Monday, April 10, 2017
John 12:9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
It was just six days before the Passover that Jesus came to visit his friends in Bethany. Massive crowds of Jewish people had come to see the man who had been dead for four days but was now alive and walking around. His life was such a witness to the power of Jesus Christ that people came from far and near just to see this man who was alive! Every glimpse of Lazarus led to more power for Jesus and this was a threat to the religious leaders. Their convoluted plan was to get rid of Lazarus by killing him. What foolish thoughts to think that you would kill the one who had already been raised from the dead. If Jesus could raise him once, couldn’t he raise him again?
The religious leaders were still confounded by Jesus and could not understand the power and authority that he had. They were blinded to the fact that he was the Son of God, or at least refused to allow that to be a possibility. They allowed their minds to wander into foolish thoughts and ideas about how to stamp out this man’s life.
Foolish thoughts were the result of men desperate to retain power. Jesus and Lazarus were a threat to what they had come to enjoy in life. Instead of a genuine desire for the faith, they had become consumed by self-interest and self-protection. The result was that they were willing to allow others to suffer for their own benefit. Lazarus could simply be done away with if he was an obstacle to their success.
The goal of life for the believer will always be fully knowing Christ. There is nothing in this world that can or should take the place of Christ in the center of all that we do and say. Unfortunately, just like these religious leaders we can become distracted when we feel that we are threatened. The world begins to shift and change and we feel that we are losing our sense of security, then we can foolishly lash out at others, as if they are the cause of all our problems. Lazarus wasn’t the cause of the problems for the religious leaders, it was their own personal lack of faith. Trusting in their own plans was certainly foolish.
When we get our eyes off of Jesus we can be tempted by foolish thoughts. Those foolish thoughts lead us to human manipulation of situations and circumstances when God is simply standing by and saying, “trust me!’ The foolish don’t trust in God, but think that God needs their help. God doesn’t need our help, and simply wants all of us.
If only the religious leaders had turned to the scripture they would have known well:
Prov. 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be a healing for your flesh
and a refreshment for your body.
We step far from foolishness when we live in harmony with the Lord.
Lord, may I live in complete trust and dependence upon you. Amen.