1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
(The author and his brother, Mark Sloan, entering Church in Bethany (al Eizaraya) commemorating Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, as well as Jesus' anointing for death that took place here).
Thoughts; Everything changes after Lazarus. Many in Judea come to Him; His ministry takes a large upturn; The next thing is He enters Jerusalem with a crowd of supporters; but then the opposition gets fierce and He is killed; but then He is raised from the dead Himself in ultimate triumph. Jesus knew to go back to heal Lazarus into the same place where they threatened Him with stoning just a few days before would mean His death. Some even warned Him (v.s. 8). Jesus was determined to let His light shine despite the opposition. So during Lent, we should determine that the need for people to be helped is greater than our own sacrifice. Lent is not just giving up something, it is giving back to God by giving to someone else. As Jesus gave Himself for Lazarus (and ultimately for us on the cross), so we should take up our cross daily and follow Him.
Prayer: Lord, le my hope triumph over my fears. Let my love for you and neighbor triumph over those who would snuff out you and your hope.
Lenten Activity: What in your life has been dead for days and you are still keeping it around? What in your life is not only uninspiring but despiring? It could be a TV show that is full of gross thoughts. It could be some words you use; It could be some bad habit. Look to transform such things and redeem your time, sharpen your language (maybe even work on learning a new one); don't just give up the bad- replace it.