First Steps: Bible

John Bible Study: Day 11

Read John 11:1-57.

“Why?” This is the question we all think about when tragedies occur in our lives. When our loved ones become sick, we ask, “Why?” When a bout of depression takes over us, we wonder “Why did God allow this to happen to me?” When the financial crisis comes on, we ask God, “Why?” When a death occurs, and we lose someone we love, we question God. You may think that asking “Why” and questioning God in times of crisis shows weakness, but today we are going to learn that God is okay with our questions. We are also going to see that He cares deeply for us and hurts along with us in our pain. 

In John chapter eleven, two of Jesus’ dear friends sent Him a message that Lazarus, their brother, was sick. “Lord,” they said, “the one you love is sick” (verse three). After getting this news, Jesus did something that may seem unexpected to us: He stayed where He was for two days before going to Lazarus. In fact, He waited to go to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus until Lazarus had already died. When He arrived to see Mary and Martha, Martha went to Jesus and said the words we all probably would have been thinking, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died” (verse 21). She was basically saying, “Jesus, you could have done something, but you didn’t.” After having a conversation with Martha, Jesus talked to Mary. As soon as Mary saw Jesus, she fell at His feet and wept, saying the words her sister also said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died” (verse 32). Jesus was deeply moved by her pain and asked to see where Lazarus had been buried. Next, He Himself wept.

After weeping with Mary, Martha and all who loved Lazarus, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He called Lazarus to come out of the tomb, and Lazarus walked out. As a result of this incredible miracle, many people believed in Jesus (verse 45). This was Jesus’ plan the entire time. He knew that He would raise Lazarus so that His power could be on display. This begs the question: If Jesus knew Lazarus was about to be raised from the dead, why did He weep? He wept because of the pain of Mary, Martha, and the other people who knew and loved Lazarus felt. He was moved by their pain. My friend, He is moved by your pain, also.

Are you facing a hard time, wondering why God is allowing you to face such a difficult situation? Are you wondering if God remembers you in your pain? Do you find yourself asking if He cares? My friend, take comfort in the fact that “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). He wept with Mary and Martha, and He weeps with you, too. Just like He was working in the life of Lazarus, He is working in your life even when you cannot see it.

Moving Toward Action

Do you feel a little bit like Mary and Martha today, wondering where God is in your pain? Maybe you feel sad, lonely, or hurt by your life’s circumstances. Maybe you have been hurt or let down by others. Maybe you have even hurt yourself or let yourself down. Perhaps you feel alone, isolated, and completely lost in your pain. Your assignment is to tell God. Tell Him everything. Take time right now and pray to God. Tell Him how you are feeling. He cares. He feels your pain with you. He does not run from it. He will walk with you through it. Cling to the truth that He is working in your life in ways you may not even see.