He was deaf and now lives again. As the story unfolds and Jesus delays, it is clear that there is more to the story than simply healing or even raising Lazarus from the dead.
God’s plan encompasses all that are present that day to comfort Mary and Martha, the disciples who have come along, and us, the readers. To see someone walk out of the grave after being dead for four days was a powerful testament to Jesus’ control over all things. Reading about it thereafter is also a powerful testimony to what Jesus can do in our lives today. For the people present it was a great showing of the glory of God. For readers past and present, it reveals that the power of Jesus is not limited by anything – certainly not death. In the story today, we also gain the understanding that death is not to be feared.
Jesus continues to offer us victory over death. We will be transformed after we draw our last earthly breath, yes. In this story and in Jesus’ words “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and “I am the resurrection and the life” we gain an understanding and confidence that death here is not the end but is simply the beginning of our eternal life.
Jesus’ words to Martha ring out to us as well: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God”? May we hold fast to the faith we profess, rejoicing in the time when we too will see the glory of God.