To the Haile Study Group and all who would like to share.
Hopefully, you have had the time to review the scripture for this week. (Primarily John 11:1-45) (supporting Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 8:6-11 and Psalm 130).
The Gospel records the story of Lazarus and Jesus raising him from the dead. Most of us have heard the story multiple times and have some familiarity with the events. I would like only to point out a few points of interest for you to think about throughout the rest of your day.
Why did Jesus wait? There are several schools of thought here.
Jesus knows that the religious leaders are looking to kill him. We are within a week of the crucifixion and Bethany (Lazarus' home) is close to Jerusalem, a sabbath days walk. It would be nothing for the leaders to hear of his coming to heal Lazarus of his sickness and be waiting for Jesus. Remember they were afraid of the crowds and didn't want to take Jesus when others were watching. While Lazarus was sick there would not have been many people around. It is only after Lazarus has died that the professional mourners show up. The religious leaders were not expecting a dead person to be called back to life.
Jesus clarifies for his disciples that his close friend Lazarus had died. What is important in vs.17 is John’s statement that when Jesus arrived in Bethany it was already the fourth day. This explains why after hearing the news that Lazarus was very sick “he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” (John 11:6) Jesus knew how long it would take to travel to Bethany. He was determined to arrive, not only after Lazarus’ death but when, according to popular Jewish belief, when resurrection was no longer possible – on the fourth day! Reference: https://blog.israelbiblicalstudies.com/jewish-studies/resurrection-lazarus-jewish-tradition-john-121-44/
God is all about timing. If Jesus had arrived any earlier people would have dismissed the raising of Lazarus as a miraculous healing but they would not have shown Christ's power over death. Like we often do – folks would have argued it was merely circumstantial.
This event was also a sign to his disciples though they may not have understood it at the time. We are nearing Jesus' crucifixion and promise of his own resurrection. Just as Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb so also God would call Jesus from the grave.
It was also a sign to the religious leaders of what they were facing. It was an opportunity to see and believe. It solidified where an individual stood concerning Jesus – you either believed he was who he said he was or he was not. With that kind of powerful demonstration there were still those who refused to believe.
What does it demonstrate to us when we see that Lazarus comes out bound hand and foot and the people were told to lose him?
Be blessed in your study and continue to pray for each other.
Helen has asked that her son, Tom be added to the prayer list and the family.
Remember the Zeigler family – illness in the household. Remember Vera, Gerry, and all those suffering with various illnesses. Remember Vera, Barb and all those dealing with cancer. Remember their caregivers as well. Remember the families affected by this virus and its aftermath. Remember those who are frightened and alone. Remember those in prison and those with mental illness. Remember our medical personnel, first responders, military and all those who strive to keep us safe. Remember our clergy and mental health workers. Remember each other.
Remember God knows where we are for God is always with us.
Enjoy your day.
Lenten Study March 31, 2020
Lenten Study March 20, 2020
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