John 11:1-27 NKJV
11 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
4 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.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
We, the believing/baptized children of God, are so blessed to have the New Testament Holy Scripture as we hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it. Of course we are thankful for the Old Testament as well — for all of Holy Scripture points to Christ. But the New Testament brings further understanding. As the saying goes, “…in the old the New is concealed, in the New the old is revealed.”
Thanks to the Holy Spirit-created belief in the immense amount of spiritual matters contained in Holy Scripture, we are blessed to have insights that those who even walked with Jesus didn’t have (although we must admit that we will never be all-knowing on this side of glory). For example, when Jesus says “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” we, by Spirit-created belief, have a deeper understanding of what Jesus meant. But imagine those who were actually with Him back then? They hear these words of Jesus — but then find out that Lazarus dies anyhow. Talk about struggling with doubt! Talk about needing on-the-spot catechesis!
Thanks be to God for inspiring His Word to be written and for His living and active Spirit continuing to work through His means of Word and Sacrament — bringing us to be assured of being partakers of Him who is the resurrection! By grace alone — because of the fully atoning merits of Christ Jesus alone — through faith alone, the death of all of God’s saints has been, and ever will be, to His glory!
Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God, make us always to have a devout will toward You and to serve Your majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.