Lent Devotional : Truly, truly, I say to you.
Chapter 19: The resurrection and the life (John 11:21-27)
John chapter 11 is always a difficult chapter for me to read. It brings back memories and feelings (especially at the start) of loss and grief but also comfort, hope and peace.
Those who have lost loved ones will sympathise with the sisters and may well have echoed them when they both said, ‘Lord, if you had been here…’
We know he loved this family. In verse 3 we read of the message the sisters sent Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ and in verse 5 we read, ‘Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.’
How anxiously they would have waited and puzzled over the delay. In my study Bible it says, ‘the gospel is a story of our God doing all things well, not all things easily. His name is ABBA Father, but this does not mean he leads his children in a life of complacent ease and comfort – the discipline of delay is one of the hardest lessons we must learn as followers of Jesus – especially when it is God who does the delaying.’
God’s timing is not ours and there are always very good reasons for his actions (or inactions). In verse 15 Jesus tells the disciples he was glad for the disciples sake that he was not there – ‘So that you may believe.’ Isn’t that why John wrote his gospel in the first place?
‘Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.’ (John 20:30-31)
Jesus says, ‘I am resurrection and life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.’ (John 11:25 )
Then he asks, ‘Do you believe this?’
I always end the chapter remembering these great truths and know his comfort, have hope for the future and peace in the present. Do you?