- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read John 11
Jesus has power over life and death.
John witnessed that Jesus is life, “through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” (1:3-4). Raising Lazarus from the dead is the sign that Jesus has power over life and death. Jesus proclaimed himself, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He invited all to life, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die,” the life eternal. And he demanded response, “Do you believe this?”
Jesus raised others from the dead; Jairus’ daughter (Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:41-42, Luke 8:40-56), and a widow’s son (Luke 7:11-15). Raising the dead to life is the sign that Jesus has power over the life and death and it predicts his own suffering, death and resurrection later as the Savior to give life for all.
“Jesus wept.” These two words express divine emotion of compassion, love and care toward human grief and sadness. John witnessed that God in Jesus cares, contrasting to the Greek concept of deity that was popular in that day, gods with no emotions and no involvement into messy human affair. But Jesus expressed deep emotion. He cared for enough to understand human emotion. And we must never be afraid to reveal our true feeling to him. He is the Savior who cares.
In his words, Jesus has power and authority to bring life back from all barriers. First, it was a big stone that closed the tomb. Jesus said, “take away the stone.” Second, it was death. “Lazarus, come out.” The dead man came alive. Third was linen cloth that wrapped his body. “Take off the grace clothes and let him go.” Jesus’ word has power to set free for all who were enslaved under the power of death.
However, Jesus’ power over life and death caused trouble to the Pharisees and the chief priests who feared of Rome’s displeasure that would bring hardship to the nation. They plotted to kill Jesus. John interpreted the high priest, Caiaphas’ statement, “It is better for you that one man dies for the people than that the whole nation perishes,” (v. 50) as prophesy for Jesus’ redemptive death for all.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- “what are things that enslave you, your life?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.