“Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well”  Luke 8:50

So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was……. John 11:6

Panic; and understandably so.  A man’s daughter is laying on her death-bed and no one has been able to help her.  Two sisters are watching their brother die, before their eyes and again the end seems inevitable.  In both cases they run to Jesus.  Both come to Jesus, initially in an act of faith.  Two of the gospels quote Jarius as initially stating that he believed, if Jesus would just lay His hands on His daughter, she would be made well.  In the case of Lazarus, Jesus was informed of his illness by two sisters, whom knew and were known well by Jesus.  They also believed that Jesus had the ability to heal their brother from his otherwise terminal condition.

Then, in both cases, Jesus was delayed.  In the case of Jarius, it seemed to be an unplanned delay.  Jesus was on His way to Jarius’ house.  Then He stopped.  Someone had touched Him and Jesus asks who it was that touched him.  We don’t know what Jarius’ reaction to Jesus stopping was.  We can imagine that there might have been some frustration and increased fear.  We do know, that at Jesus’ question about who had touched him, some of his disciples felt the situation and question was ridiculous.  “Master, the multitudes, throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”  Luke 8:45.  Yet Jesus was undeterred.  It was vital for the woman who was healed to know that, it was not just Jesus touch, but her faith in coming to Jesus, that had made her well.  And in that delay, disaster for Jarius struck.  They come and tell him to trouble Jesus no more; his child is dead.  It is not Jarius who declares:  “No, I know that Jesus can still save her!”.  We can only imagine that he is inconsolable in grief.  It is Jesus, hearing the declaration, knowing that He had stopped on the way, who, if He were using today’s language might start off:  Trouble?, It is no trouble at all but do not be afraid………”  Jesus knew that His delay with the woman was going to have no impact on the eventual outcome with Jarius daughter what so ever.

In the case of Lazarus, Jesus delay is not unplanned, it was intentional.  He knew Lazurus was sick and dying and stayed put for two whole days.  It is interesting when Jesus does arrive and Lazurus has been dead for days, that there is no anamosity in the sisters’ discussion with Jesus.  They state that they know that Jesus could have saved their brother and it would seem that because Jesus waited he intentionally let him die.  Yet one of the sisters, Martha makes a declaration: “but even now I know whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”  John 11:21

The end of both of these cases is the same; Jesus restores life.  In both cases, Jesus had a perfect reason for delaying His response to the initial cry for help.  In both cases the delay made no difference in the eventual outcome.  Also, in both cases, Jesus makes the declaration to lay aside the doubts and the certainties of this world (for we here one of the two certainties of this world are death and taxes) and to believe in Him.  I would be remiss at this point, I think, if I didn’t add a clarification that I am not trying to make the case for the fact that no one should have a physical death, if they just pray or believe enough.  Conversely, if someone has a physical death, it is because there was a lack of belief somewhere.  Jesus tells us that the Father has each of our hairs numbered and for those that confess Jesus is the Christ on earth, Jesus will confess to Our Father.  So it seems to me that there is a transition plan for each of us; from this life to the next and we can be a peace knowing that plan exists.

So, we should know this.  As believers, when we call upon Jesus Christ; He will come!  He will come, in His own time and that timing is perfect.  His coming may take many forms.  It may take the form of healing.  Or, as He promised, it may take the form of other blessings, as in, Blessed are that they mourn, for they shall be comforted.  What does Jesus Christ ask?  Only that we believe on Him.

We live in a world that cries out for instantaneous solutions.  If we don’t get an immediate result, we are to try something else until we achieve the result we are looking for.  We are taught, in the end, it us up to us to get what we want.  Finally, we are also taught, in this world, to seek to blame those responsible for standing in the way of getting those results.  Jesus Christ teaches something totally different.  Jesus teaches that, it is not only acceptable to ask, but preferrable to ask of Our Heavenly Father, in Jesus Name.  Jesus Christ teaches that, in the asking, believe that Our Heavenly Father will respond.  Finally, believe that Our Heavenly Father’s response is perfect.

Dear Heavenly Father; teach us to believe, to ask and to be patient in our waiting; in full knowledge that You will hear us and respond to us in Your Perfect Time.  Also knowing that at all times; You Love us.  That in this knowledge, we will live a life of praise to Your Holy Name; in Jesus Christ we pray.