John 11: verses 8-16
The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.”
However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
“they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.”
Jesus says that He will not leave us, nor forsake us, and this story of Lazarus is surely proof of that. Jesus finally states clearly that “Lazarus is dead … Nevertheless let us go to Him.” He says this after having just stated that He was going “that I may wake Him up.”
Jesus flies in the face of all reason and common understanding, yet He speaks quietly and with conviction, knowing that the disciples, and us too, will in all probability react in disbelief and astonishment. None of this surprises Him, for He knows us all inside out.
In speaking of Lazarus as ‘asleep’, meaning ‘death’, Jesus is our teacher here. The passage begins with the disciples calling Jesus ‘Rabbi’ — ‘master’, or ‘teacher’ — which may confirm this, and he is teaching us the ways of the kingdom of God; how we are to think in the heavenly manner, with Holy Spirit understanding and not with the natural mind. Thus, Jesus says ‘nevertheless’; notwithstanding what the natural mind tells us, we go anyway, because the mind of Christ tells us that "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." [Matthew 19:26b NKJV]
‘O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go’
The title of this well-known Scottish hymn aptly expresses that Christ’s love for us is such that He will not and cannot leave or forsake any who call upon His name. Indeed the story of the Reverend George Matheson, who wrote the song is one of giving thanks to God, despite a great trial of His faith — overcoming and understanding that Jesus would not let him go. The words of the song just flowed ...
"I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high."
Matheson began to go blind as a young man and broke the news to the young woman to whom he was engaged. She decided she could not continue with the relationship. George Matheson became blind at the age of 20, but continued in ministry until his death 44 years later. His sister looked after him, acting as his ‘eyes’ until she married. It was at that point that he wrote ‘O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.’
Joy: Strength In The Lord
Have you ever been alone with Jesus?
The disciples enjoyed the inestimable privilege not only of hearing the truth from Our Lord’s own lips, but of questioning Him in secret about everything He said. The exposition the Holy Spirit will witness to is always so amazingly and profoundly simple that you feel, “Certainly that is God’s truth.”
Whenever you are without that feeling about an interpretation, hesitate. Don’t force your head to argue, but get alone with Jesus and ask Him. If He keeps you waiting, He knows why He does so. Discernment of God’s truth and development in spiritual character go together.
[from ‘Approved Unto God’]
GEORGE and GILL STEWART