John 11 - His Timing Has Purpose

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,   

He loved them. And He delayed going to see Lazarus. How can that be? He didn’t go to see him or to heal him before he died. What could ever be a reason important enough to prevent going and healing? His purpose could be accomplished better this way. He was not late. But His choice of timing had a purpose, which is to reveal His glory. His purpose is not primarily our comfort. Jesus’ timing is to set up scenarios that demonstrate Who He is, His authority, His character, His plan. (So if the miracle I’m praying for isn’t one needed to accomplish these objectives, he may not do it right now.)

 “…and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 

He decided to go even though it was risky. That’s purpose.

"His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”  Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead…" 

Clarity. You too could pray for clarity about how Jesus has ministered to you and your family and what impact it has all had for the Kingdom of God. Clarity may come over some months or years as you ponder events and meditate on His character and Word, and on how He is working in the lives of people around you.

'…and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”  

Believe what? How did their belief change after Lazarus was raised?

Before: the disciples thought they were going to Bethany to die with Jesus. (v16). Before: Martha believed that He could heal (v21) and that He is the promised Messiah, but she couldn’t say she believed anyone would live even though death.  (v27) 

But after Lazarus’ resurrection, there were only 2 possible responses:


“Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.”

Or Dis-belief and to be against Him:

“So from that day on they plotted to take his life… But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.”                     John 11:3- 57, selected verses

So it is with our lives. He loves us, like he did Lazarus and his sisters. He has purposes higher than our own, though we often can’t see those purposes. Sometimes, as hard to comprehend as it is for us, His purpose is accomplished by death, even the death of your child. He has compassion on us in our plight, but He will reveal Himself in His time and His way. For those who believe He is the Savior and Messiah. He is also the Comforter, available to you.