When you read through the gospels, you begin to realize that Jesus did some things when he performed miracles that didn’t always seem necessary or logical.
I get it. I think I might have been a little surprised myself at some of Jesus’ actions. After all, he once made mud out of his own spit which he mixed with some dirt to heal a man who was blind. Was that really necessary?
Then there was the time he stuck his fingers in a man’s ears to heal him of his deafness and then spit and touched his tongue to heal him of being unable to speak. Why all the theatrics? Why not simply heal the man?
When it came to feeding 5000 hungry men and their families, five loaves and two fish provoked more questions than answers: “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9, NIV).
One of the occasions when Jesus started doing things that suggested doubts rather than certainties was when his friend Lazarus died.
Why hadn’t Jesus come earlier? He’d been told of Lazarus’ illness. Didn’t he really care about his friend, or about his friend’s sisters, Mary and Martha? When will Lazarus really rise — now or at the great resurrection on Judgment Day?
There’s a great lesson to be learned here. When Jesus is getting ready to do a work in our lives, it may start with question marks rather than solid assurances. We may sense more inner-confusion that we do winner-confidence.
But that’s OK. Because Jesus’ love and Jesus’ power to do great things don’t depend on us (thank goodness!). They depend on him. He does what he pleases to do. And he does them the way that he pleases to do them.
Because he is God, and we’re not. And because, as the Son of God, his purpose is singular. He is interested in bringing glory to the Father.
So even when Jesus is doing things in ways that raise more questions than answers, his encouragement remains the same.
“Trust me!” he says.
“Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. ‘Take away the stone,’ he said.
‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.’
Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'” (John 11:38-40, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Tuesday, May 19, is 1 Samuel 2:27 – 4:22, John 11:1-44 and Psalm 64:1-10.
Lord, help me get past my inner confusion, and send me your Holy Spirit so I can develop winner confidence in you! You may surprise me at times, but I know that you want to do a great work in my heart. And you already have! You have taken me from sin and unbelief to forgiveness and faith. And I thank you for that miracle of new life! Please continue to develop and strengthen my faith in you, Jesus!
Header image based on "Netherlands 3994 - Raising of Lazarus" by Dennis Jarvis, CC By-SA 2.0