As Jesus neared the end of his earthly life, it was time to give the people who loved him and hated him an opportunity for an attitude adjustment.
Lazarus, Jesus’ dear friend, had been sick and had died. The Lord had been away from Judea. Now, he returned to the home of his friends and where his enemies plotted his death.
The apostle John used an entire chapter of his gospel to show us these events. Why? Several people needed an attitude adjustment.
Martha was first. She met the Master on his way into Bethany. Martha’s statement is a confession of faith. She told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatsoever you ask from God, God will grant you” (John 11:21-22). Martha had grown spiritually, indeed, from the days when she was preoccupied with other matters. Even in this, however, she needed additional help.
Jesus told Martha her brother would come back to life. She thought Jesus meant her brother would live again at the end of time. She wouldn’t have to wait that long and in Jesus’ statement is the adjustment she needed. Jesus can raise the dead anytime he chose because he is God the Son. Martha needed this lesson.
But the raising of Lazarus from the dead was not just for Martha’s benefit. Jesus was there to instruct the Jews who planned to kill him. Jesus was trying to save these evil men because he loved them as much as he had loved Lazarus and his sisters. Jesus is showing himself to save others!
When Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, it was because of the Lord’s love for him. With all of the emotion in this event, it is easy to forget that others needed salvation, too. Their hearts, however, were filled with murderous purpose. But Jesus wanted to save them. In his great love, Jesus wanted the Jews to turn from their sins and believe in him.
All of us need to understand how deep the love of God is. He has moved history and the world to show us how much he loves us and wants our redemption. Perhaps you need an attitude adjustment, too. Start by obeying the gospel or returning to the Lord if you’ve wandered away.