Abiding in the Lord: John Ch. 11

(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)


By singing praises and hymns, awake your soul, open your heart to the Lord, and prepare yourself to welcome the presence of God and receive the Word of God that will be given to you.



Petition with thanksgiving to God for a wonderful day and pray sincerely for a focused Scripture reading time! (Do not rush into reading the Bible without starting with prayers!) (e.g., you may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what will you be speaking to me today?)


Scripture Reading

Get the following items ready in advance: your devotional notebook, paper, pen, and/or electronic devotional articles so that you can easily write down the Bible verses, questions, and thoughts you have noticed! You are encouraged to open your Bible and vocally read out the scriptures (Try to practice this reading method daily or once a week)!

Scripture Reading: John Ch. 11 (ESV)



Take a moment to quietly reflect on today’s Scriptures. Through such exercises, let God’s Word be gradually written into our hearts and be inscribed to our mind.



Read the devotional articles prepared by CBCLWA (*Read the Bible first before reading any devotional materials.)


(vv.1-16) In Bethany there was a family that had a very close relationship with Jesus and whom Jesus loved very much (v.5).  When Lazarus fell ill, the two sisters hurriedly sent a person to tell Jesus. Typically, when someone that you love is sick, you would rush over to see them as soon as you can. But Jesus didn’t set off right away. Instead, he stayed where he was for an extra two days. In comparison to the urgency of Mary and Martha, the disciples apparently didn’t want to go to Bethany because there were people in Judah seeking to stone Jesus.  When they heard that Jesus still wanted to go, all the disciples could say was, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 

Think for a moment. How do we bring our needs before Jesus, who we know loves us and listens to our requests? What is our attitude? Is there something in our lives that we really want God to handle and accomplish right away? Here, Jesus let us know that he has his plans for everything. In order to show his glory, there are reasons behind all of his actions. For example, for the sake of his disciples, Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead so that they may believe. In fact, he not only allowed them to see, believe, and witness the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus used this experience to further prepare their hearts for when he himself would also be raised from the dead. As written in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” This passage reminds us that we must constantly come before the Lord, let him know our needs, and remember that what God wants to accomplish will be accomplished and that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We must submit to God’s leadership and patiently wait as we experience God. 

(vv.17-44) This passage truly shows that the limit of man is the beginning for God. After Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days and his body was starting to smell, Jesus arrived in Bethany. The two sisters Martha and Mary separately said to Jesus in verses 21 and 32, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Yes, with their knowledge of Jesus and their close relationship with him, they knew and believed that Jesus was the Son of God and the Christ. No matter what Jesus asked from God, they believed that God would give it to him. If only Jesus had been there earlier, he would surely have healed their brother Lazarus. Their faith in Jesus was great, but not yet able to surpass the notion of “death and resurrection.” Before Jesus arrived, Lazarus had already been placed in a tomb. They never even dared to dream that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead and have him walk out. 

This is also true for us. Could our life experiences, boundaries of reason, understanding of the laws of nature, etc. also limit our view of Jesus’ power? Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” May we break through these frameworks and rely in faith on the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Lord. On life’s journey, pray that God leads us, helps us experience Him more, and lets us see the manifestation of his glory. The miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection served another purpose, which was for the people standing around to also believe in Jesus (v.42). When we experience miracles, may we also be a witness for Jesus and glorify our Almighty God. 

In verse 25, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life.” Those who confess and repent of their sins, believe in the salvation achieved by Jesus on the cross, and accept Jesus as Savior and the Lord of life, will have a new and eternal life. 1 John 5:12-13 says, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” In verse 26, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” Brothers and sisters, do you believe this? 

(vv. 45-57) Can you imagine that after knowing about the miracle of Lazarus’s resurrection, many people believed but at the same time there were a group of people that plotted to kill Jesus? This group of people were none other than the chief priests and Pharisees. They were a group that were most familiar with God’s laws, yet they were unable to discern God’s actions. They saw the power of Jesus but refused to believe in him and were afraid of losing their authority (v.48).  Could you say that they were short-sighted? They turned a blind eye to the miracles in front of them, ignored the laws they had learned, and held on to a self-righteous attitude. They not only became the murderers who forced Jesus on the cross, but also lost eternal life and will have to face judgment in the future. 

This is a reminder for all brothers and sisters to not be like them when reading the Bible. Ask God to help us so that the more we read the Bible, the closer we will be drawn to God, the more we will understand God’s teachings, the more we will be able to discern God’s actions, the more we will align our focus in life to God’s, and the more we will be able to live out God’s will. May God bless you all to always stay in the Lord. 



Give thanks to God for His enabling us to read the Scriptures and for our response for living out the Word of God today! (e.g., You may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what/where are you going to lead me to today?”)