…the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” ~ John 12:12b-13a (NIV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. ~ John 1:1-4 (NIV)
John 11:1-4, 17-27, 32-53 (NIV)
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”…
…On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”…
…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.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “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.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
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.”
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. ~ John 14:23 (NIV)
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. ~ Hebrews 1:3 (NIV)
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. ~ Psalm 5:11 (NIV)
So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, so also death spread to all people because all sinned. ~ Romans 5:12 (EHV)
(Jesus said) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. ~ John 14:1-3 (NIV)
While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
There are times when I pray that I get frustrated. I come to the Lord hoping he will help. I feel confident he hears my request. I even expect I will get a good answer. This is when I get frustrated. It seems the Lord isn’t listening, and his answer is completely different from the one I expected. This is when I have to fight the temptation to say, “Why do I bother the Lord?”
It is what Jairus’ friends said when his daughter died. For them there was nothing anyone could do, even Jesus. Yet, Jesus encouraged Jairus to believe.
Faith didn’t disappoint Jairus, neither did Jesus’ answer. Faith will never disappoint me either. Surely the world will say, don’t bother. Without a doubt the devil will want me to think, don’t bother. It is certain my sin-weakened flesh will tell me, don’t bother. Yet, I can believe what the Lord says. I can also believe his answer will never disappoint.
While I may not see the same miracle Jairus did, I will see miracles in my life. Every time Jesus answers my prayer for my good, it is a miracle of his great power and his undeserved love. And even though I may not always see or understand that answer, I can trust the Lord. My confidence comes from his loving answer to my greatest need.
I was dead in sin. I was condemned because of my disobedience. I was sentenced to eternal separation. Yet, Jesus delivered me from death. He purified me from my guilt. He even declared me free from the just judgment I deserved. It is this love, secured with the sacrifice of his own life, which gives me every reason to believe him. It is this love which also gives me every reason to “bother” him with every need—small or great.
Dear Lord, help me to always take my problems to you in prayer. Remind me that I should never be discourage, because you are my faithful friend who shares my sorrows and knows my weaknesses. Thank you for hearing my prayers. Amen
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. ~ Psalm 89:15 (NIV)
(Jesus said) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27 (NIV)