Opportunity to Believe
21 December 2016
Reading: John 9-11
14 Then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sake, I am glad I wasn't there, because this will give you another opportunity to believe in me. Come, let's go see him.” (John 11:14-15 NLT)
Jesus’ disciples saw the death of Lazarus as a preventable tragedy. They were glad that Jesus had not gone to Bethany and taken them with him because the danger from the Jewish leaders was becoming more intense day by day. But still, they knew that if Jesus had been there when Lazarus was sick, he could have healed him.
Later, when Jesus said Lazarus was sleeping, they thought he meant Lazarus was getting better and that they had dodged the bullet. Jesus explained that Lazarus was dead (something he knew by revelation) and called Lazarus’ death by a most remarkable name! Jesus called this tragic death of a dear friend an “opportunity to believe!”
How differently God sees the things that happen to us! How different from the way we see them!
• I see tragedy, Jesus sees an opportunity to believe.
• I see hurt and offense, Jesus sees an opportunity to forgive.
• I see frustration, Jesus sees an opportunity to develop patience.
• I see a cause of irritation, Jesus sees an opportunity to receive and give grace.
What if everything that goes wrong in my life is an opportunity to believe? What if every need in every life in our community is an opportunity to believe?
An opportunity to believe. God is continually at work in our lives. God is setting us up with opportunities to believe.
Father, I've got such a long way to go to be able to see things the way you see them! Please let my thoughts today be quickened as I read about this incident from Jesus' story and think about what you want to do in me and what you want me to do with this truth. May I not miss or misunderstand my opportunities to believe, to forgive, to learn patience, to be a grace-receiver and grace-giver. In Jesus’ Name!