Jesus is Not Far Away

In the post Why Jesus’ Delays are not Always Denials, I shared that Jesus may delay His coming to give us aid to bring greater glory to God. Today in John 11, we learn that, while He delayed, Jesus is Not Far Away. We may often think because His response is delayed that He isn’t around.

John 11

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,

Have you ever noticed that when you really need something that it appears to be so far away. It’s like riding home after a long trip and you have to relieve yourself. The bathroom seems so far away when you pull into the driveway. I am sure that’s how Mary and Martha felt when they Sent Word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick.

In verse 18, we learn that Bethany was only two miles from Jerusalem which means that Jesus could have easily come to Lazarus’ aid the day He heard word from Mary and Martha. Why didn’t He? We know “… it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (v.4)  Two miles revealed that Jesus is Not Far Away from Lazarus. There is something comforting about knowing that we are not far away from relief, aid, or help.

Help is exactly what Jesus did. The text points out that Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Not one, not two, not three but four days – four days dead. Why did Jesus wait? I have read that Jesus was quite aware of the Jewish superstition of that time that said a soul stays near the grave for three days of  hopes to return to the body; therefore, it was accepted that after four days there was absolutely no hope of resuscitation.

Lazarus was good and dead. He was not resuscitated or revived. He was resurrected as a precursor to what He would do for Himself after His death on the cross. Jesus, despite waiting four days, evidenced that there is no amount of time or circumstance that can prevent Him from helping us. Jesus is Not Far Away. 

I am not sure where you are or what you are dealing with in this very hour, but Jesus is Not Far Away. He wants us to know that if He wanted to that He could bring us back to life to show who God is and what God can do. Remember, it is not about Lazarus, Mary, Martha or us. It is about Him bring glory to God. Jesus’ delays or denials are not an indictment on His love or the lack thereof for us but about Him glorifying God. Just as God told Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6, He also tells us “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

While it may have seemed like it to Mary, Martha and you,Jesus is Not Far Away just trust in Him. He will bring about the results that give God the greatest praise and glory.


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