Sunday, August 22, 2004

Magic Tricks

We've been studying John in our adult Bible class at church and today we came to the story of Lazarus. When Jesus sends the messenger back to the sisters with promise that Lazarus would live, most likely what they heard was "Lazarus will not die." This message probably came after Lazarus had already lay dead several days. Was their faith misplaced? Was Jesus just a man after all?

It's so easy to read this story from our clued-in point of view. We know what's going to happen. Reminds me of a little kid trying to impress some adults with a magic trick. Of course we know how the trick is done, and that it's only a trick and nothing more. Quarters cannot be produced from ears anymore than rabbits can be pulled out of hats. And yet, don't we often find ourselves slightly convinced, even for a second, by slight of hand, especially if the trick is done well enough?

Isn't that how it is with us as Christians who possess the word of God and know how the story ends? We know Jesus waited purposely for a few days before returning to Bethany. We know Lazarus' death was part of His eternal plan, and that He intended to restore Lazarus to life. We know God's glory was Christ's ultimate purpose. So why, if we know the rest of the story, are we caught off guard today when our faith is being put to the test?

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