Why Doesn’t Jesus Do Something?

BIBLE INSIGHTS in 500 words


Why Doesn’t Jesus Do Something?
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.

Why didn’t he do something? We know people will play games, put off decisions, dally about, and miss opportunities. God doesn’t play games with us. Yet his ways are not our ways and his timing is not our timing. Jesus receives the message from two sisters that their brother and his dear friend, Lazarus is about to die. Yet Jesus remained for two more days (John 11:6).

  • He didn’t mention the message to the disciples.
  • He didn’t make preparations to go.
  • He didn’t send a message to the sisters assuring them that he was on his way.

What was Jesus doing for those two days? From the rest of the story we know: he was praying. He was seeking with the Father’s will and guidance. He received his answer:

“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).

The death of Jesus and the death of Lazarus are bound together. The resurrection of Lazarus would be his most powerful sign. It would be done in public. This miracle sets in motion his death on the cross.

After receiving guidance from the Father, Jesus announced to the disciples that he was returning to Judea. They were disturbed and understood the danger of this decision.

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back” (vs. 8)

Bethany was only two miles from Jerusalem and to travel so close to the seat of government would be an almost certain death. In this emotional story we the beginning of the end. The chapter opens with Jesus being warned by the disciples (vs. 8) and ends with the High Priest declaring,

“It is better for one man to die for the people than that the whole nation perish” (vs. 50).

Jesus shares a surprising statement when the disciples warn him of the dangers.

“Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.  It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light” (vs. 9-10).

From the context, the meaning:

Jesus is the light.
To walk in the light,
Means to walk with Jesus.

It is at this moment that he tells disciples about Lazarus (vs. 11-15). Thomas, who often received the reputation of being the doubter, demonstrates full loyalty and commitment in this moment. He is willing to follow the Light of Jesus even into the jaws of death. He says,

“Let us also go that we may die with him” (vs. 16).

Thomas demonstrates faith as allegiance to Jesus. Allegiance is “the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign.” For Christians, allegiance is loyalty to the Kingdom of God and King Jesus!


One Reply to “Why Doesn’t Jesus Do Something?”

  1. Lazarus’ death and resurrection as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ own coming death and resurrection is new insight for me.

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