“In Accord With God’s Will” (1 John 5: 14, NEB) by Carley Evans


“We can approach God with confidence for this reason: if we make requests which accord with His will He listens to us; and if we know that our requests are heard, we know also that the things we ask for are ours.”

Lazarus falls ill.

Martha sends a message to Jesus, telling Him that His friend, Lazarus is sick. Jesus knows that “this illness will not end in death; [but] has come for the glory of God.” (John 10: 4) Therefore, He deliberately waits two days.

Lazarus dies.

Mary stays at home. Martha seeks Jesus, saying: “If You had been here, sir, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will grant You.”

Jesus promises Lazarus will rise again.

Martha tells Mary that Jesus is looking for her.

Mary – who Jesus forgives much, so that she loves much — comes to the place where Jesus is. When she sees Him, she falls at His feet and testifies: “O sir, if you had only been here my brother would not have died.” Mary and her companions are weeping.

Jesus weeps.

Jesus says, “Do I not tell you that if you have faith you see the glory of God?” (John 11: 41)

The stone is rolled away, and Jesus raises His dead friend with a “great cry: ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ ”

The confidence Mary and Martha show in Jesus’ ability and willingness to save Lazarus from death is valid. They are correct — if Jesus comes while Lazarus is ill, then Lazarus does not die. But Jesus waits, confident Himself that Lazarus’ death and subsequent resurrection is “for [the] good [of Mary and Martha and others] and for the good of [their] faith.” (John 11: 15)

Jesus knows they are to “see the glory of God” which is indeed “in accord with God’s will.”