John 11:1–6 (ESV)
The Death of Lazarus
a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom
you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so 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 Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
I broke today’s reading up in an unusual place, but I wanted to change the focus.
Here, we get the identity of the woman who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped he feet with her hair, but that is in the next chapter. John’s account of this event in chapter 12 is also accredited to Mary. This part of the reading today
is setting up one of the biggest events (but not the biggest) that will rattle the Jews. You get a glimpse of Jesus’s omniscient (all knowing) attribute. Jesus knows what is going to happen, and so he delays going to heal Lazarus because
he wants to intensify the situation. I love the statement that “Jesus loved... Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” Jesus says this will not lead to death, but that
is where it is going. By delaying two days, Lazarus is going to die. But there is so much more to this even which is why Jesus says this will not lead to death. He didn’t delay it two days to avoid catching what Lazarus had, he delayed
two days to make this a big event.
I pray: O Lord, you know all things and sometimes you let things tragically happen so that you can display your glory. Help me when you are doing what is right,
but it is painful to me. Help me to keep focused and to know that something bigger may be going on. Give me patience and understanding. Amen.