Devotional Reading: John 12: 9-19. Morning Psalm 119: 73-80; Evening Psalm 121
Text: When the crowd learned that Jesus was there, they came not only because of Him but because of Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was because of him that many followed Jesus. (vss. 9-11)
Several years ago a colleague at a neighboring church shared a bit of clergy wisdom with me, “If you go after the poor the rich will come after you.” By that he meant that if you minister to the least, the last and the lost, the wealthy will support your ministry. All of us want to live a lives of influence. We want to make a difference.
But the more I repeated his insight, it dawned on me that there is a more ominous meaning to his wisdom. They will come after you can also mean, “they will try to stop you”. As long as the comfortable do not feel threatened, they’re supportive. But if they feel threatened, watch out.
And so it was with Jesus and Lazarus. When Jesus came into Lazarus’ life with a “new” life, Lazarus became a “threat”. The powerful already had Jesus in their sights, now they had Lazarus there, as well.
In Christian ministry whenever we repair the breaches in life, whenever someone is set free, someone else is threatened. This is true for Christians and non-Christians alike; from Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Anwar Sadat. There are those who thrive on the world’s brokenness. But as followers of Jesus, we must be true to our calling and be “repairers of the breach.” (Isaiah 58:12) We must be true even to the Cross.
Lord, when my courage falters, give me strength and guidance and wisdom. Keep me mindful of the fact that I live my life under Your Providential Care. Amen.