Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

He Whom You Love is Sick

The Love of a Friend

Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”(John 11:3 NKJV) Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (John 11:5 NKJV)

The Love of a Friend

Mary, Martha and Lazarus were loved by the Lord.  The word used for love when referring to all three of these friends is the word that God uses when He says He loves the world in John 3:16.  It is the word often translated as charity.  It is the love that is sacrificial and it is the word that means that the person doing the loving wants what is best for those that are loved.  The word that is used for Lazarus is the word that means friend.  In this case, it means close personal friend.


If the Lord was Lazarus’ close personal friend, why hadn’t he already healed Lazrus?  The answer is found in verse 4 where the Lord says, “”This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” The Lord knew that He was going to do something greater than what Mary and Martha and the disciples expected.  He lingered before going to Lazarus so that Lazarus would be dead and buried when He got there.  

Did His lingering mean that He did not love Lazarus?  No.  He loved Him as a personal friend and He intended to show him charity.  But his sisters and their friends could not fathom how He could let Lazarus die.  Their accusation was, “if You had been here…”  But the Lord was going to raise him from the dead.  AND HE DID!

This Pandemic

When those who are saved get sick, it certainly does not mean that the Lord has forsaken  them, or that He isn’t their friend, or that He doesn’t care.  It is very possible that this pandemic is designed to glorify God in some way that we cannot possibly understand right now.  Hopefully, many people who are not saved will “repent and believe the Gospel” as a result of this pandemic. Perhaps this is designed to show the world that God really did allow His Son to die on the cross because He loved the WHOLE world and He now wants them to consider their latter end.


When the Lord wept at Lazarus grave, even the Jews who were there said, “See how He loved him!”  Should we get sick, we who are saved should take courage in these words spoken by the sisters of Lazarus,  “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of May 3, 2020

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