Jesus in John 11: The Healer

But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.

John 20:31

It is safe to say that if you’ve lived any time at all, you’ve been sick at least once in your life, perhaps so sick that you thought you would die. And I’m sure all of us have been touched by the death of a loved one. Does Jesus care when we get sick? When we die? When someone we know and love departs this life? Oh, yes! He cares! Does He have the power to heal? Oh, yes! He does! Does He always choose to heal? No. A true story is recorded for us in John 11 about a man whom Jesus loved, who got sick and died. Jesus let him die—not because He was mean, selfish, or uncaring, but because His purpose was much higher than what anyone could see. Allow me to share the story:

Beloved Siblings

Three precious siblings—Mary, Martha, and Lazarus—lived in the town of Bethany. One day Lazarus took sick, so his sisters sent word to Jesus. When Jesus heard the news, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Now Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, but He lingered two days after hearing that their brother was sick. Finally, He said to His disciples, “Let’s return to Judea.”

They reminded Him, “But the Jews just tried to kill You. Are You sure You want to go there again?”

Jesus answered, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep. I need to go awaken him out of sleep.”

Then the disciples said, “But, Lord, if he sleeps, he shall do well.”

However Jesus was not speaking of taking rest in sleep, so He said plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I’m glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there, because I want you to see and believe. So let’s go to him.”

Thomas wasn’t convinced at all that this was a good idea. Fearing for his life, he said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Tested Faith

By the time Jesus and the disciples arrived, Lazarus had been in the grave four days. Many of the neighbors, some from Jerusalem, had come to pay their respects. As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him; but Mary sat still in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know, that even now, whatever You will ask of God, He will give it to You.”

Jesus answered her, “Your brother shall rise again.”

Martha said, “I know he’ll rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he who believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

She said, “Yes, Lord. I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God.” And when she had so said, she went back to the house and called Mary secretly, saying, “The Master has come, and He wants to speak with you.”

When Mary heard that, she jumped up and ran to Him. Then falling down at Jesus’ feet, she cried, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Jesus saw her tears, and those of the Jews who had followed her outside, and His own spirit was troubled. “Where have you laid him?” He asked.

They said, “Come and see.” Jesus wept, and the Jews said, “Behold how He loved him!” But some of them wondered why this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, could not have kept Lazarus from dying. Jesus knew their thoughts and groaned within Himself.

The grave was a cave, and a stone covered the door. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha objected, “Lord, by this time he stinks, for he’s been dead four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I say to you that if you would believe, you should see the glory of God?”

Restored Life

Then they took away the stone, and Jesus lifted up His eyes toward heaven and prayed, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I know You always do, but I said this so that the people who are standing here can hear and believe that You have sent Me.” And after this brief prayer, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who was dead came forth, still bound from head to foot with grave clothes. Then Jesus said to the people, “Loose him, and let him go.”

It’s one thing to heal the sick; it’s another thing altogether to raise the dead. Jesus proved at the grave of Lazarus that He had power over death. Later on He would raise Himself from the grave, and it is that resurrection that assures us of His power to save our souls for all eternity..

Yes, Jesus still has the power to heal and to give life. Sometimes He chooses to prolong a person’s time on this earth, and everyone rejoices in answered prayer. But sometimes our loved one’s purpose is fulfilled, and the Father calls him home. Sometimes the one who dies goes to hell because he rejected Christ for the last time. None of us knows when we will exhale our last borrowed bit of air. The important thing is to know where your soul will go when it departs this body. For though our bodies come with an expiration date, our souls do not. Lazarus had to die again; and when he did, his soul went to be with Jesus. When I die, I too will join my Lord and Savior in heaven. What about you? What Jesus said to the crowd at that graveside, He says to you and to all: “I am the resurrection and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.”

This week’s reading:

John 12

This week’s memory verse

“Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

John 12:27-28

Photo taken at Princess Beach in Destin, Florida, 2019

One thought on “Jesus in John 11: The Healer

  1. Pingback: Jesus in John 11: The Healer – Tonya LaLonde

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