This quarter, we focus on healing in our weekly devotional series. This week's devotional comes from John 11 through 17.
We are all very familiar with the story in John 11 of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. As I was reading through this passage, I was struck by the contrast between Jesus’ words of life and hope, and His followers’ words of death and hopelessness (or at least hope deferred).
Jesus spoke definitive words of life: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (v. 4, NKJV); “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up” Jesus says (v. 11); “Your brother will rise again” (v. 23); “Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth' ” (v. 43).
In stark contrast to Jesus’ words, His followers were bound by what they saw in the natural. They assumed death had won because of Jesus’ decision to delay going to Bethany for two days: “And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother” (v. 19); "And some of them said, 'Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?' ” (v. 37); “Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, 'Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days' ” (v. 39).
Even Martha and Mary said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (vv. 21; 32).
Martha did show a glimpse of faith when she said to Jesus, “But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You” (v. 22). It is clear, however, by her subsequent statement about Lazarus rising at the last day and her protestation when Jesus told them to roll the stone aside, that an immediate healing and resurrection was not within the realm of her expectation.
When Jesus first received the news of Lazarus’ sickness, He told His disciples that it happened “for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (v. 4). When He told them to roll away the stone, He said to Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (v. 40).
One of the 22 primary tenants of the Foursquare Gospel is that Jesus Christ is our healer. But do we really live our lives as if we believe Jesus is the healer, or do we allow our faith and expectation to be constrained by what we see in the natural? Does healing always happen in an instant or in a miraculous way? No, but in whatever way God chooses to heal, we need to trust Him and let Him show us His glory.
Jesus is our healer. Let’s believe with our whole hearts and live in the expectation that He will demonstrate His ability to heal in miraculous ways as we remain open to see His glory.
By: Ron Thigpenn, vice president and chief financial officer of The Foursquare Church
Share your journey through the Gospels » Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you personally as the Foursquare family reads through the Gospels! Download the reading plan bookmarks for 2012, and you can also subscribe to the weekly Foursquare Leader Prayer email to receive insights and inspiration from Foursquare leaders around the world.