“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 14:1, NLT).
Love speaks. It doesn’t clang. Or give off false hope. It doesn’t come up empty or count how many times you’ve come up short. Been embarrassed. Failed.
Recently I started a book study called “Lazarus Awakening” by Joanna Weaver with my friend and author, Lisa Velthouse. It’s been a while since I’ve done a one-on-one study with someone and I’m really excited to dive in.
We discussed Chapter One: Tale of the Third Follower last week. One of the things that stood out to me was a study on Ephesians 3:17-19.
She wants us to pray, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that SURPASSES KNOWLEDGE—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (NIV).
Did you catch that?
You can’t understand fully (NLT) the love of Christ. No matter how wide, long, high, or deep you can imagine–God’s love is deeper still.
So what does love have to do with the story of Lazarus you ask? [I challenge you to read the entire story in John 11:1-12:11].
In her study in the back of the book, we’re supposed to write out to what stands out the most in this passage and why.
I said, “amidst His [Jesus] ministry, He made time for love.”
Jesus was about ready to go to the cross. It’s not like He wasn’t busy. It’s not like dying for the sins of all mankind left him with plenty of free time.
Of all people Jesus knew what it was like to have “places to go, people to see, and things to do.”
…And yet He made time for Lazarus.
I love that Joanna makes us think in this book. She pointed out that Lazarus had no speaking lines. Martha (Lazarus’ sister) is the one who gets all the crap for making Jesus (or trying anyway) to get her sister, Mary to help her with the dishes. And Mary is the one who famously broke her perfume jar over Jesus feet and WORSHIPED Him. Or Prepped Him for burial really.
So what did Lazarus do?
At least we’re not told exactly what it is.
We have to guess it was something.
“So the sisters (Martha & Mary) sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick'” (John 11:3, NIV). Verses later it says after He went and saw the place where Lazarus was buried, “Jesus wept.” Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” – John 11:35-36, NIV
When was the last time you felt God’s love?
Experienced it perhaps?
Was it because you did something? Because you were famous? Maybe you even wrote a book like me. According to the Bible, you don’t need to do anything. God already loves us and died for us.
Thank God today for His glorious resurrection, and that even when He was faced with the single most horrifying event in His life–He still took time to let love speak.
“When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go'” (John 11:43-44, NIV).
Heaven awaits for those who’s names are found in the Book of Life. In the end it’s not about if love wins or not.
Will Jesus speak your name?
“And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15, NLT).