Day 36: John 11:1-6

Responding with Delay

John gives the account of Jesus’ most dramatic and powerful miracle in His entire ministry raising Lazarus from the dead after he had been in the tomb for four days and his body was beginning to decompose.  Martha and Mary send word of his condition to Jesus, expecting that the Master will drop everything and rush to their brother’s bedside, heal his malady, and thereby snatch him from the jaws of death.  But Jesus does not respond as they expected, and Lazarus dies.  The two sisters are perplexed, as are those who have come to mourn with them.  Martha’s and Mary’s struggles are the same issues we must deal with in our lives…. death.

Jesus responds, “This sickness will not end in death, but is for God’s glory, so that the Son may be glorified through it.”  Jesus is not assuring these women that Lazarus won’t die.  He’s assuring them that even though Lazarus will die, this will not be the end of the matter.  He is informing them that his delay in responding has a divinely intended purpose- to bring glory to the Father through the glorification of the Son of God. 


  1. In what area of your spiritual growth do you need to be more patient and persistent?
  2. The key to understanding the death of Lazarus is directly related to the glory of God. What is it that glorifies God at the time of death which helps explain why our Lord purposed to let Lazarus die when he could have been healed?
  3. Does God always shield His friends from sorrow?


Holy God,

I am seeking your peace and your patience. I want to learn to wait patiently for you to bring your answers to my prayers. I want to cooperate with your plans for me. Thank you for assuring me that your plans for me are good.

In Jesus Name