God’s Timing is Always Right

John 11:1-16
by Linda Alexander

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

Our ways are not God’s ways….  I’ve heard that statement many times when something did not occur like I thought it might.  I’m sure Mary and Martha were thinking the same thing in our passage for today.  Lazarus, their brother was ill and Mary and Martha knew Jesus could heal Lazarus so it was a no brainer– as they say- to call Jesus to come and help.  After all, that is what good friends do for one another.  They help if they can.  But Jesus does something Mary and Martha were not expecting.  He waited two whole, long, dreadfully fearful days before he traveled to Bethany where the family was.  And in waiting those two days, Lazarus dies and Mary and Martha’s world comes crashing down.  Been there before?  You need something to happen or not happen and the exact opposite occurs.  You wonder WHY; Why did things happen the way they did?  Sometimes the picture is bigger than we realize.

Jesus explains why he waits the two days to travel to Bethany.  “ This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (vs. 4).  We think things should occur like we have them planned.  Mary and Martha had it all planned out that Jesus would come and save Lazarus, but that is not what happened.  But something even greater happened.  Jesus came, raised Lazarus from the dead and many people believed in Jesus as the Son of God.

God was glorified because of the timing.  His Son—Jesus Christ–was also glorified because of the delay and the death of Lazarus.  Without a shadow of a doubt, people knew Jesus was the Son of God when he raised Lazarus from the dead.

Even though we don’t think so, sometimes, God’s timing is perfect.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your timing.  The things I want to occur in the time I want is not always best.  Thank you for keeping me faithful in the tough times when I am questioning the timing of things.  You are indeed in control.


Linda Alexander
Professor of Education

John 11: 1-16

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

About the author

Kelvin St. John

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