Our scripture this week is John 11:1-45.
“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. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 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.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
I wonder if perhaps, just for a short time, Jesus felt guilty about not being there for Lazarus. We know Jesus was as human as we, and felt all the same emotions. Even though Jesus knew He was going to “wake him up” it must have been a little difficult.
Jesus is showing us that in doing what we are called for, there will be things we are unable to do. Sometimes I call these Mutually Exclusive Double Overlapping Obligations. We all know the feeling of being busy, of being pulled in multiple directions by the things we do. Jesus understood this, but He shows us that obedience to God is our primary duty.
Jesus followed the instruction He had from God first and then went to His friend. We can’t do everything, we are bound by our resources and our human limitations. However, when we obey God our efforts can be multiplied, and by doing His will we are blessed.
Gracious God, we are grateful for the call You place on our lives, the gifts to do those tasks and the joy it brings. Help us to be faithful and energetic servants of Your kingdom. Amen.