Daily Word

Father’s Timing | John 11:7-16

 7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” 8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?” 9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. 10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” 

11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” 12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” 13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. 14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” 16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”

John 11:7-16 (NLT)

Jesus heard Lazarus was sick and the request of his sisters to go help but decided to wait two days. We saw yesterday that the reason was for God’s glory. Now He tells the disciples that it’s time to go up to do ministry. The disciples object for fear the Jews may catch and kill Jesus since just a few days ago they had tried to stone Him.

Father’s Timing

They don’t understand that Jesus’ time is in the Father’s hands. So Jesus instructs them using a clock  analogy. There are 12 hrs in a Jewish day (sunup to sundown). Work (and in this case travel) is done during the day; you don’t work or travel at night. Jesus used a similar illustration in John 9:4-5. 

The work that Jesus had to do could only be done during the “day”, the time He had on earth. His time (of death) was fixed by the Father. “He had nothing to fear, therefore, in Judea from the Jews, until it was the will of God that he should die. He was safe in his hand, and he went fearlessly into the midst of his foes, trusting in him.” (Barnes’ commentary)

Dead or asleep

Through divine insight, Jesus knows Lazarus has died and tells the disciples. But they don’t get it. Maybe they’re wishfully thinking he’s still alive and that sleeping is a good thing. “The Hebrews probably used this form of speech to signify their belief in the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body.” (Clarke’s commentary)

But he’s dead. In God’s divine plan, it was good Lazarus died…so God’s glory would be more greatly magnified by a resurrection. By referring to his death as sleep Jesus was communicating the idea of resurrection, that all will sleep but eventually be raised. Some will be raised to judgment, believers, to eternal life. We can’t miss Jesus’ prediction that He, Himself, would die and be raised.

<- Reflection ->
  • Do you know the Father’s timing? Do you seek it? Our times are in His hands. We have nothing to fear.
  • What will happen to you when you die? Will you “wake up” to eternal life?
Dead or sleeping possom. Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/ *

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