Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
The Death of Lazarus
Jesus enjoyed a special relationship with Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. This family gave him welcome and oasis in a world of conflict and escalating hostility (cf. Luke 10:38–42). Perhaps it was precisely because of Jesus’ great love for this family that he entrusted to them a very difficult story, a hard providence: the sickness and death of Lazarus.
The gospel is a story of our God doing all things well, not all things easily. His name is Abba Father, but this does not mean that he leads his children in a life of complacent ease and comfort. Indeed, upon hearing about Lazarus’s sickness, Jesus waited two days longer before responding—apparently so that his compassion could be revealed by a more glorious expression of divine power, expressed according to divine wisdom and timing. God’s ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8). They are much better.
*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.