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Seeds of the Kingdom

Jesus’ Delay and His Love

by Lambert Bariho

29 September 2020

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Now even though Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, he remained where he was for two more days.
John 11:5-6, The Passion translation

In our everyday life, many of us have equated love with how quickly someone intervenes when we are in trouble or are facing difficulties. If the person has not been there for us or intervened during our hardships, we start doubting their love for us.

This is what happened to two women - Martha and Mary - when they sent a message to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was sick. They made sure that Jesus understood that the sick Lazarus was none other than the one He loved (John 11:3). However, surprisingly, instead of rushing to go help His friend, Jesus stayed away two more days. They must have felt as if their friend Jesus had betrayed and abandoned them. They even both told Him so when He finally arrived. They both said the same thing: “My Lord, if only you had come sooner, my brother wouldn’t have died” (John 11:21 & 32).

Was Jesus’ delay a sign that he didn’t love or care for them? It is obvious that Jesus really loved Lazarus and his sisters. He even said it in his own words: “Lazarus, our friend, has just fallen asleep. It’s time that I go and awaken him” (John 11:11). He confirmed that He loved both Lazarus and his sisters. But His delay was about something bigger than Lazarus and his sisters. Lazarus’ sickness was to ‘bring glory and praise to God, reveal the greatness of the Son of God’ (Verse 4) and to give an opportunity for His disciples to trust Him (Verse 15). In the end, His delay brought something greater.

It is the same with us. We quickly think His delay means He doesn’t care. We start doubting His love. But even in the waiting He is always thinking of our good. His delay in our lives and circumstances has nothing to do with Him not loving us or abandoning us. He sees the bigger picture. Let us remember that His timing is always the best, even if it is after death, as in the case of Lazarus.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times I doubted Your love just because You did not act in my timing. I pray that You would give me the grace to patiently wait for Your timing. Would You give me a revelation of Your bigger plan and purpose. Help me to know that even when the situation seems as if there is no hope, you still have the last word. I put my trust in You and I choose to receive Your love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lambert Bariho Lambert served with a student ministry for five years before joining Ellel Ministries. Together with his wife Catherine, he currently leads the work of Ellel Ministries in Rwanda. His passion is to see people come to the knowledge of the truth of God and be set free.


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