For twenty years, I've studied the methods Jesus used to heal people. He always obtained permission or an act of agreement, from some responsible party, before he helped them. He did this, even in cases where persons were incapacitated, or dead, like Lazarus and the widow's son. Why did Jesus do this? In the beginning God gave each mankind authority over his own world.

The process of raising Lazarus began when Jesus first heard that he was sick. Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death". With these spiritual words Jesus released his faith out into the physical Earth. What do you say when you hear bad news? When he returned to Bethany, four days later, he asked Mary to believe that her brother would be raised from the dead. At the tomb, he asked for someone else to roll the stone away. (Notice Jesus didn't roll it away himself.) He was requiring others to perform some act to display their faith. When Mary protested, he reminded her to hold fast to her faith. Then standing at the tomb, he prayed, not for the Father to raise Lazarus, but saying, "Father I know that you always hear me.", referring to his own words four days earlier. This set the stage for his audacious act of faith. Jesus commanded a dead man to come out of his own tomb. 

Jesus met the funeral processing of the widow's son, he touched the bier. The procession stopped. Notice their agreement. Then he said to the boy's mother, "Weep not". Jesus was seeking an act of faith from the mother, the one in authority. This set the stage for his audacious act of faith. Jesus commanded a dead man to come out of his own bier.

In the entire Bible, no old people were ever raised from the dead. Recently I stood before the casket of a teenage neighbor. In the fleeting seconds afforded by the viewing line. My mind was racing, how could I get permission from a person in authority? The mother was Buddhist, the child claimed to be Catholic. I was holding up the line. Quietly, under my breath, I was commanding her to rise up and go home. A friend said quietly, "Move on Larry, don't do anything stupid." I lost the opportunity. I was afraid of embarrassment and ridicule.

If you desire to do the works of Jesus, you must follow his same steps, without doubting or fearing. Faith always demands an audacious act. If you don't have the guts to stand in faith, in the face of embarrassment or ridicule, then don't even bother trying to do the works that Jesus did.

by Larry Blakely


Have a Blessed Day,