Vs. 25, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” Jesus is responding to Martha’s faith that one day Lazarus who had recently died will rise from the dead at the resurrection. We have an interesting situation where a very close family to Jesus loses their brother, Lazarus. We wonder why Jesus is not hurrying back to Bethany upon hearing of Lazarus’ death (vs. 6). But, we see that Jesus has a purpose for in this miracle of bringing Lazarus back from the dead. The longer they lingered finishing up what they were doing, the more people will be amazed (vs. 4). For Jesus to return so near to Jerusalem (vs. 18), it was a very dangerous move for the enemy had started plotting to find a way to arrest and kill Jesus (vs. 45-57). I can’t help but notice that God is in control of this situation. For example, Lazarus’ death would bring Jesus near to the enemy. The enemy would find ways to distort Jesus. And all of this would lead to Jesus being obedient to death on a cross. Jesus was not a victim, rather He conquered death and is literally the resurrection!
Regarding application…Emotions Are Good. Vs. 35, “Jesus wept.” Let’s face it…showing too much emotion is a sign of weakness. Crying is for babies. Being too happy is a bit unusual. Do you remember Tom Cruise’s interview with Oprah back in 2006, where he stood up on a couch with joy professing his love to Katie Holmes? That one incident of emotion almost derailed his career. People frown upon any type of extreme emotion. With an election year, if any of the Presidential candidates started weeping on live television, they probably wouldn’t stand a chance at the Presidency. In the Gospels, we see Jesus display emotions of anger, joy, weeping, etc. Emotions are good. God created us with emotions, that’s what makes us so unique amongst God’s other creations. Tomorrow is Sunday, many of you may be headed to church. I challenge you to have a bit more emotion in your soul! Sing unto the Lord with joy!
Vs. 1, “Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions.” The rock band ACDC coined the phrase, “Money talks”. Did you know that Jesus talked about money more than any other topic? Scholars break it down to 1/6 of the time! Having worked in the banking world for many years, I concur that money has been a very hot topic. Having just finished the story of the prodigal son wasting away his father’s inheritance, we see Jesus give another parable on money (vs. 1-15). Why would Jesus comment a dishonest money man? Because this man realized the prospect of a bad future and acted shrewdly (wisely) to ensure he would be treated fairly later on. If Christians would do likewise with our faith, we would be better of as well. We then move on to the Rich man and Lazarus (notice how Luke did not address this as an actual parable). When death came knocking at the rich man’s door, it was then that he realized the folly of his ways (vs. 19-31).
Regarding application…What Do You Value? Vs. 15, “He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” Question: What was it that is detestable in God’s sight? The love of money. We cannot love both God and money. Yet, many foolishly think both can be achieved in this life. I confess, there was a time that the allurement of financial success fell upon my heart. I was working at a bank and moving up in the ranks. I owned my own house and could see a very comfortable life. I justified the success with the fact that I was still serving God in the local church in part-time ministry. However, God knew my heart and by His grace he drew back to Him. Perhaps my heart was a bit like Jonah’s who wanted to flee from obeying God’s will in my life. It’s always a wise think to ask ourselves what do we value in this life? Because as Jesus so aptly told us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21.