1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. John 11:1-6
In the previous “Today’s Manna” we talked about this same passage and we determined that Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary and Martha. They were friends of His. He ate at their house in Bethany, preached and taught there, and probably slept there at least once. Now, when they need him the most, because Lazarus is ill, Jesus doesn’t come. In fact, He stays in the Transjordan area another two days before striking out toward the town of Bethany. Of course by then we know that Lazarus has already died.
Being a friend of Jesus’ should buy me some kind of special privileges right? Shouldn’t my needs be put at the front of the line before people He doesn’t even know? Since He’s my friend, I ought to be able to believe that things will go easier for me shouldn’t I? Anyone who has been a friend of Jesus’ for any length of time realizes that being His friend doesn’t mean that life is automatically going to be easier. In fact, being a friend of Jesus often makes the day-to-day life experience harder in a sense. Maybe my “it’s-all-about-me” focus is what’s messed up. Maybe my friendship with Jesus really is all about Him. His Glory, His will, His timing, His grace and mercy. And, because of His grace and mercy, and our close relationship, when I do encounter difficulties, crisis, or even catastrophe, He will walk with me through them, giving me “all that I need” (2 Peter 1:3) to face whatever gets put in front of me…of course, all for His glory.