Does Jesus Care? Divine Timint
Does Jesus Care? Divine Timing (John 11:1-16)
"When days are weary, The long nights dreary, I know my Saviour cares." These words reflect the simple faith of the songwriter. Does Jesus really care? John 11 presents the seventh and greatest sign-miracle of Jesus, the resurrection of Lazarus. Through this miracle we understand how Jesus cares. He cares for us in a way that shows divine timing and reveals the glory of God.
Jesus Cares by Giving Friendships in the Faith
Even Jesus needed special places and special friendships. "The one you love [Lazarus]" suggests a special friendship between Jesus and Lazarus. Verse 5 makes it very clear that Jesus shared a special love for Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. In His human dimension, He needed special friends. He also needed a special place. Bethany was the closest thing that Jesus had to a home in Judea. He retreated there every night during the last week of His life.
Jesus extends His friendship to all who trust Him. "The one you love" (v. 3) may have become a technical term for every Christian. Our relationship to Him depends on His love for us, which never changes, not on our love for Him, which often changes.
Jesus' friends can take their needs to Him with a trusting simplicity: "Lord, the one you love is sick." They did not tell Him what, how, or when to respond. If He was aware, it was enough.
Jesus Cares by Moving According to the Timing of the Father
Divine delays do not mean divine indifference. "Yet, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days" (v. 6). Jesus already had supernatural knowledge that Lazarus was dead (vv. 11, 14). Just because He cared, He waited, that all might see the greatest manifestation of His power and glory. In three instances, Jesus refused to move immediately when those near or dear to Him insisted that He take action (John 2:3; 7:3; and this passage). In each instance, He later did what they wanted, but only at His own timing. In no instance do Jesus' delays mean indifference.
Every move Jesus makes is measured by God's clock, not man's. "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble" (v. 9). Jesus indicated by these words an acute awareness of God's timing in His life. He was moving by signals that the others could not receive. Every believer has the capacity to move by God's special timing if we wait on Him. "Blessed are all who wait for him!" (Isa. 30:18).
Jesus Cares by Seeing Our Situation Differently
Throughout this story, everything indicates the difference between divine and human perspective. Jesus does not view our situation as we view it. Jesus saw the whole situation as an opportunity for "God's glory," while others only saw a sad story. Jesus saw opportunity in Judea, while His disciples saw only danger there (v. 8). Jesus considered Lazarus asleep, while the disciples understood only that Lazarus was dead. The most striking statement was: "Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad" (11:14-15). Lazarus is dead and Jesus rejoices. Jesus sees our situation differently than we do. Throughout John's Gospel, Jesus lived and observed on a level His disciples did not.
We need to trust that Jesus sees our situation better and more clearly than we do. The loyalty of Thomas in that regard is admirable. Although He did not understand how or why Jesus was moving, he intended to be loyal (v. 16).
Consider your own difficulties and challenges. In what way could Jesus see these differently than you see them? Remember, He looks for opportunities to reveal the glory of God in the maximum way through your life.