January 22 – Prayers of Jesus – For the Faith of Others

Read John 11:1-46

Do you ever take the time to think of your family dynamic? Sure, there are some obvious common trends throughout all of you, but aren’t there some differences as well? It’s funny how people who spend so much time around each other can be so different in some ways.

The same is true with the Lawson household. My dad (Pastor Dave) is an intellectual. To this day, he’s the smartest guy I know. My older sister inherited Dad’s smarts. She always did well in school and enjoyed learning so much so that she is now a teacher to 6th grade students in Indiana. My younger brother and I, however, could take or leave school. We got good grades but weren’t over the moon about learning.

It showed when we solicited educational help from Dad. There were many times where he was explaining something to me but I just wasn’t getting it. Sure, it was black and white for Dr. Dave but for me, I wasn’t able to connect the dots. No matter how hard I tried, there were some things that just didn’t make sense.

As I read John 11, I can’t help but see that the village of Bethany was struggling to connect the dots that Jesus was laying out for them.

A friend of Jesus’ brother was sick and close to death. When this was brought to Jesus’ attention, He simply responds with:

“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Seems simple and straightforward, doesn’t it?

Jesus responds to the news by staying in the town He was in for two more days.

Doesn’t seem like He’s in too much of a rush does it?

As they’re about to head out for Bethany, Jesus says:

“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

After these last two quotes from Jesus, you would think that Jesus is up to something and that Lazarus, even if he is, in fact, dead, won’t be for long, right?

For us, the dots are connected, but for Jesus’ disciples and the people of Bethany, they are confused.

When Jesus finally arrives to Lazarus’ tomb, the shortest verse in the Bible states that:

“Jesus wept.”

Now, there is some speculation as to the reasoning behind Jesus’ display of emotion. Obviously, there is the very real possibility that Jesus is weeping over the loss of His friend. However, others think the reason is the lack of faith of those around Him.

Jesus is trying to proclaim who He is (Son of God, promised Messiah, etc.) and people just aren’t getting it. Eventually, you read that people end up believing in Jesus as a result of Him coming back to life.

We need to care about the faith of others just as Jesus did. Do you see people struggling to connect the dots of faith in their life? Do you see the connections while they are missing the picture? In what way can you help them?

People need to see Jesus for who He is and make Him the leader of their life. May we pray for others with the same heart of Jesus!

Jake Lawson

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