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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11/17/10 John 11:38-44 Seeing the Glory of God

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

(The author in Lazarus's tomb in Bethany June 2010)

Thoughts: What does it mean to "see the glory of God if you believe"?  Perhaps Martha thought Jesus was just going to see her dead brother, but by now there was not much to see and the stench of the decaying body was a deterrent.  But Christ is able to turn stench into glory; imprisoning grave clothes into freedom.  Jesus sought to glorify His Father's name (Jn. 8:54; 12:28; 17:1).  We too often seek our own glory.  But when we believe, our eyes are open to seeing God in life.  We are no longer blinded to Him.  Jesus had been waiting until the end of his ministry to fully reveal his power.  But the resurrection of Lazarus shows that Jesus is able to glorify God fully. 

Prayer: May you be glorified in me today, O Lord.  May I trust in your power and glory.
Link to "Glorify Thy Name":

John Calvin abridged: Martha, when talking of the stench, was inferring that no remedy could be found.  So with us, when we are preoccupied by foolish thoughts, we keep God from working through us.  We need to learn to ascribe far greater power to God's grace than we can perceive.  If it was left up to Martha, her brother would still be in the grave and Jesus would have been kept away.  A miracle is called the glory of God, because God, displaying in it the power of his hand, glorifies his name.

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