Lord, He Whom You Love is Ill

Lord, He Whom You Love is Ill

“So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill” (John 11:3).

To our neglect, many of us struggle to have a vibrant prayer life. I believe that the main cause of prayerlessness is self-focus. Either we are so self-sufficient that we don’t see our need for prayer or because of a sense of unworthiness, we are reluctant. It’s true that in and of ourselves we are unworthy to even approach the presence of God. However, in Christ, and through His redemptive work on the cross, believers have been given access to God. And we have access, not just as servants of God, but as beloved sons and daughters of God the Father. The Apostle John wrote, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:2).  The more we grasp how much we are loved by God in Christ, the more we will persistently, fervently and consistently pray. 
In John 11, we learn of Jesus’ love for Lazarus and his sisters and their love for him. When Lazarus became ill, Lazarus sisters sent for Jesus saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill” (John 11:3). It’s important to note here that their appeal to Jesus to come to them in their hour of need was not on the basis of their love for Him, but His love for Lazarus. In the same way, God’s love for us, not our love for Him, ought to compel us to confidently come before His throne of grace to “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Paul affirms this when he wrote, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32).  
Regarding Lazarus’ sisters, JC Ryle writes, “Mark the simple humility of their language about Lazarus. They call him, “he whom you love…” They do not say, “He who loves Thee, believes in Thee, serves Thee,” but “He whom Thou lovest.” Martha and Mary were deeply taught of God. They had learned that Christ’s love towards us, and not our love towards Christ, is the true ground of expectation, and true foundation of hope. Blessed, again, are all they that are taught likewise! To look inward to our love towards Christ is painfully unsatisfying:  to look outward to Christ’s love towards us is peace.”
Regarding Lazarus’ sisters, JC Ryle writes, “Mark the simple humility of their language about Lazarus. They call him, “he whom you love…” They do not say, “He who loves Thee, believes in Thee, serves Thee,” but “He whom Thou lovest.” Martha and Mary were deeply taught of God. They had learned that Christ’s love towards us, and not our love towards Christ, is the true ground of expectation, and true foundation of hope. Blessed, again, are all they that are taught likewise! To look inward to our love towards Christ is painfully unsatisfying:  to look outward to Christ’s love towards us is peace.”
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11).
Blessings,
Pastor Marco David