John 11:1-7 & 18-22 “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judæa again . . . Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
In John 16, Jesus tells His disciples that there are some things worth knowing; the knowledge of truth would yield peace in days to come. He said it another way in John 8:32, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In days of fear and uncertainty; the possession of enlightenment can generate a sufficient peace and contentment that will carry one across the finish line!
The little family of Bethany has discovered those turbulent days of which our Lord had spoken; “ye shall have tribulation.” The unwanted visitor of terminal illness had entered the home and was in the process of bearing their beloved brother away. How were they to deal with this common tragedy? Unlike the common lump of humanity, they were armed with a friend, and the facts; they were in possession of some things worth knowing.
They knew their friend’s passion, “Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” There is a subtle truth here that is often missed; the knowledge of the Lord’s love was not just practical, but personal! Note that the sisters declared that Lazarus was loved before they declared that he was sick. In verse 3 we have the testimony of the saint and in verse 5, the testimony of the Saviour. It is not just enough to be convinced that Jesus loves mankind; it is being armed with the fact that Jesus loves “ME.”
They knew their friend’s purpose, “for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” They knew that they were more than a segment of society that had been caught up in a chaotic disturbance that lay outside the control of God or man. These ladies took comfort in knowing that they were part of a divine plan that would ultimately bring maxim glory to their God! It was not just that God had a purpose, but they were an active ingredient in that purpose.
They knew their friend’s power, “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” It is not just that they have a personal friend that loves them and wants to do something to aid them in their time of difficulty and distress; they are armed with the fact that He has sufficient resources to meet their needs. Their God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
While we may not be able to insulate ourselves from the disturbances of life, we can arm ourselves with a friend and the facts; for there are some things worth knowing.