Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. John 11:5-6 (ESV)
The word that doesn’t make sense in these two verses is, “So…” In Greek, it is the word, oun, and it means, therefore, or accordingly. So let’s look at it again, and paraphrase, “Jesus loved…Lazarus, so when He heard Lazarus was sick, He didn’t go to him.”
That word “so” just doesn’t make sense in the context, unless you agree that sometimes it is better for us when God keeps His distance. But surely I’ve phrased that wrong, because “the nearness of God is my good.” (Psalm 73:28 NASB). So, in other words, sometimes it is better for us when God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers.
That’s very hard to believe, especially when you are Martha, or Mary (or Lazarus!) and you are desperately crying out for Jesus to come and help. And yet it’s true, for Scripture says, “Jesus loved them, so He didn’t come…”
So, where in your life is Jesus not seeming to come? Where are you desperately crying out to him for intervention, and yet hearing and seeing nothing happening?
Here’s the truth that the family of Lazarus would attest to: If you are one of His, then He loves you, and His plans for you, accordingly, are good. When it seems like He doesn’t care, or when He seems to come late, well, the truth is that He has a better plan for you than what you are asking for. You may have a very hard time seeing this, and you might have a harder time believing it, but Lazarus – the recipient of the most famous resurrection other than Jesus Himself – would say it was true.
For Tuesday, October 20th: John 12