Tag Archives: Lazarus

Jesus Wept

But who were the tears for?

The Raising Of Lazarus By Vincent van Gogh

It is related to us in John 11: 1-44,  that after Jesus was told that Lazarus, brother of Mary & Martha, was ill, that he did not go immediately to them in Judea; He stayed another 2 days in Jerusalem. Upon His arrival, we learn that Lazarus was already dead had been interred four days earlier. It seems then , from the timeline we are presented with, it was almost a week after being told about Lazarus, before Jesus went to see the ones’ he loved.

When Jesus arrived in Judea, He wep(John 11: 35) at the news of Lazarus’ death; but why?

Jesus knew that the power of the Father, through the Holy Spirit could resurrect Lazarus. Knowing this, it seems unlikely His tears were for Lazarus, so who were they for? Might they be tears of shame, that he allowed not only the suffering of Lazarus until death but also the suffering of Mary and Martha, all of which He could have prevented.

Perhaps His tears were for Mary and Martha, for what they had endured, after all untill He called Lazarus from the Tomb, they probably thought He’d let them all down.

Maybe it was because He new the resurrection of Lazarus would be in vain. Maybe he knew that Lazarus woud be executed in the future by the Pharisees (John 12: 10). He might have been hoping his delay would save Mary and Martha from even more pain and suffering, but when He got there emotion took over and He felt compassion for Mary and Martha and compelled to do something.

We’ll never know. I just offer a possibility.

Intercession Prayer for Sunday 2nd April 2017

The Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Father God, young or old, rich or poor, we are all Your children. You welcome us into your home, so let us extend that welcome on Your behalf to those we reach in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. We offer this prayer in His name.

Our Prime Minister has notified the European Union of Britain’s intent to withdraw. We pray that negotiation of departure be conducted with honesty and good will. May our separate futures be in peace, prosperity and harmony.

Though we chose a different path, Father let us remain welcoming to European citizens who chose to make their home here. Give us wisdom to see the benefits they bring to our wellbeing and prosperity.

We pray for everyone undertaking an initiative or challenge during this Lent. Support them in their efforts, guide and bless them through the lenten time.

John says Jesus shed tears with Mary and Martha as they grieved the death of their brother, Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Father God we ask that you strengthen anyone grieving today for the death of someone they loved. Support them by Your Holy Spirit as they adjust to their changed circumstances and life.

Today especially we pray for the souls of the 24 dead, their families and more than 70 injured by the terrorist bomb on Friday in Parachinar, in Pakistan.

Healing Father who cares for everyone unwell or in pain, we pray that in Your wisdom You comfort and strengthen them. Guide those who will care for them.

Father in Heaven, forgive what we have done that gave you sadness, and those things we should have done that would have brought you joy. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide us to bring Joy by Creating Connections with those who do not know you.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Download and print this prayer.

Rich Man Poor Man

“Money is the root of all evil.”

Drawing by an anonymous master on parchment

Drawing by an anonymous master on parchment

Actually no, money is not the root of all evil. Like so many other people frequently do, I misquoted the passage from 1 Timothy 6: 10. What it actually says is “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (UKNIV).

In Luke 16 we are told about a rich man, who is never named, and a beggar called Lazarus. When lazarus died he “was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom” or put another way, he was taken to Heaven. The rich man also died and went to hell, but could see Lazarus in heaven.

The rich man appealed to Abraham to have mercy, and send Lazarus with water. When that failed he appealed again, this time that Lazarus be sent to his brothers, to warn them not to make the same mistakes he does.

There are a couple of interesting points within Luke 16, and I make them here with thanks to Rev. Bev. For her sermon.

Firstly, the rich man in this passage is not dignified by being named. He is referred to only as “a certain rich man” or “the rich man”. The poor man, we know, is called Lazarus.

Lazarus was often at the rich man’s gate. He was starving and would have been happy just to beget the leavings of the rich man’s table. The rich man gave him nothing. It is fair to assume, I think, that the rich man could easily have fed Lazarus and hardly noticed a loss, yet he chose not to do so. It seems he ignored Lazarus.

After their deaths, while the rich man is appealing for help he uses Lazarus’ name to Abraham. By calling the poor man by name, it is clear that the rich man knew Lazarus, knew his situation. He actively chose not to help lazarus, so he could not claim ignorance.

The reason, it seems to me, that the rich man was condemned to hell had nothing to do with the money he had. It had everything to do with how he chose to use his money. Or, in this situation, not use his money. It seemed all he wanted to do was hoard his wealth.

Wealth that is just hoarded, not put to use, is effectively a wasted. In relation to his wealth, it would have cost the rich man a negligible sum to relieve the beggar. Lazarus’, suffering. Jesus isn’t telling us that money is a bad thing, only that what we do or don’t do with it can be bad, if we don’t use it properly

An Unexpected Visitor

A re-telling of Luke 10: 38 – 41

Diego Rodríguez da Silva y Velázquez 1599 – 1660

Glancing out of the window by chance, the sisters saw him approaching their home. Going to the door they opened it just moments before he was about to knock. Mary and Martha invited Jesus into their home, even though their brother, Lazarus, was away at that time.

After welcoming him in, Martha went to the kitchen to finish some chores and prepare a meal, leaving Mary to make their guest comfortable. She expected Mary to come and help her, after seeing to their guest’s needs but half an hour later thee was no sign of Mary, who seemed to be leaving Martha to do the chores.

When Martha looked through the kitchen doorway, she saw Mary sitting at the feet of their guest, seemingly hanging on to his every word as he spoke. Martha could feel her ire rising. She started rattling and banging pots and pans as she worked in their kitchen, hoping her sister might hear and take the hint.’Why does my sister Mary do nothing, leaving me to do all the work’, Martha thought ‘Time she got up and helped me, instead of sitting there like a student learning from a teacher’.

Eventually, Martha became really angry and stormed out of the kitchen determined to vent her frustration but she didn’t speak directly to Mary of her annoyance. It wasn’t just that her sister wasn’t helping her but she had not kept to custom. By sitting at Jesus feet, Mary was behaving like a man.

Martha asked Jesus to send her sister to help with the work. She was hot, tired and aggravated at having to do it all on her own. Jesus didn’t send Mary to help Martha, instead he told Martha she was too pre-occupied with doing things that could wait, and was not doing what was most important.