John 11:11-16

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

We know that Lazarus dies. However, Jesus refers to Lazarus's death as "sleep," suggesting a temporary state rather than a permanent end. This metaphor makes us reexamine our perceptions of death, inviting us to view physical death through a spiritual lens as a transition rather than a termination. 

The disciples didn't get it. "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better," they said. I doubt we would have got it either. We have a natural tendency to fit things into our understanding. When it comes to spirituality, this severely limits us because we can't discover deeper truths. 

"Lazarus is dead," Jesus says. His statement underscores the importance of directness and clarity in spiritual teachings. It reminds us that while interpretation is necessary, it should always be grounded in the clear truths of Scripture.

Jesus continues: "For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe." Jesus' words suggest that the events surrounding Lazarus were orchestrated for the benefit of the disciples' faith, not just as a demonstration of Jesus' power. Again, there is a lesson for us here. God's actions are often designed to strengthen faith and understanding rather than simply to resolve immediate situations.

"Let us go to Lazarus," Jesus concludes. The apostle Thomas, often remembered for his doubt, chirps in. "Let us also go, that we may die with him," he says. It was such a funny response I couldn't help laughing. 

Seriously, however, Thomas' attitude was commendable. He knew that it was dangerous to return to Judea because the people there wanted to kill Jesus. However, he was willing to follow Jesus to the death. A third lesson here for us. How far will we go for Jesus? Plenty to think about today.

God bless you.  

More in this category: « John 11:5-10 John 11:17-27 »
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Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/
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Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/
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Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/

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