Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why?

Recently our Church lost its long term and godly pastor to a protracted battle with cancer. The Church leadership and congregation had prayed fervently for his healing. God did not see fit to grant our request. This has led some to naturally question, "Why?"

Turning to the Word of God we find a passage that relates to this situation. John chapter eleven records the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. What occurred before that is particularly apropos.

Lazarus became ill and his sisters, Martha and Mary, sent word to Jesus that "the one you love is sick (v3). God does not need to be informed of anything but he does invite us to pray--to bring our requests before the throne. In this matter the Lord clearly knew about Lazarus' condition through his omniscience (as evidenced by his remarks to his disciples) and the message sent by the sisters. So the first point is that he knew.

Secondly, it is clear from the text that Lazarus was Christ's friend who he dearly loved (v5, v36). Jesus frequently visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus while in Jerusalem. These individuals were very special people to the Lord. This relationship with him though did not prevent sickness and death.

Thirdly, it is apparent from the Scriptures that he could have healed Lazarus. The Gospels record many miraculous signs by the Master. If he did this for others, why did he not grant their request for healing? This is what many wrestle with when prayers appear to go unanswered.

The sisters confronted Jesus when he arrived in Bethany and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died" (v21,v32). Why did he tarry in coming and why didn't he heal his friend Lazarus? Jesus clearly loved and cared about them (v33,v35,v38).

I believe we find the answers to these questions in the Bible. In this case, Jesus definitely had something better in mind that was a great benefit for his disciples (see v15,v40). When he raised Lazarus from the dead, he did something far greater than just heal him!

It is not always revealed to us what the "something better" (Hebrews 11:40) is going to be but Romans 8:28 promises us that "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Believe this and be comforted.

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