Monday, November 11, 2013

Don't Believe Everything You Think

Never has Proverbs 3:5&6 been so alive than when I think of it as I read John 11. No, these passages are not cross-referenced, nor do they have anything to do with each other - other than the fact that they are both the Word of God.

Proverbs 3:5&6 says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths."

You may recall that John 11 records the account of Lazarus dying, then Jesus raising him from the dead. Most of us know the story....Lazarus died, Jesus came, grieved with the family, then raised him from the dead. I want to look more closely at the dialog which takes place during this event. I hope you'll see the connection I see with Proverbs 3:5&6.

Lazarus got sick when Jesus was out of town. Jesus, Himself, said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God..." (verse 4)

But, Lazarus did die. And they buried him. And that was that. What did Jesus mean, then?

When Jesus made his way to the family, days later, they were upset. Martha met Him on the way and told him, "Lord, if you have been here, my brother would not have died." (verse 21) Jesus had a discussion about the resurrection with her. Was she listening?

When Mary made her way to Jesus, she also said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." (verse 32) Jesus saw her grief, and the grief of those around her and Martha and he was "troubled." He wept and grieved with the family.

People observing all this said, "Behold how he loved him!"

And some said, "Could not this man, having opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" (verse 36 & 37)

The way we understand it, death is the end. Dead. Buried. A permanent condition that cannot be undone. It did not occur to anyone on this scene that death was not the end. Their understanding, based, no doubt, on past experience with other people, made it very clear that death was the very end. No more hope. Dead. Buried. Leaving us devastated.

Jesus didn't understand things that way. He raised Lazarus right up from the dead. He came forth still wrapped in grave clothes, his face still covered. (verse 44)

Death?  Oh, that. Yeah. A temporary condition to Jesus Christ.

This outcome had not occurred to anyone who was there that day. It simply seemed impossible from a human understanding. While they thought He could have prevented him from dying in the first place, no one even so much as thought that He could raise him from the dead.

That's how they understood things.

I'm so glad they were wrong!

We are all wrong much of the time. Our understanding is off; we don't get it.

Do not lean on your own understanding, no matter what you face.
You can't believe everything you think.

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