‘Our friend Lazarus sleepeth;
but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep’, John 11. 11.
He knows! Although the care and concern of Mary and Martha prompted a message to the Lord, it was not needed to acquaint Him with their sad situation. His intimate knowledge of what was affecting the family at Bethany is fully demonstrated when, without the need for a human messenger, He updates those around him of the death of Lazarus, v. 14. He still is intimately acquainted with the personal circumstances of those He loves. He knows!
He cares! It might have been rather surprising to those disciples to hear His initial response. They might have wondered at the reality of His love. Why delay? Why not intervene immediately and restore Lazarus at a distance? Does He care? How carefully the Son of God, the embodiment of divine love, selects His terms, ‘Our friend … sleepeth’. In these terms, He underscores His care for His hearers. He reminds them that He considers their friend to be His friend. It is good to appreciate the care which other believers can bring – a blessing which flows from being in the divine family. However, we should not miss the wonderful truth that He cares too. True consolation is to be found in the appreciation of 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 7, where Peter, who no doubt experienced these events, would remind us that there is nothing to be gained in carrying our anxieties ourselves, since God ‘careth for you’. He still cares!
He is able! While others were ignorant of the true circumstances and of the divine plan that lay behind the events that were unfolding, the Lord Jesus was not only aware of divine purpose but He, and He alone, was able to exercise the power required to accomplish that purpose. No human threat could stand in His way, vv. 8-10. No infernal power would be able to resist the loud and mighty cry of this One when He would stand at the mouth of the tomb of His friend. The great ‘I am’ announces ‘I go, that I may awake him’. He is still able to bring glory to God through our circumstances.
Let us never cease to contemplate the beauty and greatness of our Saviour. He knows! He cares! He is able!
We do hope that the articles in this issue of the magazine will serve to deepen the love of readers for the Saviour and their appreciation of divine truth, and, in so doing, bring honour ‘unto him who hath loved us’. If that is the result, then we can be confident that we have drawn this year’s service in this work to a worthwhile conclusion.