Published April 12, 2016

Shelia Shares
"God's Role, Your Role"

"Lazarus Come Forth!"  The familiar story of Lazarus is found in John 11: 38-44:

"Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.' Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.' Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?'

"Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.'

"Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!' And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.'"

This story is a great witness to Jesus' power and His compassion. But, in my practical way, I like how God did the impossible and had ordinary people do the possible.

In the portion of Scripture before what I read, Jesus had asked people to show Him where Lazarus was laid. On arriving at the tomb, He also asked then to roll away the stone protecting the cave entrance. Jesus walked to the tomb, but when it came time to remove the stone, He directed ordinary people to do that job. He did His job, but expected others to do what they could do.

Jesus' portion was to provide direction and then to do what only He could do. He called Lazarus to come forth. No one else could raise the dead. Jesus did that job willingly.

The people around Jesus had jobs to do. They showed Him where the tomb was. They rolled the stone away from the entrance. The Lord could have known and done these things supernaturally, but, instead, got others involved.

Lazarus needed to be obedient to God's voice. He needed to make his way out of the tomb. Then the people needed to obey and unwrap Lazarus.

Jesus did the impossible. He conquered death and gave life back to Lazarus. Those were things that the people could not do and Lazarus could not do. Jesus did His part for the purpose of showing God's glory.  But notice that the people had to first do what the Lord told them to do — before He did His part.

In our lives, we need mustard seed faith to ask God to do the impossible. We need to ask and believe.

In the story of Lazarus, God gave back life. Sometimes He gives exactly what we want. And He did in this case.

Sometimes His best is not what we have requested. But, we need to remember that Jesus loves us and will always do and give us His best in His time. Sometimes His best is the ultimate healing.

- Shelia

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