"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40 NRSV)
Daniel Zellmer a pastor in Victoria, TX makes a profound observation. We assume, he notes, that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were overjoyed with Lazarus' return to life. Is that, he asks, always the case?

At Zellmer's grandfather's funeral, his grandmother announced, "I am ready to go and be with 'Pa.'" Three trips to the hospital and six years later she was living in a nursing home. Her enlarged heart was painful and energy-draining. She was still ready to "go and be with 'Pa.'"

Then one morning as the nurse's aide was getting her up for the day, her heart stopped. The do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order had long since been buried in her chart and the staff did what they were trained to do. They performed CPR and brought her back to life. When she woke up in the hospital room, she called her son and chewed him out and ordered him to "take care of it." Two weeks later, she died undisturbed in her sleep.

The resurrection of Lazarus was not for Lazarus' benefit. After all, he died as a friend of Jesus. His destiny was taken care of. Neither was it for Mary and Martha's benefit. Lazarus' resurrection was temporary at best. It is not recorded, but doubtless Lazarus died again. If Jesus raised people because of his love and consideration for people left behind, then all the cemeteries would be empty, for Jesus loves all of us who are confronted with the loss of a loved one. No, in the Bible miracles take place for a specific purpose. Jesus stated the purpose of this particular miracle--that both the Father and the Son might be glorified.

Loving God, may I glorify you today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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