The current series at Elevation is called The Expectation Gap, and a week ago the sermon was on the passage where Jesus learns of Lazarus’ sickness and then later heals him. Pastor Furtick focused on John 11:5-6 for a bit, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the significance of these verses. Here are a few translations*:
5 Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 Yet, when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. (GW)
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. (ESV)
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days. (The Message)
Verse 5 lets us know that Jesus loves Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. He cares for them. But then there is a surprise in verse 6: Jesus doesn’t go to them. The “so” and “yet” in verse 6 displays cause and effect within the text: Because Jesus loves them, He stays where He is rather than going to them.
Of course, this doesn’t make sense to us. We would expect Jesus to go straight to them for comfort and healing because of His love for them. But that doesn’t happen right away. He delays his trip.
In verse 14-15, Jesus tells his disciples “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” (ESV)
It’s easy for us [me] to complain and get angry when prayers aren’t answered right away or in the way I want them to. But from these verses, we see that He will always answer out of His love in a way that will bring glory to God. It’s a nice reminder that God is on our side. Always.
*All translations from Biblia.com