This sickness – ‘Lazarus’ is not unto death’
Key V:4 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."
This is a well-known passage of scripture and many people would have learnt it in Sunday School, I myself have read it many times. We say the story is primarily about Lazarus, or it's about Martha and Mary, the crowd of mourners attending the funeral or even the Pharisees who were standing around observing. And I think we are right to a certain level, that it's about ALL the above. Lazarus is sick and needs healing and of course Mary and Martha needs to see their brother on the healed.
But I believe the story is deeper than that.
Notice when Jesus hears that Lazarus is sick, He does something very interesting, He does not act in the same way that most of us would do if we heard that a dear friend of ours was sick. Jesus hears about his friend's illness and stays in the same place an extra two days! What...how is this possible. Lazarus and his sisters are close friends of the Lord and He doesn't rust to be with them.
This is the strategy of Jesus: firstly He hears that Lazarus is sick, then he must have becomeprogressively unwell, Jesus still does not go. Lazarus now dies. And then he is buried. Jesus would have known this. He is not at the burial service of his close friend. When the burial service is over, NOW Jesus decides to go the see the family!
When Jesus eventually arrives at the place of Mary and Martha he must deal with their pain, upset and even turmoil….How could you not come. Mary said 'If you had come earlier my brother would not have died'. Mary and Martha had faith for Jesus healing her brother but not faith to believe that he can do anything now that he has died. But Jesus knew what he’s doing…He must go beyond the feelings of Mary and Martha and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus wanted to raise Martha and Mary’s faith
I believe this is the deeper point of the story.... Jesus must go to the house of Mary and Martha to raise their faith. He 'uses' Lazarus as a tool but it not really about Lazarus but about Martha and Mary. He needs to move their faith to another level of believing. They can believe He can heal but they have never seen him raising the dead. But He told them.... 'If you can believe you can see the Glory'.
God will allow something in our lives to go through the process of being sick and even 'buried and then he will raise it up to GLORY...
So he says TODAY your 'Lazarus' will be raised up if you believe