“When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” — John 11:4
There is a tension in John 11 between the people’s desire for Lazarus to not die and Jesus’ plan to use His death to bring glory to God. Despite pressure from His close friends and disciples to quickly go and heal Lazarus to keep him from dying, Jesus deliberately delays by two days. While Jesus delays, Lazarus dies and everyone is quite disappointed with Him (v.21,32,37).
Despite the pressure they placed on Him and the disappointment they expressed when He failed to live up to their expectations, Jesus was more concerned about:
- the glory of God (v.4,40),
- living on God’s timetable (v.9-10),
- building His disciple’s faith (v.15), and
- causing people to believe that He was sent by God (v.4,42,45).
We experience similar tension. On one hand, people have expectations for us and put pressure on us to do certain things. On the other hand, we know that we need to be living to glorify God and see people believe on Jesus. The glory of God and His timetable always need to drive our agenda, not the opinions or the pressure of people.
So, who are we living for? The Lord and His mission or people and their opinions. Ultimately, things worked out far better for everyone in John 11 when Jesus did what God wanted Him to do, but He had to have the strength and the focus to keep following the Lord even when everyone around Him wanted Him to take a different path.