I hope by now that you have read John’s 11th chapter. Can I invite you to read it again after you have read this piece?
Picture yourself at work. Let’s agree on a 5-day period. During that time you will get messages, advice, comments, warnings, questioning and all varieties of conversations. Suppose you are in a situation where your training equips you to know how to fix a problem. Could you try to enter into the feelings of the week when everyone seems to know better and wants you to do things their way?
The Son of Man had a job to do that was unique to him and only he could do. It’s dangerous to reduce his job to a phrase but it certainly had to do with solving the problem the future. Humankind has always been limited by the finite future and the horizon of death.
The Son of Man sets about solving this problem. He knows what he’s doing, he knows how to do it, he knows the steps he has to take, he knows where he has to go.
Now look at four of five days of his work week.
First message – your friend is sick.
Everyone around thinks it would be a good idea for him to respond.
When he decides to go they say, ‘BUT’, then they warn him about the dangers of going.
He explains his friend is asleep, this is misunderstood but he meant dead.
Thomas, one of his followers, in despair, says ‘we’ll go and die with Jesus’.
On arrival Jesus is told, “If only you were here a few days ago.”
In explaining the facts the problem would be solved he is met with only partial replies and partial belief.
He is told a second time, “If only you had been here earlier”.
Observers also comment that he could have helped.
Even when he instructs them, he is told, BUT HE’S DEAD AND HE STINKS.
As soon as he acts he provokes plots to kill him.
Can you see that in the space of one week his timing, his logic, his wisdom, his explanations and his promises are all questioned? Not only that, his actions provoke fierce opposition. No one just goes with his flow. No one just accepts his expertise.
So right in the center of the story John tells you that Jesus is moved and troubled.
There are many layers to this but don’t miss this one. He is exasperated at the constant questioning, doubting and unsolicited advice.
Everyone had a view on how he should handle this week of his life. While he is trying to show them that he is the life.
Everyone wanted to advise him on the next step while he is showing them he is the future.
When the Son of Man says, “I am the life” in this chapter, he is saying, “I am the future”.
No wonder he was moved, troubled and weeping. On a profound level he was weeping for himself as he was trying to bring them to the deep truth that their future was standing among them. It must have been exasperating for him.
And you might also know a little of how it feels if your week is filled with, “Have you thought of this?” “What about that?” Especially if these questions arise in areas where you already have expertise.
But there’s a final thought for you. How much of your time is taken up with prayers, thoughts and feelings which lead you to question God’s timing, God’s strategy, God’s processes and God’s leading? “But this path is dangerous”. “Could you get here more quickly?” “If only you had done this sooner.” “But this problem is too far gone.”
In your week steps the Son of Man who says on Monday, “I am your Tuesday.” And on Tuesday, “I am your Wednesday.” And on Thursday morning, “I am your Thursday afternoon”. The Son of Man says, “I am your next week, month, year and the one who will take you through your funeral. I am the future. I am the life”.
I don’t blame any of the other characters in the week of John eleven, it’s hard to believe, but you and I have much more to go on than they did.
The last 2000 years were full of futures which tell you Jesus is the life.
Have a good week next week.
John 11:25-26, 32-35
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept.
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