Jesus made it to Bethany in our reading last time and had dinner with Simon the leper/Pharisee. It is almost Passover and everyone has been on the lookout for Jesus. When many of the people learned that Jesus was in Bethany they came to see Him. But they also came to check out the miracle He had performed in Lazarus.
It just dawned on me that Simon was a Pharisee and should have been in collusion with those seeking to kill Jesus. I wonder why he didn’t turn Jesus in that day. Apparently he didn’t invite his Pharisee brothers either. Dinner might have been a whole lot different that night if he had. But that wasn’t part of God’s plan. The Pharisees would have to wait until GOD said it was time.
Lazarus has become a problem. He is living breathing proof of Jesus’ power over even death. Who can deny His power and authority now? The chief priests are losing ground in their fight against Jesus. If they don’t act fast, they are afraid everyone will start believing in Him. They figure that if they can get rid of the proof and the excitement will die down. Lazarus had to go!
Can you imagine being Lazarus and hearing that you are now marked for death alongside Jesus? Did he count it an honor to be numbered with Jesus or was he fearful? I wonder if he went into hiding at that point. During the dinner he was freely sharing his experience with those who asked.
If the chief priests were going to get rid of all the proof of Jesus’ miraculous power they would have been wiping people out left and right. They weren’t worried about everyone though; just the ones that were above and beyond anything ever seen or heard before. This should have put the man who was born blind in a bind too, but they had already moved on from him.
Were they after Lazarus because he was proclaiming what Jesus had done? Would they be worried about him if he quit sharing his testimony? That’s how it works with us too. I heard it said once, “The wolf doesn’t howl at the door where there is no bacon.” In other words, if you are not sharing what Jesus has done for you, you are not a threat to Satan. He doesn’t have to worry about a “silent Christian.”
That may sound like a safe idea to you but that’s not what Jesus commands us to do. It is also VERY selfish. If I know where there is water and go drink my fill while watching those around me die of dehydration I am a MONSTER! Out of love for my brothers and sisters I share where the source is. I have even more reason to share because my “source” never runs dry. Jesus has enough love for ALL who come.
We don’t have Lazarus walking among us today to be able to point to absolute proof of God’s power, but it is still evident in our world today. My first example is life itself! How could we be without a Creator? Consider the flowers and all their varieties. How is that possible without divine intervention?
I have personal experiences too that have NO other explanation except God’s intervention. Some call it coincidence but I know better. Without God’s hand in my life I would not be here. Without His quickening my spirit my oldest son would not be here! I have so many stories I could share with you, if you asked. But the most important story I could possibly share is how He daily holds me in His lap when I come to visit with Him. He doesn’t have to move mountains to prove to me that He is real. I simply have to sit down and read His story and let it speak to my heart. He really does speak and gives me understanding when I ask. Do I know everything? NO WAY! But He gives me insight into my own struggles all the time, simply because I take the time to ask and listen. He will do the same for you if you let Him. I hold no special power or access. I’m just like you. He longs to speak to each of us. Stop striving to get His attention. Just sit down and wait.
I want to qualify what I just said. God speaks to each of us but He does it in the way He chooses. I can’t guarantee you that He will speak to you the same way I hear Him speak to me. But I can guarantee you that He wants to spend time with you. However that looks for you, PLEASE invest in that time! It could be while doing a project, while taking a walk, in music, or even in your dreams. Listen, He is calling! Look around at all the proof that He has created. He made it all for you.
Father God, THANK YOU for Your amazing creation! Thank You for showing Yourself so clearly in my life. I don’t know how anyone could doubt Your love. Please help me to understand other’s pain and be able to speak Your love into their hurting places. Help me speak Your words that will open their blind eyes. Sometimes I feel like I’m drawing stick figures next Van Gogh artists when it comes to sharing Your truths. Thank You for letting me play with the crayons at least. My “word pictures” may not be works of art but I trust You to transform them in the hearts of those YOU bring to share them. Thank You for the opportunity to share Your love with others.