Trust His Plan
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.—John 11:5
When Mary and Martha informed Jesus that Lazarus was sick, they expected to see their brother recover as soon as the message reached Jesus. But nothing happened. And instead of coming right away, Jesus intentionally waited for two more days. By the time He arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days.
Like Mary and Martha, maybe you had a need that you brought before the Lord, only to receive an answer you didn’t want. You may have concluded that God doesn’t love you. But God had a different plan than you did. Isaiah tells us, “ ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’ ” (55:8–9).
Martha and Mary’s message said, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick” (John 11:3). Their word for “love” can be translated, “brotherly love,” which speaks of love that a friend has for a friend.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . . ” (John 3:16, emphasis mine). This word “love” speaks of a sacrificial, agonizing love, which loves a person in spite of anything. And this is how Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.
Mary and Martha only thought of friendship, while Jesus thought of sacrificial love. They thought of their temporal comfort, while Jesus thought of their eternal benefit. They wanted a healing, while Jesus wanted a resurrection. Jesus wanted to do above and beyond what they could ask or imagine. He loved them with a deeper love. And He loves us with a deeper love as well.
(Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.)