When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." - John 11:4
The disciples accepted what Jesus said at face value. They probably thought something like, “Oh good, Lazarus is sleeping. He will wake up so we do not need to return to Judea where they are threatening to kill Jesus.” But when Jesus said, “Ok, it’s time to return,” the disciples became very uncomfortable. They were now quick to challenge the change in plans. Jesus explained to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him” (John 11:14-15). Jesus had a different perspective and purpose and they knew they could not change His mind. Thomas then said what every other disciple was thinking, "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (Luke ). In other words, Lazarus is dead and by Jesus returning to Judea, He may end up dead, so they might as well all go with Him so they can all be dead together.
The disciples were mainly focusing on themselves, not on what Jesus was doing. They had little faith in what Jesus could do. Jesus had waited to go back to Judea until Lazarus was dead three days so that their faith in Him would be strengthened. Jesus chose to wait to return to Bethany, not because His life was threatened, or because Lazarus would get better on His own or because He had more important matters to attend too.
He waited so that you may believe. God’s delays are not God’s denials. We have to trust in how He chooses to answer our prayers. His perspective is always to do what is best for grounding and strengthening our faith.
Pray about it: Lord, help me to accept your ways. Sometimes I look at impossible circumstances and I limit Your ability to intervene. Help me to believe as I trust in You for the details and delays. Amen.
~Daily Disciples Devotional~