Monday, June 14, 2010

CHRIST SUFFERS THE MOST WHEN THOSE HE LOVES DOUBT HIM

Jesus loved Lazarus and he also dearly loved his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Their home was an oasis for the Master. We know Lazarus and his family loved Jesus, but the Scripture is most emphatic in pointing out Christ's love for them: "He whom thou lovest is sick" (John 11:3).

When Jesus heard that, he sent them a message: "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby" (vs. 4).

Jesus knew that his Father intended for this miracle to give him glory and give them confidence and faith! But what an experience of deep suffering it turned out to be for Jesus. The disciples doubted him, Mary and Martha doubted him, and so did the weeping friends of Lazarus.

Did Mary know how deeply she hurt him when she accused him of being preoccupied and disinterested in their problem? "Lord, if you had just been here on time—but it's too late now, the damage is done" (see vs. 21).

Did Martha know how it hurt her Master when she questioned his resurrection power? He had plainly told her, "Thy brother shall rise again," but his word was not enough. She answered, in essence, "Oh, yes, on resurrection day he will arise but that doesn't help today" (see vs. 24).

How painful it must have been for Christ to have his dearest friends doubt that he had all the power they needed. "Don't you know who I am yet?" is what the Lord seemed to say. "I am the resurrection, and the life. Believe in me. I have the power, the life" (see vs. 25).

I don't think we know how deep his pain was at that moment. His own disciples couldn't grasp the concept of who he was. It was hurtful enough that his own nation of people knew him not, but could those he dearly loved not recognize his power? Could he have said to himself, "Not even my dearest friends believe—who then will ever believe?"

It is the doubting of his power that causes such pain and distress to our Lord! If we, his dearest friends, will not trust his power and faithfulness, who will? We call him friend and Lord, but we do not live our lives as though he has the power needed to keep us victorious and joyful—in all our pain and difficulties.

What truly satisfies the heart of our Lord is the child of his who rests completely in his love and tender care.