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Posts Tagged ‘Tabitha’

LazarusSix days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. [John 12:1-2]

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, not only to celebrate the Passover, but undoubtedly he knew, he was going to his suffering and death. On the way, he stopped to be with friends. These were not necessarily disciples as we have no record that Lazarus and and his sisters followed Jesus in his travels. They were, instead, a home base, a place of rest.

I find it amusing that John would mention that Martha served, this very same Martha who Jesus chastised for becoming overly upset about serving while her sister sat at his feet listening (that would have been weeks earlier). I believe it is mentioned intentionally because this was still Martha’s way. Jesus never intended for Martha to stop being Martha, but to simply stop comparing herself to others and stop stressing. She was good at what she did but Jesus wanted her to check her priorities. I can relate to that, the Martha that I am. And so, on this final trip, his  final visit to their home, Martha served her Rabbi and Lord.

But the continuing story of Lazarus has always fascinated me the most (undoubtedly because of my love for fantasy and science fiction). In Romans 6:9, Paul writes about Jesus, “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.” And I cannot help but wonder, what happened to the ones Jesus raised from the dead (Lazarus was not the only one, there were a few others)? What was life like afterwards? Did they have awareness of death and then life again? Was there a sense of destiny, a role that needed to be fulfilled by coming back? Did Jesus charge them with a job to do? Did Lazarus die again? Did the widow’s son or Jairus’s daughter, Tabitha, die again?

I’m just asking.

And why did Jesus weep at the death of Lazarus? He delayed coming to the sick bed of Lazarus on purpose. He knew Lazarus was dying. And yet, when Jesus finally arrived in the midst of the raw grief and shock of Mary and Martha, Jesus weeps (John 11:35). So much is assumed is about his weeping, but I am not so sure it is merely for his love for Lazarus. Instead, I believe (and this is pure conjecture on my part) that Jesus wept because of the symbolism that Lazarus’s raising implied. Jesus was seeing himself, for he too would walk from a grave and the stone rolled away.

But Lazarus did not come out with a different body, at least, there is no indication that he could transport himself or walk through walls. In fact, this is the last time we hear of Lazarus at all, reclining at table with his friend, his Rabbi, his Lord.

Is Lazarus still here? I don’t know. But what a story that would be, what an adventure. It’s on my list of tales to write.

 

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Acts 9:40
Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

Some say that the person who is sick must have faith in order to receive a healing. But doesn’t this story contradict that idea? Tabitha could not have had anything in mind–she was dead. Well, then, they say, the person praying must have great faith. But there are examples in scripture where a person is healed only by touching the garment of Jesus or one of the disciples.

Let’s face it. Healing is a mystery. And so is death and illness.

Why do some get sick and some not? Why do some die from their illness and some not? We will never know.

It is God who heals and not we, ourselves, no matter how much faith we have. God is sovereign and God chooses. In most cases, healing and resurrection have a longer reach than just a benefit for the person healed or raised from the dead. Either Jesus was building faith in his followers or he was removing the veil from the eyes of the unbelievers that they might see and believe.

There are a few instances when Jesus specifically told the healed person not to tell. My guess would be that these healings were for the witnesses present and would not serve to rouse faith in non-believers. In other words, there was no point in telling because nothing would come out of it.

What does all this mean for me today? I wish I knew. I know in my heart if I could consistently hear God’s voice within, I would know how to pray for those who are sick (emotionally and physically). But, heck, I can’t even hear His voice to find a misplaced book, much less broker health.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of my favorite photographers, said that he would hear the word “yes” in his mind whenever he was looking through the viewfinder. And in that moment, he would know that he had captured something meaningful. I believe this “yes” is the same voice for healing.

Lord, as I pray for others, speak your “yes” that I might hear and the sick made well. Give me confidence to pray. And may every healing bring your kingdom closer to our hearts.

I pray again today for Kim G, Vanessa M, Anne W, Sarah W, Rebecca M, Becky T, Jeff B, Chelsea A, John, Janis U, and Lily B.

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