So I was having an especially good morning at work and I decided to read the bible at lunch. Normally I just read the sports page. I figured even if it was three days till Sunday, it couldn’t hurt.
Anyways, Some of the guys were watching me. You never want to look like you’re just fumbling through your bible at work. It makes co-workers think you’ve been written up by the boss or your wife just called to tell you she found out you’ve been cheating on her or something. (Side note: I am not cheating on the wife. I have been faithful the whole 14 or 15 years or so that we’ve been married) Trouble is, I didn’t have any place in particular that I wanted to start reading, so I used the trick I use at church when the pastor tells us to open our bibles and follow along. I opened it really quick and stared intently at the first page it fell open to. Rubbed my chin too. That way, it not only looks like you’re reading it, it looks like you’re understanding it!
After a couple of minutes I forgot anyone else was in the break room. I can't remember which book I was in. I know it was the New Testament because I could pronounce most of the people’s names and God didn’t smite anybody. (Smiting is like when your dad used to take a belt to you, only you didn’t lose any cattle and he didn’t make you wander around in the woods behind your house for 40 years.)
It seems Jesus had this buddy who was really sick. The guy’s sister sent a message to Jesus that he was bad off. I’m no bible scholar, but it seems pretty clear that if you were sick or blind or possessed, Jesus was a good friend to have back in bible days. Trouble is, he was a couple towns over meeting with these guys he traveled with. They were called disciples. A disciple is like an Associate Pastor , only Jesus had twelve of them.
Well, when Jesus got word about his friend, all the disciples expected Him to jump up and head over to heal him. Only He didn’t go. Never even got up, I don't think. Just hung around the campfire there for two more days! The disciples didn't know what to make of it. When Jesus finally decided God was telling Him to go, the disciples started having second thoughts. You see, last time they had gone over to that town the people had thrown rocks at them! ( I think they were mainly throwing at Jesus, But when you travel with a man who gets rocks thrown at Him, you can expect to get hit too.) The amazing thing to me is that knowing this, all twelve went with Jesus anyway…and in broad daylight!
That’s where it really got interesting. Jesus and His disciples showed up and found out his friend had already died. Man, what a scene! They had wrapped up Jesus’ buddy like Ralphie’s little brother in “A Christmas Story” and laid him in a tomb. (That’s like a cave for dead people.) His family was torn up. They even had professional mourners.
( Professional mourners are guests who get paid to cry and moan - like on Oprah)
Everybody was sad. That made Jesus sad. The bible says it “moved” Him. Odd thing is, Jesus seemed sadder for the living folks than His dead friend. I guess it makes sense when you think about it. He could fix His buddy’s problem. Living people are different. They have to ask Him to make things better.
Next thing you know, Jesus went over to that tomb and tells his friend to get up and come outside. Now, anybody can ask a dead guy to get up. You’re running in a much smaller crowd when he actually does it!
So now the dead friend is alive again, everybody is dancing and hugging, and not a single rock has been thrown. Jesus said that He brought His friend back from the dead to glorify His Father. (God)
Cure a sick guy - you’re good.
Cure a dead guy - you’re God.
I think there’s another lesson here.
Fill your space.
Occupy your spot.
Wherever God says be, even if it makes no sense to you, Be there. That’s how miracles really happen. Lunch is over. Gotta go.
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