“But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’” vs. 4
In John’s gospel things are not always what they appear to be. There’s always more to the story. We see another example of this as Jesus receives notice of the severe illness of his friend, Lazarus. On the surface it seems straight-forward. Mary and Martha want Jesus to know about their brother, so they send word to him. It’s what has always been done when there is great love among friends. But the response surprises. Jesus sees that this illness is an opportunity for God’s glory to be shown, and a chance to demonstrate that, in him, death never has the last word. Accordingly, he delays his return to Bethany, even though he loved Lazarus very much. Sometimes that’s the way it is in loving relationships. We don’t always do what is expected or what protocol demands because life is complicated and we sense there may be a better way. It could be a matter of saying “no” when our loved one has been expecting a “yes.” Obviously there’s risk involved in such actions and we should not expect that others will immediately understand. Martha and Mary were angry when Jesus finally showed up…and there were lots of tears. But he was right. God was glorified and death was overcome. And even today we rejoice in that victory.
Thought for the Day: A time I didn’t do the expected thing.