Devotional Reading: John 12: 1-10. Morning Psalm 22; Evening Psalm 105.
Text: So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well. (v. 10)
While recently leading a Bible study one of the men in the group said, “Jesus was quite radical; you could say He was revolutionary, even today.” I agreed and added, “There’s a reason He was crucified.”
In today’s devotional reading from John’s gospel we learn of a plot to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus? “Why Lazarus?”, we may wonder. The reason is really quite simple–his very presence was witness to Jesus as the Messiah. He was, therefore, a threat. He had to go.
I believe that we 21st century followers of Jesus–when we take Him seriously, are willing to give ourselves away for the glory of God, and awaken the “dead” from their captive tombs of poverty, war, famine and the like–will also be threatened, even unto death in our faith journey. Comfortable people do not like to have the proverbial “apple cart” turned over. Any threat to the “status quo” will result in some degree of sabotage, either intentional or unintentional.
As I reflect upon this reading I am reminded of something that happened earlier, in the 11th chapter of John’s gospel. When Jesus decided to return to Jerusalem, the disciples warned him of the danger that lay in that ancient city. When the Jesus would not to be dissuaded, Thomas–sometimes called “Doubting Thomas” –stood with the Savior and said, “Let us to with Him that we, too, may die.” Such discipleship. Such conviction. Such surety. Such faith. May we, too, possess that faith.
Lord, strengthen my heart so that as I walk the path of Lent I, too, might have the faith of Thomas. Let me be bold in my discipleship doing the work of Jesus, even when it is dangerous or unpopular. Amen.