Dead Not Dead: Heading into the Hot Zone

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’ ‘But Rabbi,’ they said, ‘a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?’ ” (John 11:7-8)

Lazarus lived in Bethany, and that village was close to Jerusalem. It was in the hot zone. The last time Jesus was in town, the Jewish religious leaders came close to killing him. They picked up the stones to hurl at him. They tried to grab him, but “he escaped their grasp” and hit the road. (John 10:39)

deadnot_350Why did they want him dead? “. . . for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” (v. 33)

Jesus would not back down: “. . . even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” (v. 38)

The religious leaders were so committed to protecting their way of life that they refused to see the evidence of the power of God for what it was. They would rather kill than believe they were wrong. We’ll see tomorrow why Jesus wasn’t afraid of them (though the disciples thought maybe he should be).

Think: Have you ever seen someone completely miss the evidence that God was at work right in front of them? Why did they miss it? What were they focused on instead? What do we lose when we refuse to change our course in response to God’s working in our lives?

Pray: Ask God to help you to care more about following him than you do about getting your own way or protecting yourself from harm.

Do: Read the whole confrontation between Jesus and the religious leaders in John 10:22-42.