|Graphic by David Hayward - nakedpastor.com|
Notice how Christ responds:
John 11:4 - This situation is for the glory of God and Christ
John 11:6 - Christ delays in going to Bethany
John 11:17 – 27 - Martha’s reaction
John 11:29 – 37 - Mary’s reaction
John 11:38 – 44 - Lazarus healed
There was purpose in Lazarus' sickness. There is purpose in all that happens in our lives. That purpose is generally the glory of God, but specifically to form us, make us into the instruments that we are to be in order to do the work for which He designed us.
The delay in answering Martha and Mary’s summons resulting in the death of their brother, was an act of love. Delay, delay that resulted in a seemingly hopeless situation, was love and for the glory of God.
From Mary and Martha’s perspective, Christ did not respond to their request. It was an unanswered summons, prayer request. But that was not the case. First there are no unanswered prayers. “No,” is an answer, as is, “Wait.” What can we learn from this?
If it is the case that all that happens in our life is for the glory of God, our prayer should reflect that reality. 1 John 5:14 – 15 tells us that if we ask anything according to God’s will He hears us and we will have the request. It would seem to follow that if we are praying in each situation for God to be glorified, two things; our hearts would be more aligned with His and our prayer would be more effective.