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People are quick to assign blame. Especially, when they are emotionally experiencing trauma themselves, humans tend to strike out to relieve the pressure of their own mood. Those who are in positions of authority are easy targets for this emotional release. Unfortunately, there is little retaliation that is spiritually acceptable at such times.

Every leader knows about taking a hit in the role that they are filling. It is painful. People that we serve and lovingly sacrifice for their benefit suddenly forget and turn as if they are enemies. They lay the blame for their current agony at our feet.

Jesus heard from Martha about the grief she felt when her brother Lazarus died. She told Jesus that his death was total Jesus’ fault. If he had been there, Lazarus would not have died. That is a load of guilt she was pushing on to the Lord. Mary piles on with an identical blame on Jesus.

In the context of this blame game, Jesus gives one of his most powerful words, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” John 11.25

Lazarus is called from the tomb in which he was buried. Jesus had to call him by name or all of the dead would have been restored. This restoration to life brought many people to put their faith in Jesus. Stunning. Jn11

A bad experience of severe mistreatment is enough to make most people keep their heads low or maybe even steer clear of an area of bad memories.

Should fear keep a tight rein our life choices and play a large role in our decisions? Check out the news and we will not likely choose to venture into the riot areas of our country. We would especially be reticent to return especially if we were abused, treated harshly, falsely accused, threatened, or slandered. Why go back and give proven enemies a chance to hurt us again?

Jesus sets a new example for us to follow. Instead of allowing fear to check our choices, he confidently walked where the Father directed him. Darkness is a poor choice when it comes to selecting a place to walk. The dangers of stumbling in darkness are great. Given a choice it is far wiser to walk in the light and any stumbling threats can be avoided.

This is one of those moments when the Savior gives us a chance to think. Humans may have mistreated us in our past. But, if the Father directs us to return to that geographical area we will no safer in his will than at any other place of our choosing. Trust him to keep you safe. Jn11

So often we humans think that when something bad happens to us it is God judging us. We assume that we have done something wrong. Yet, in a world that is corrupted by sin, sometimes God is glorified through an episode of illness or other misfortune.

That makes sense since we are all sinners and would deserve horrible experiences or trials, right? Since difficult is universal in a fallen world, there has to be another option when difficulties come our way. Jesus gives all people hope.

Lazarus is taken ill. Jesus loves this friend. He knows that the physical death of Lazarus will bring grief. But, he assures us that the grief is temporary. Jesus even “procrastinates” going to his friend. Physical death takes over Lazarus and sorrow crush Mary and Martha’s lives.

Jesus comes and restores Lazarus to physical life. This is a miracle to demonstrate the truth of the coming Resurrection. It is a stunning miracle to verify that Jesus is telling the truth about eternity. That’s good stuff! Jn11

The Savior speaks the truth. He rehearses his achievements in detail. Details are validated with pristine evidence. Yet, the determination of the wicked is to criticize him. They make their argument personal. Insults are flagrant.

When words run out, the enemies of God turn violent. When those who are wrong can no longer defend their errors, they become emotional. Those opposed to Jesus pick up stones to hurt Jesus, stop Jesus, kill Jesus.

Honest people don’t like opposers. But, never succumb to the great temptation of avoiding what those critics hate. Go around, under, or through these and find Jesus. He is the only way.

Jesus shows his enemies that they are inconsistent to accuse him of blaspheme. He has done miracles to demonstrate his deity. His claims to be God’s Son are not empty. Instead, they are certain proofs.

Are you an emotional critic? Do you believe what you hear yourself saying? Or do you discern the validity of the performance of the Savior? He is consistent. He is worthy of faith. Trust him. Jn10

We are all too familiar with the assertions of what people are going to do. Especially, from people who want something from us. They speak boldly about what they will do or can do. However, in reality there is very little in their past that lines up with their empty promises. They press hard to get you to buy, trust, or sign up with them.

False religions are a lot like that. Except they not only promise peace and tranquility, but they also demand your complete buy-in. Your performance, your earthly treasures, and your commitments are part of the package. Don’t sign up. They will disappoint you.

Instead, consider Jesus. He doesn’t promise you the moon. Instead, he has already given you his life. Nor does he insist on your performance. Your trust is all he asks you to give. That alone will unleash his immeasurable grace for all eternity. He has done it all already. Just believe. Jn10

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