1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died,15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
• What are some ways in which God has redeemed painful experiences in my life “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through [them]”?
• Are there any seemingly hopeless situations in my life through which Jesus may be glorified?
• Jesus said he was glad at how events turned out “so that you may believe.” Considering the fact that these were his disciples who had followed him all along, and already believed in Jesus, what can we learn about the nature of believing?
John 11:8, 12 & 16
• The disciples seemed preoccupied with safety concerns (v. 8), and then misunderstood Jesus (v. 12) and the situation (v. 16). Think about the role of fear in affecting people’s perception of reality or in hearing God’s word accurately. What are some fears that may be having a similar effect on my life right now?