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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

I Thought We Were Friends


John 11:33-44

Verse 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”


Jesus did many miracles and we have only looked at a handful of them, but the miracle we look at today is a little different as this one was more personal, a dear friend.


Jesus thought a lot of this brother and sister trio. He had likely stayed at their house frequently throughout His ministry. We know of their friendship through various accounts of them, whether it was Mary not helping Martha prep the meal or simply the fact that the sisters felt close enough to Jesus to send for Him and expect Him to drop everything to come when their brother was sick. When He didn’t come they must have questioned His love for them. It must have hurt deeply.


It hurt Jesus too. He knew He couldn’t be there to heal His dear friend. He was letting down His friends, but His disciples may have seen it as a fear of what would happen to Him if He went back into that region because they knew there were those who had promised to arrest Him or worse if He showed His face there again. But Jesus knew there was something much bigger going on here. He knew His friend, Lazarus, had to die to allow Him to show God’s glory.


Notice that He doesn’t dismiss the grief of the sisters, nor does He apologize for not coming sooner. Remember, this was not the era of emails and instant messaging, for the sisters to get word to Jesus meant sending someone to give Him the message. They knew at least the region He was in and knew how long it took to get the message, meaning the messenger had come back to say the delivery had been made but Jesus didn't come with him. They knew He could have made it in time, but didn’t make the effort.


His grief must have increased in seeing their pain but also at the fact that they didn’t seem to understand that He could still heal their brother. He loved these people deeply and without any fanfare He asks them to open the grave and commands the man to come out. The man was bound head to toe but out he came out in obedience to His Friend’s voice. The large group of grievers saw what they thought wasn’t possible, the dead man alive again.


Making It Personal

Have you ever felt betrayed by a close friend? Did you totally give up on the friendship? How has God used that betrayal of friendship to grow you spiritually?


Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever had a friend that did something to you that hurt? What did that situation mean to your friendship? What does it mean to you that Jesus will never betray your friendship?


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for being a true friend, one that will always do what is best for us even if we can’t see it. Help us to be the kind of friend that You need us to be, not just for our relationship with You but so that those around us can know the truth of You and Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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