Earlier today I made a quick pass through my FB news feed. I read a post from someone who was just disgusted by closed minded people. Those who only quote others and stand firm in their biases and opinions. He then went on to say that the characteristic all of these people have, and he did say ALL, was they also professed to be Christians. Ugggghhhh!! That kind of comment can just fry me. I want to just say something to counter his comment, something that leaves him speechless. I’m a Christian and I know lots of Christians who are working very hard to build bridges, have the hard conversations, listen to others life stories, lead in repentance and reconciliation.
As I thought about it, I’m just more fried by those who profess to be Christians and speak such harsh thoughts and opinions. And instead of posting, responding or dwelling on my feelings, I went to my Bible and began to read.
In John 11 we read about a miracle. Lazarus had been dead and in the grave for 4 days! 4 days! Jesus comes and calls him out. Lazarus rises from death and walks out of the tomb! This was a miracle that “the Son of God would receive glory” verse 4. In verse 45 we read that “many of the people believed in Jesus who saw this happen.” But you know what, even after witnessing this miracle, some went to the Pharisees to tell what they saw (verse 46). It was there that they decided that they could not allow Him, Jesus, to continue, people might believe Him. In verse 53 we read that it ‘was from that time on the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death.”
Jesus response to all this, “He stopped His public ministry in among the people and left Religious and non-religious people did not believe Him. He knew what His purpose was, and He continued forward and began to prepare. He didn’t have to set anyone straight. He didn’t allow comments and opinions to affect Him in a way that would be misunderstood or reek of criticism, judgment and pride. He moved on and continued doing what He was called to.
What have I learned today from this chapter in John and how can I apply it to my life today?
- There has been and there will always be those who don’t believe and won’t hear.
- As Christians, we will often fall short and misrepresent Christ. None of us are perfect and we must DAILY look to His Word for guidance and correction.
- And finally, God has called me with a purpose. I just need to move forward and continue doing the things He has called me. I can’t be distracted by what others say..
My response to the FB post I mentioned in the first paragraph shouldn’t be one to leave Him speechless. I shouldn’t even allow it to fry me to be frustrated and angry. My response should be one that leads me to prayer and repentance. My response should be from a place of love and not of setting someone straight. This kind of talk against Christians has been around since Jesus walked the earth and you know what, He still gave His life for all!
I pray today for a greater love for all mankind. I pray to see each person as Jesus sees them and to love them unconditionally right where they are. I repent for inconsistencies in my life, for those biases I fail to see and for misrepresenting Christ with my emotional opinions. Lord, continue working on my heart creating a pure and clean heart. Give me clear understanding of my purpose and plan for my life. Give me courage to walk it out and to love my neighbor. Amen.
What is God saying to you today? Share your thoughts and insights from John 11 in the comment section below.
5 thoughts on “John 11: Stay Focused”
I’m always amazed at the Goodness of God! I love reading and learning more about Him and pray that I never grow bored of reading His Word!
When I read this passage… “But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.””
John 11:4 ESV I thought about how many things happen that we don’t like, that don’t seem fair, that hurts us deeply, how many of these are for God’s glory? I think that’s what I have to look for in all of it… where can / how can God be glorified and give thanks!! ❤️
Lord I pray that you’ll help me to keep looking for you in everything. That I would not get discouraged by the things happening around me, but look at the potential for others to come to know and love you! 🙏 In Jesus name, I pray.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
Jesus was speaking to Martha regarding Lazarus being raised from the dead. I think about the times that God has shown His miraculous hand in our lives even in times when my faith was not as strong. I could give many testimonies of God’s faithfulness in our lives over the years but there are still times I allow doubt to creep in. But all I have to do is believe! Believe in the One who always protects us and provides for us. He has never let us down. One of the great things about children is they just believe what you tell them. They don’t need convincing or proof, they simply believe.
My prayer is that God will strengthen my faith even when doubts want to creep in. That I will simply believe with a child like belief.
“Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow-disciples, “Let us all go with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!””
John 11:16 GNB
““Yes, Lord!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.””
John 11:27 GNB
As I read this I am struck by these comments – Thomas, who doubted the resurrection of Jesus, knows what awaits upon their return, and is ready and willing to follow Jesus and die with him, prompting the other disciples to do the same.
And Martha’s unwavering faith in Jesus – she recognizes that He is the Messiah and the Son of God, and that God will do what Jesus asks of Him.
I pray for this level of faith – to recognize the Son of God always, to have the courage to stand by Him even if it might cost me my life, and to remain in faith during the dark times, knowing that God will do whatever Jesus asks of Him.
Reading through this passage, Jesus says that “This sickness will not end in death” but in God’s glory. Though Jesus knew Lazarus was going to die, he did not show up at the time everyone else expected Him. He did not go at the time that made sense to everyone else, but instead came at His time. And when He came to Lazarus, even what seemed to be the most hopeless situation, became full of life again.
I think of how often life can feel like this, how many things I ask God for, expecting it to come when I want it to come. But when He doesn’t show Himself in the time I want, it can often feel like a lost cause, a hopelessness. This story is a great reminder that God can always overcome and He will always show up – correcting the situation even when in our earthly minds its too late.
Most of the time we are like Mary. We think Jesus is too late. We think his timing is off, when his timing is perfect. We just need to trust that he knows what he is doing. Mary thought she knew the situation better than Jesus did. But even, though, she thought he was late, he was right on time. Most of the time, I think Jesus’s timing is off. But, always, he proves me wrong and his time is right on time. Lord help me not to question your timing, Help me to trust your timing and trust you know what your doing. Thank you Jesus, you have my best interest in your plan.