The Divine Delay
So when He (Jesus) heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days...John 11:6
John records that Jesus loved Lazarus. He heard that Lazarus was sick but He did not go to Bethany where Lazarus was. He stayed where He was two more days. Jesus was with His disciples when they received the news. What would they think? After two days, Jesus still did not head to Bethany, instead He told His disciples they would be going to Judea again. But Jews there were seeking His life. When His disciples expressed the fears of the danger and death in Judea, Jesus answered, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” (v9-10)
The natural night would come not until its appointed hour, until the twelve hours of the day had run their course. The day of His life is marked out by limits no less sure. The night indeed cometh, but it is as yet full day, and in that day He and they must do the work which is appointed of the Father. ~ Elicott
Jesus is so secure in the appointment of the Father as He walks in the Light, in fellowship with God. Jesus is so secure in the timing of the Father too.
So Lazarus died. His two sisters' response represented many who would be thinking that Jesus had missed the timing.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (v21)
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (v32)
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. (v33) Jesus wept too. He asked where Lazarus was buried, and was brought to the cave with a stone laid across the entrance. He asked that the stone be removed. So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 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.”
When He had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (v41-44)
So Lazarus was resurrected from the dead. A seemingly devastating delay to 'keep Lazarus from dying' (v37) was a divine set-up to display the glory of God's Resurrection Power.
Wrapped with linen-strips of disappointment over delays? Couldn't breathe any longer with a cloth of distress around deaths of dreams? Let it go. If we believe, we will see the Glory of God. Amen.
Read in Precious Moments in the Wilderness: Divine Delays Are Not Denials