What Jesus Did! 'Bad Things, God's People' — John 11:1-2

Sunday, July 27, 2014

There was a man named Lazarus who was sick. He lived in the town of Bethany. This is the town where Mary and her sister Martha lived. (Mary is the same woman that later put perfume on the Lord (Jesus) and wiped his feet with her hair.) Mary's brother was Lazarus, the man that was now sick.
— John 11:1-2
Illustration of John 11:1-2 — ) Mary's brother was Lazarus, the man that was now sick.

Key Thought

While John tells us this story of Lazarus' death, it is part of a much bigger story. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus are Jesus' disciples. Jesus knows them and loves them deeply. They love him and have chosen to follow him no matter the cost. Their loyalty and love are without fault. Yet Lazarus gets sick. Death comes to their door. Grief rips at their hearts. This is also our story. We can listen and look and find our answers to life's most painful reality and several of life's most confusing questions. We are touched by Jesus and the simple, incomplete, and determined faith of these precious people. Bad stuff does happen to God's people, but Jesus will not allow the bad stuff to win! Jesus triumphs. Jesus is glorified. Those that love Jesus enjoy reunion. Let your heart settle in this place for the next two weeks. Drink deeply of Jesus' words. Let the questions as well as the faith of Martha and Mary become your own. Find hope and life here for while dark days will come your way, Jesus has the final word and you will have the final joy!

Today's Prayer

Father, please deepen my faith and stitch these words of faith and comfort on my heart these next two weeks walking with Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and Jesus. Give me hope beyond my fear of death and trust beyond my limited faith sight. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There was a man named Lazarus who was sick. He lived in the town of Bethany. This is the town where Mary and her sister Martha lived. (Mary is the same woman that later put perfume on the Lord (Jesus) and wiped his feet with her hair.) Mary's brother was Lazarus, the man that was now sick. So Mary and Martha sent a person to tell Jesus, "Lord, your dear friend Lazarus is sick." When Jesus heard this he said, "The end of this sickness will not be death. But this sickness is for the glory of God. This has happened to bring glory to the Son of God." (Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.) When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. Then Jesus said to his followers, "We should go back to Judea." The followers answered, "But teacher, those Jews in Judea tried to kill you with stones. That was only a short time ago. Now you want to go back there?" Jesus answered, "There are twelve hours of light in the day. Right? If a person walks in the day, then he will not stumble and fall. Why? Because he can see with the light of this world. But when a person walks at night he stumbles. Why? Because there is no light to help him see." After Jesus said these things, he said, "Our friend Lazarus is now sleeping. But I am going there to wake him." The followers answered, "But Lord, if he can sleep, he will be well." Jesus meant that Lazarus was dead. But Jesus' followers thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was really sleeping. So then Jesus said clearly, "Lazarus is dead. And I am glad that I was not there. I am happy for you, because now you will believe {in me}. We will go to him now." Then Thomas (the one called Didymus) said to the other followers, "We will go too. We will die with Jesus {in Judea}."

John 11:1-16

Related Scripture Readings

While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house. Martha had a sister named Mary. Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to him teach. But her sister Martha was busy doing all the work that had to be done. Martha went in and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has made the right choice; and it will never be taken away from her."

Luke 10:38-42

Six days before the Passover festival, Jesus went to Bethany. Bethany is the town where Lazarus lived. (Lazarus is the man Jesus raised from death.) In Bethany they had a dinner for Jesus. Martha served the food. Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus. Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. Mary poured the perfume on Jesus' feet. Then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house. Judas Iscariot was there. Judas was one of Jesus' followers. (He was the one that would later be against Jesus.) {Judas did not like what Mary did.} Judas said, "That perfume was worth 300 silver coins. It should have been sold, and the money should have been given to the poor people." But Judas did not really care about poor people. Judas said this because he was a thief. Judas was the one that kept the money box {for the group of followers}. And Judas often stole money from the box. Jesus answered, "Don't stop her. It was right for her to save this perfume for today—the day for me to be prepared for burial. The poor people will always be with you. But you will not always have me."

John 12:1-8

Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.