Jesus delays... because he loves

John 11:1-16

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus loved them SO he stayed 2 days longer. The reason why he didn’t leave straight away is BECAUSE he loved them.

Jesus' delay draws attention to the fact that he has power over life and death. It draws attention to him. Jesus points out in v4&15 that this whole situation is for God's glory - that people would believe in Jesus. Jesus' love for them means that he delays, so they can see his glory more clearly. The most loving thing for them, and for us, is that we see more of God's glory.

We see God’s glory in the Lazarus story in Jesus having power over life and death. They are in his hands. We know the person who in charge of life and death! That is ultimately the best thing for us to know in whatever situation we are facing. The best thing that happens in this story is not that Lazarus is raised - he will die again! The best thing that happens is we see Jesus’ power and authority and hear him say that he is the resurrection and the life!

If you feel like God is delaying, know that it is out of love and it’s for his glory (because those two things are inextricably linked)

We see Jesus' glory most clearly in his own death on the cross so that’s where we should start. Take your attention off the delay for a moment because the delay is about God’s love and his glory and the cross is where we see those two things most clearly displayed, that he gave his life for an undeserving people and then rose again, conquering Satan, sin and death so that we can live a new life with him for eternity.