Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
At first it seemed like Jesus wasn’t doing anything at all. He wasn’t going toward Bethany. He wasn’t healing Lazarus. He wasn’t sending help to Mary and Martha. But even if it seems like He was being inactive, He was actually being very intentional about what He was doing. This particular event challenged the faith of His closest followers. But in the end, this would be something that would solidify their belief in Jesus—as God, as Savior, as Life-giver, as the one who could overcome anything.
This whole situation was for the glory of God, and certainly God was much glorified through this amazing miracle. But at the same time, this event was beneficial to all who would witness it and believe on Jesus and the power that He has over death. Seeing what Jesus did for Lazarus showed them what He could do for them, as well. Bringing a dead man back to life demonstrated that nothing is beyond the reach of Jesus. Nothing is too far gone. There is always hope for life when Jesus is involved.
Jesus wants us to believe in Him fully and completely without any shadow of a doubt. He wants us to know Him in such a way that we trust Him for those impossible things. He wants us to know that our life is found in Him alone. He wants us to see and understand the power He has over those things, like death, that we fear and tremble before. He wants us to know that there is hope for all of us to leave behind the old and come forth into something new.
God has His purposes for every situation that comes into our lives. Sometimes we just have to wait for Him to work. And when He does, He will be glorified, but then our faith can grow, too. This miracle of bringing Lazarus back from the dead ultimately benefited many people. Many of the Jews believed, and surely the faith of the disciples grew. Surely Lazarus and Mary and Martha understood who Jesus was in a deeper, more profound way. And even we today can benefit from knowing that Jesus triumphs over sin and death and the grave, and He can give us new life and help us to believe.