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Gospel Reflection -  Life Changing

The most unsettling parts of the Bible are the bits where Jesus doesn’t do exactly what we expect. Today Jesus’ good friends Mary and Martha send him a message to come quickly because their brother Lazarus is dying. We would expect Jesus to drop everything and go quickly to their house. Instead, he hangs around for a couple of days and does nothing. What can he be thinking of? In truth, the delay is an essential part of the story. If Jesus had simply raised Lazarus from feeling unwell the story would have lacked poignancy, and no one would have had their faith significantly deepened that day. That Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead has a dramatic and profound impact on all …. not least Lazarus himself.

We might have expected Lazarus to have more to say on the matter. We might wish that he had shared a couple of life after death experiences with us, but it seems that Lazarus and his experiences are not really the point of the story. The main point of the story is Jesus’ ability to transform the meaning of life and death for those who trust in him. Jesus says, “I am the resurrection  and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” In bringing Lazarus back to life, Jesus shows the crowds that death need hold no fear for those who place their trust in him.

It is truly life changing to know that we are invited to place this much faith in God. It is life changing to know that God can handle any situation in which we find ourselves, and that he knows how to lead us through it. All we have to do is focus our faith on God rather than our own imagined solutions. Expect surprises. Expect delays. Expect a God who can guide us through life with all its challenges.