“Going away and believing …”
We read yesterday of the incredible drama of the raising of Lazarus to life again. Their reaction to this event was the ultimate challenge to everyone! It produced opposite reactions – just like there are opposite reactions today to belief in Christ and God.
In today’s readings we see the outworking of those reactions! Following the news of Lazarus coming out of the tomb, alive after being dead four days, there is a big council meeting of Jewish leaders, this even includes “the chief priests”. They put blindfolds on their minds as to the wonder of what had happened, instead they said,
“What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” (John 11:47,48).
Amazing! No denying that it happened. Tragically they had a total obsession with their own position and importance. Today it is the same, just about everyone is totally self-centred. Is this spirit affecting you and I?
There is a plot to kill Lazarus!
“The chief Priests made plans to put Lazarus to death because, on account of him, many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus” (12:10).
Later in the chapter we read,
“many of the authorities believed in him but for fear of the Pharisees did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue for they loved the glory that comes from man …” (verses 42,43).
Today there is a renewed attack (in the Western world) on anything to do with believing there is a God, a Creator of any kind! Believers are again open to ridicule. Academics, who are confident they have the answer (or at least acceptable opinions) to everything about how the world began, compete among themselves for the “glory” they can receive from each other and from the public with their notions.
Note what verse 48 records of Jesus’ words,
“The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day”.
Words of Jesus that prompt our deepest meditation! We will be held accountable for our reaction to what we read in God’s word. How carefully and prayerfully we should read to make sure we understand it, so that we are “going away and believing”, acting and speaking in ways which show we do – as we travel along the pathways of life each day.