John 11:38-44: A resurrection revisited.
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.NIV
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
When I took a second look at last Friday’s passage, I saw that Jesus shows the way to meet life’s greatest problems and obstacles. We need to greet them:
- With compassion (38): ”Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.” ‘Once more’. There was no compassion fatigue with the Lord. ‘Jesus, please fill up my tank with your high octane love.’
- With humility (39a, 44b). Don’t be afraid to reach out to others; to ask for help; to seek strategic partnerships. Recognise that there will be those who can help you fulfill what God has placed in your heart, and who will delight to do so.
- With patience (39b, 40). Some folks haven’t yet seen what you have caught sight of in prayer. They aren’t as far down the road as you. So tread kindly and gently with them. Challenge them courteously to join you on the sunlit uplands of faith.
- With prayer and faith (41, 42). Jesus had clearly prepared for this moment in prayer, and when the hour struck He recognised it. ”The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16).
- With authority (43). I believe it may be possible to so prepare your heart in prayer that there comes a crisis moment where you know that you can command the mountain to move and cast itself into the sea, and it will do so.