“So when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place He was. Then after this He said to His disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’” — John 11:6
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’” — John 11:23
“She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’” — John 11:27
Probably, this is one of the strangest days of all time! It was difficult for Mary to believe the Savior would not respond to her request for assistance. He had visited her home, had been given the best they could offer, and for Him to refuse to respond to a cry for help was inconceivable.
Jesus, having heard of the situation in Bethany, “stayed two days still in the same place where He was.” Doubtless, He later explained that this was done deliberately. His actions at the tomb of His friend would complete the picture concerning His delay.
They believed Him to be a friend, preacher, counselor, and possibly the Messiah, but when Martha was questioned on the highway, she said, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world. Her response would clarify the picture of Christ’s method in delaying His coming.
God’s slowness in this incident was for the purpose of previewing His power and method in dealing with the sin of man. What a beautiful picture of resurrection to life (in the case of Lazarus) and confession unto salvation (in the case of Martha). God’s delay brought life to two people that day!
Salvation and resurrection. In our demanding, activity-packed lives we seldom equate God’s delays and slowness in working with these. Frustration and irritation are the most common responses on our part to God’s delays.
Jesus’ delay left no doubt that Lazarus was dead. The Bible says he was stinking dead (John 11:39). Resurrection and life now would bring such glory to God (11:40). There could be no doubt now; the thumbprint of God would be all over this.
A demonstration of God’s power would also lead to a culmination in God’s method. Jesus’ delay would trigger Martha’s confession. Desperation brought Martha to a crisis of faith. Would she believe or would she just walk away? God’s intention is to bring all of us to a crisis of faith; a moment of decision.
Look at your life today. Is God bringing you to a crisis of faith? Is He delaying His work in your life to bring glory to Himself? We are quick to say that “it’s all about Jesus;” but are we willing to live in such a way that it is “all about Him?” Self-centered lives never understand the slowness in which He moves. Let Him show His power and fulfill His method in you today.