Something has crossed my mind periodically over the past couple months – the story of Lazarus. I thought about it as I listened to myself wonder why people hated me when I didn’t say or do anything to them. I read his story again today (John 11). Here was a follower of Jesus that believed on Him. He fell sick, died and was raised from the dead. As much as we talk about this story, we don’t often talk about some of the other details. I looked and realized I barely know anything about this character. I only know him because he’s the brother of Mary and Martha. I don’t know his age, his place in the family, what he does or even if he testified and spoke openly or preached about Jesus. For all I know, Lazarus was mute!
One thing I do know – he believed on Jesus. (John 11:25 “25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”) Jesus called Lazarus to awaken from death and come from the grave. Many were excited about another miracle Jesus performed, but Lazarus was a walking testimony of Jesus’s power over death and helped many to believe on Jesus.
John 12:9-11 “9Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 10But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; 11Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.”
Do you see that? Lazarus’s very existence was a threat to the Pharisees and others looking to get rid of Jesus. It wasn’t his eloquent speech. It wasn’t his donations. It wasn’t his good deeds or ability to obey commands. His belief on Jesus was the trigger for the other events. Jesus using him to bring glory to God the Father is what marked him and caused people to hate him and want to kill him. All Lazarus did was believe Jesus and die! Why was his death wanted? – because he was a reminder of Who Jesus is and his being used by God is what prompted others to follow Jesus!
Our purposes are going to be different here as each part of the body has a different function. You may feel insignificant because you don’t have a platform to “preach”, but Jesus has a use for everyone. Your purpose may be a quiet testimony among those in your circle. It’s small, but it’s vital because Heaven will celebrate as those you influence come into the family of God! Your family or friends may distance themselves or turn on you because of your faith. I don’t know your situation, but keep your faith, believe, allow God to work through you so He may be glorified. There’s a happy ending coming!