Why did Jesus delay in coming to Lazarus' side?

John 11

After Jesus raises his close friend, Lazarus, from the dead, many believe in Him.


Jesus was ministering on the east side of the Jordan River, about a day's walk from Bethany, when Lazarus fell sick. Messengers were sent to tell Jesus, who waited two days before returning to Bethany. He found that Lazarus had been dead for four days, apparently having died the same day the messengers were dispatched. So Lazarus was dead by the time Jesus learned about his illness. Why, then, did Jesus delay His return for two days? Jesus knew Lazarus' condition. His delay was to heighten the manifestation of the power of God. Jesus called, "Lazarus, come forth!" And Lazarus came forth. The result of this miracle? Many of the Jews believed in Him, and the Son of God was glorified.


As a God, both of power and compassion, we offer Him our praise:

Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever!
Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You (Nehemiah 9:5-6).

Pause for personal praise and thanksgiving. Pray this confession as you seek to keep your life free from sin:

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:17-18).

Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

Now pause to pray this affirmation to the Lord:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

As you make your requests known to the Lord, pray for:

    A stronger desire to be like Christ
    The ministries of your church
    Your activities for the day
    Whatever else is on your heart

Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

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