In John 11 Jesus raises his good friend Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was dead for four days, and it was duly noted that they should not remove the stone from the tomb due to the odor. There was no doubt that this man was dead.
It was well documented and well known by the people there that Jesus had performed numerous miracles to this point. However, before this we are not aware of him raising anyone from the dead. Dead for FOUR DAYS then with three simple words shouted from the Son of God “Lazarus, come out.” (John 11:43b), Lazarus is up and walking, alive and well!
The thing is that even some of the closest followers of Jesus at the time believed he had the power to save Lazarus (see John 11:21 and John 11:32), but they didn’t seem to fathom that Jesus could bring Lazarus back from the dead. John 11:37 also shares the view of some other previous miracle witnesses But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
What do we restrict Jesus to? Healer? Teacher? Friend? Good for this but not for that? Unless we take him for who he said he was, and what the scriptures point us to, then we’re selling him far too short: Son of God, Savior of the World, King of Kings and Lord of Lords with power over life and death.
Think about a time when you restricted God to “this” but “not that”. Here’s the first thing that came to mind for me…
Early 2006 my wife Amy was several months pregnant. We had recently begun sharing the news with friends and family as she and the baby were well past the first trimester. Everything was fine until the moment Amy began screaming for me at the top of her lungs. Something very bad was happening so I immediately dialed 911.
Amy was in significant pain and was bleeding heavily. Her jeans were soaked with blood as was the floor. There was some sort of membrane that had fallen out of her, and at that point we were sure the baby was gone. She had a miscarriage in the past and this situation seemed even worse.
At the hospital there were lots of questions and tests, including an ultrasound. I remember saying “why do an ultrasound, she miscarried?”. The medical professional said, “let’s just see what is going on”. Then we heard it. A heartbeat. Even so, there was still doubt… “how can this be?”… Doubt and sorrow turned into joy, then lots of questions.
We were already in mourning for something that hadn’t even happened. There’s no doubt in my mind that God allowed that situation to occur in order to show his power, to teach us, and for us to consider each day with our loved ones as a special gift. Preston was born healthy and strong in August 2006 and is a true blessing to our family, like the splash of surprising colors making a sunset glorious. Thank you Jesus.
Bonus… easy memory verse (one of two “two word” verses in the Bible): Jesus wept. (John 11:35) Consider the fact that Jesus wept. He was God yet still human, experiencing human emotion just like you and I.
Who Is like the Lord Our God? Psalm 113