Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins


John 11:47-48 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
The Miracle
Lazarus the friend of Jesus and the brother of Mary and Martha has just been raised from the dead.  No one there at the time could dispute the reality of this miracle because the sisters, the disciples and the mourners were there as eyewitnesses.  In addition, the Lord had waited four days after Lazarus died and was buried to raise him.  Even the Pharisees accepted the fact that this miracle occurred.  The only problem was that it proved that this Jesus had the power of life and death.  John the Baptist had said that He was the Son of God and the disciples said He was the Messiah.  But unfortunately, that didn’t fit with the plans of those who had political power.  They were the leaders of the Jewish worship, but they only used religion to control the people.  It is obvious that they did not have faith in the God that they said that they worshipped.  And now, the One who was proving Himself to be very God was getting in the way of their plans.  So they conspired to get rid of the Lord.  The unbelievers believed in His miracles but they did not believe in Him.

Faulty Thinking
If the Lord could raise Lazarus from the dead could He not have dealt with the foolishness of the Pharisees?  Of course He could have.  But He came to die, not to reign.  Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:11 that the Spirit of Christ testified prophetically of the sufferings of Christ and of the glories that would FOLLOW.  Isaiah had called the Lord a Man of Sorrows in Isaiah 53:3.  Psalm 22 speaks of the piercing of his hands and his feet.  All of the lambs of the Old Testament point to a substitutionary death to put away sin.  The Lord had to die.  But before He died, He had to prove that He was Who He claimed to be.  And this notable miracle was the miracle of all miracles.

Others in the Bible raised the dead.  So the Lord could have been considered to be just a great prophet.  But the Lord had claimed to be one with the Father, the Son of God, the eternal Word, and the Creator.  This along with His miracles, particularly with this miracle, should have made the Pharisees sit up and take notice.  But they were more concerned with their position and authority than they were with the welfare of the people.
My Thinking
I wonder what my attitude would have been if I had seen this miracle.  I am a skeptic and very suspicious.  You could easily convince me that  911 was a government conspiracy to start a war in Iraq.  You could convince me that the murder of President Kennedy was a government sponsored plot.  Now I want you to take notice that I didn’t say that what I could be convinced of  is actually true, but these things do go through my mind.  So if the Lord had been available and I had needed healing or a child raised from the dead, would I have come to Him and let Him do what He had proven He could do?  Or would I have been afraid that in coming to the Lord, I would be opening up myself and my family to demonic oppression if not demonic possession.  I don’t know.

I notice that those who really believed in the Lord, came to Him and listened to Him.  Mary, Martha and Lazarus had him in their home on numerous occasions.  Nicodemus came at night and listened to what the Lord had to say.  I am glad that faith doesn’t come by seeing miracles though they can be a real attention getter.  Faith comes by hearing what God has to say.  John 5:24 is clear on that point as is Romans 10:17.  I am glad that it is the word of God and not the miracles that convince me that the Lord is the Son of God and that He is ready, willing and able to save to the uttermost all who come to the Father through Him (Hebrews 7:25). 
The Real Miracle
Because of our willingness to put ourselves and our pride and our reasoning ahead of what God says and shows us, it is a miracle that anyone truly comes to real faith in the Lord Jesus.  Most of us don’t want to be confused with the facts because our minds are already made up.  We don’t want the Lord to move us out of our comfort  zones in this life.  So we don’t trust Him, either for time or for eternity.  But trust Him we must, because that is what He wants.  And trust Him we can, if we just come to Him and listen to Him with an open mind as He speaks to us through His word.

Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of May 31, 2015

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