We begin John chapter 11

Friday, May 15, 2009

We've spent quite a few weeks tackling John 10 with the Good Shepherd and the Door, with Jesus equating himself with the Father (I and the Father are one), and ending with the Jews accusing him of blasphemy, taking up stones to stone him.

Now we come to the crucial transitional chapter of the death and raising of Lazarus in John 11.

We learnt that whilst Jesus was very close to Lazarus's family, and would come to their help at a moment's notice, we see here that the one and only purpose of his action was the will of the Father, for his glory and so that the Son of God may be glorified by it (v.4).

And with that, we see the logic of v.5 and 6.

"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So (or 'therefore', NIV uses a less than accurate, 'yet') when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was."

NIV's "yet" is more logical on first look humanly speaking but if you think about it, the Greek preposition, oun, is better translated naturally as "so" or "therefore".

Why do I think so?

I feel that Jesus is not prolonging it so that Lazarus would be really dead when He arrives for the great miracle (though it is generally believed to be so but I've changed my mind in light of v.5-6). And it is definitely not because He does not have them in his heart with the prolonged mourning they are suffering through.

Instead, Jesus did it so that it is clear that his actions were because of the will of God. All the more he needed to do it because He was very close to the family. He was not emotionally driven but he purposefully acted on the will of God.

We, however, are usually (1) emotionally driven, and (2) "self-centered-ly" driven. We seldom have the patient or humility to seek God. Just listen to the prayers we utter. We find ourselves "instructing" God more than seeking Him.

Wouldn't it be better if we waited and "stayed two days longer in the place where we are" to seek God before we said, prayed or do anything.

pearlie

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4 comment(s)

  1. Christ delayed because he sees, fulfilling God's designed plan, supercedes fulfilling human needs,,,

    quite provoking?

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  2. The "flesh" always wants to "do" something.
    Susan

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  3. Isn't it so true, Susan? It seems so unnatural for us not to do something. We need to really discipline ourselves to seek the Lord first, in all things -- however mundane even. Which I don't do actually, the mundane I mean, subconciously I'd tell myself, don't bother God with such a small matter -- but using the analogy of a small child with his parents -- we are like that to God, we *can* go to him with even the most ordinary, unremarkable small stuff. It is no wonder he wants us to call him our Father. All thanks and praise to our God, our Father in heaven. Amen.

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  4. 不肖生 Sceptics,
    Yea, that's the crucial lesson. We are always so filled and full of ourselves that all we think about are human needs. Even during the discussion itself, the group kept veering to the fulfilment of human needs - e.g. don't be afraid or fear to obey God, in God there is light. It *is* the truth, we do not need to fear to do what we need to do because God gives us the strength and His presence, but in this passage, that is just not the emphasis -- the emphasis is still God's will and Jesus purposefully delayed his going there, more so because he was close to the family, to stress that he did it not because of them, though they are nevertheless important to Jesus, but that it is fundamentally God's plan.

    Thought provoking indeed.

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