Fifth Sunday of Lent – Gospel reading John 11:1-45 – The Raising of Lazarus
Jesus waited two days to visit his dying friend, because he was aware of and had faith in a greater plan. He listened to the Father and trusted that plan even when it seemed at the time to cause great pain to his friends and people he loved. How sincerely do we trust God’s plan in our lives? How often do we choose to do the right thing even if it’s not the easiest thing?
When it was time to visit Lazarus in Bethany, Jesus’ disciples questioned him and reminded him that there were people there who wanted to harm him. But Jesus was not afraid because his purpose was greater than his fear. Is our faith greater than our fear? How loyal are we to our purpose?
When Martha questioned why Jesus had not saved her brother, he reassured her with his faith in the unwavering gift of salvation. That “everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” How often do we forget this? And how deeply do we believe it?
When Jesus witnessed Mary’s heartbreak over the loss of her brother, he wept with her. He felt her suffering and shared her pain because he loved. How open are we to loving our friends, even at the risk of being hurt?
Some of those present questioned Jesus’ abilities and challenged his decision to let Lazarus die. Jesus responded to their lack of faith with an expression of gratitude to the Father and a miraculous transformation of death to life. What miracles in our lives have come as an answer to our own lack of faith?
Our God is a God of dramatic transformation. Jesus takes death and gives us life. He takes suffering and gives us hope. Transforms sorrow into joy. And turns our messes into miracles. The Good News is amazing. Life-changing. Life-saving. And Jesus gave his life so that we would be free to live life in abundance – free to love and live eternally. Why, then, do some of us still find it so difficult to believe?