Miracles So That We May Believe
Scripture: “Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me’.” – John 11:40,41
Jesus performed many miracles for the sake of others, so that they might believe. In John 11 we read about one of these miracles. What I find really interesting here is that Jesus makes it a point to let them know that the miracles are for their benefit. When Jesus arrives, Lazarus who had been dead for 4 days. The body had already started to smell from decay. But Jesus doesn’t just run immediately to Lazarus and raise him to life. He takes time to talk to Martha and Mary, and make very clear to his disciples and those gathered around what is happening and why. Jesus makes it a point to break this miracle down very deliberately for everyone around him in order to build up their faith. And in this great miracle, Jesus sets forth a simple process for us to follow for our lives.
First Jesus confesses with his lips. Jesus tells Martha that, “whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – (John 11:26). Further, Jesus says, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” He also tells Martha that he is “the resurrection and the life.” – (John 11:25) We too shall we confess with our lips that Jesus Christ is the truth, the light, and the Way. Another verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” What we confess with our lips, so will it be in our lives. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” So a great first step is to watch our words and speak life.
Second, Jesus connects his heart with those around him. We know that his heart is connected because we read here that as they weep, Jesus weeps. – (John 11:35). When we build genuine relationships with those around us, we cannot help but feel pain when they feel pain, and joy when they feel joy.
Third, Jesus prays. He looks up to the Father saying, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” – (John 11:41). ” I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing there, that they may believe that you sent me.” – (John 11:42). Not sure what to pray in our lives? Jesus even gives us the ideal prayer in Matthew 6 (the Lord’s prayer) – “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” – (Matthew 6:9-13)
Fourth, Jesus commands and declares what God has promised. Jesus cries out, “Lazarus come out.” We too can and should declare victory when we know that we are in alignment with God’s Will. The difficult thing is to know His Will. We can more easily do this when we are in close relationship with Him. Jesus gives us authority to do what he commissions us to do – preach the gospel, disciple the nations, heal the sick, cast out demons, etc. He does not give us all authority. It’s not like we can decree and declare that we are going to win the lottery tonight. I’m pretty sure that is our will talking there, not God’s. But when we are operating in God’s Will, it’s amazing what God can do. There is power in the name of Jesus.
Fifth, Jesus believes. He has no doubt that the will of God the Father will be fulfilled. As a result, everyone else around Jesus benefits from his belief as Lazarus walks out of the tomb. And so do we need to believe, and wait. In the book of Mark, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – (Mark 11:24). If it is God’s Will, it is finished, it is done, money in the bank.We just have to wait on the Lord to bring it to pass. “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” – (Psalm 27:14)
Jesus uses the miracle of Lazarus to teach us yet again how we can be more like Him. We can confess, connect, pray, command, believe and wait on the Lord. Jesus is pure and perfect in every way, because He knows that we are not. Jesus lived for us, wept for us, died for us, rose for us, shows us the Way to our heavenly home. Let us pray that our hearts and minds be open to recognizing the miracles that God places in our lives every day, so that ultimately our faith is increased, and we can be one step closer to Him.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Help us to recognize the miracles that you place in our lives every day. Help us to see the good, and to see the light amidst all of the darkness. Let your Holy Spirit flow in an through us Lord, that your light shines bright for all to see. Help us live lives worthy of the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to hear your calling, and to give us the strength and courage to be obedient to your Will. Guide our every step. Make us new. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Image courtesy of: maltzevans
Photo By maltzevans