When they sent word to Jesus to get His attention and to get Him into town, they say, “Lord the one you love is sick!” (John 11:3). A short, yet powerful note. What amazes me about this Scripture is the basis on which Mary and Martha appeals to Jesus on. They don’t say the one who is holy, nor do they say the one who is perfect, nor do they say the one who is sinless, attends church, gives his tithe or the one who always welcomes you. No! They appeal to Jesus on the basis of His love for Lazarus. What is even more significant than this is that Jesus responds to their call!
Now think, if you want to write a note to God and you know that this note can either save your loved one or let them die; will you not write a lengthy note? Would you not appeal to Jesus based on a list of good works and religious acts? Would you not tell Jesus how good this person is and how worthy they are of an intervention? Most likely we all will. Yet Mary and Martha do not follow this methodology. They purely call to God on the basis of His love for Lazarus! Now that’s life changing.
This advocates the strong urge of this book. We cannot activate the dead places in our lives or the deadness in other people’s souls by lengthy religiosity, good works or a list of deeds worthy of praise! Absolutely not! We can just appeal to Jesus based on His crazy love for us. Based on the knowledge that He will intervene, not because we are worthy but because we are loved. In Lazarus’ version he lived and he lived to tell the story! In our lives, we must learn not to appeal to God or others based on our “goodness”. No, that is not your identity. You are loved, and what’s more – YOU are the one He loves!
My biggest desire is that people will understand that God is not angry, nor is He a judge waiting to smack you from the planet. God is a Father, and He is our Father.
John the beloved disciple also discovered this invaluable truth when he wrote about himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loves”. It is always amazing to me to know that John was the disciple who God entrusted the greatest revelation to – the Book of Revelation. It’s amazing if we understand the greatest revelation you can have is that you are loved and because you are loved He is ready to reveal Himself to you.
As a natural father, I play hide and seek with my kids from time to time. The joy of hide and seek is not to stay hidden forever, but to actually be caught or found. The same with God. He wants to be found and He wants to be revealed to us as a God that is in love with us so much so that He will show up anywhere – even on the lonely streets of human depravity.
Now think of Samson, a man full of promise and purpose. A man set aside from birth to live a life of victory. His story was one full of discovery, power and great feats for God. Yet Samson had a weak spot. He did not let God’s love lead him; he was led by his own replacement – a love for woman. It was this love that got him into prison, blinded, alone, rejected and betrayed. All power gone. Both eyes put out. Beaten, and death being eminent, yet God found him there. In his cave of darkness and despair, I want to believe it was His love that positioned Samson one more time between those pillars to die in victory, in love and in focus with his king. Many of us we will never be in this situation, but in life we will get lonely, desperate, erratic and betrayed. If we allow the love of God to reach out to us we will become victorious, we will stand amongst our enemies and in the face of them all, we will stand victorious. Not by our own strength but by his love.
On Facebook, I receive hundreds of messages each week of people that are lonely and in despair, seeking someone to love them, someone to stand with them, and someone that will show up when everyone walks out. Just someone. Can it be that your highest call as a Christian is not to find out this deep dark mysterious call of God, but to love other people like Jesus loves you?