Does radical transformation ever occur without after effects?
“Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” (John 12:9-11)
Lazarus was a local celebrity. People couldn’t believe he was actually alive. They had to see it for themselves. Of course they wanted to see Jesus. But, if Lazarus was truly alive, they would know that Jesus was who He said He was.
This wasn’t the case with everyone. Some of the religious leaders wanted to kill Lazarus. He was stealing the spotlight. He was living evidence of what they so strongly disbelieved and what they lived to disprove. The resurrected man was right in front of them, and they still ignored the facts. They were too stubborn to believe in Jesus.
One of my favorite pastors once said something along these lines: Jesus did some amazing miracles. He turned water to wine; He healed the sick; He gave sight to the blind. But Jesus’ most amazing miracle is the transformation of a human heart. You see, nature has no will to fight back. The water had to obey. The disease had to leave. The eyes had to work. But humans have a will. And Jesus is still able to transform the stubborn heart of a human.
The story of Lazarus is a picture of our story as Christians. Jesus calls us out of our smelly graves and strips us of our rotting clothes. He brings us from death to true life. We look entirely different to the world, and people want to know how and why we changed. Some reactions won’t be pleasant, but it’s our story, and nothing will change the fact that we need to share it.
What does your story have to say to others? You might not think it makes a difference, and you might not see the value, but someone, somewhere is waiting to hear your story. God has given it to you for a reason.
Our stories are evidence that Jesus works. For years, people have heard that they should believe in Jesus, but why? They don’t want to know He merely exists, they want to know that He works and that He is who He claims to be. If they know that Jesus works, trust me, they will want to meet Him, too…as long as their stubbornness doesn’t get in the way. And if it does, pray. After all, Jesus’ most miraculous act is the transformation of a human heart. Do what God has called you to, and let Him take care of the details.
Pick up a pen. Talk to that neighbor three doors down. Send an email. Post a status update. Whatever the means, share your story. Because someone needs to hear it, and you, my friend, are the only one to tell it.
“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard…Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul.” Acts 4:20, Psalm 66:16
Here’s a recap of the past eight posts, as we journeyed through Lazarus’ story.
Day 1: Jesus knows the plan and purpose.
Day 2: Jesus is determined to bring life.
Day 3: Replace your “if only’s” with “even now’s.”
Day 4: He feels our pain.
Day 5: His blessing demands our cooperation.
Day 6: The stench of death always precedes the glory of God.
Day 7: We owe Him a thank You for listening.
Day 8: Transformation can’t happen without a change of clothes.
Day 9: You have an important story to tell.