That God’s works might be revealed (3.29.2020)

March 31, 2020

Over the past two weeks, we’ve heard stories of Jesus doing things that aren’t supposed to be possible. He restored the sight of the man born blind, and that was something that hadn’t ‘happened since the world began’. Today we hear the story of the raising of Lazarus. In another time we see a foreshadowing of the resurrection – God’s power over sin and death – but I think there’s another message for us here today.

In the passage from last week, the disciples asked Jesus the question, ‘Who sinned that this man was born blind?’ In today’s story, Jesus comes to Judea to see Mary and Martha even though he knows that he will come after Lazarus is dead. In both of these stories, the pain – the blindness and death – that was simply the place where Jesus did his work. It’s not that Jesus didn’t have compassion for the people in the grief. He clearly had love for the blind man. Twice the gospel says that Jesus was deeply grieved at Lazarus’ death.

One lesson we can get from these passages is that Jesus did his work, not in spite of the pain of the world, but in and among the pain of the world. We are living in a time when that pain is on display. Already, we are seeing efforts to blame people for the pain. And human nature being what it is, I’m sure we will see many more scapegoats as the days go by. But that’s like asking the question – who sinned? Jesus is clear that’s not the question. The question is how will God’s glory be revealed?

Jesus revealed God’s glory in the healing of the man born blind. Jesus revealed God’s glory in the raising of Lazarus. Jesus revealed God’s glory in his victory over death and the grave.

We have been given the gift of adoption into Jesus’ family. We are heirs with him of the kingdom of Heaven. Friends, we are the Body of Christ here on earth.  And we are here in a place of pain that I don’t think any of us could have imagined a year ago. So how are we going to reveal the glory of God?

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