Daily Readings and Thought for October 18th. “… IF YOU BELIEVED, YOU WOULD SEE …”
Our first reading (2 Chron. 9) is about the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon; she felt the need to check out on the reports she had heard about, his “fame” was his glory to be “believed?”[v.1]. When she sees it, she declares, “behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me”[v.6] In reading the description we can see this as a small foretaste of the glories that will be seen in Christ’s kingdom.
Then in Ezekiel we read his vision of the future Temple. The prophet “looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. And I fell on my face” [v.4]. Again, a ‘picture’ of seeing glory: the glory to come – overwhelming glory.
Our reading in John 11, however, causes us to consider what things amount to ‘’spiritual’ glory? It is so different to what is seen as glory today! What a contrast between God’s glory and mans! And what is God’s glory?
We read in John’s ch. 11 of Jesus coming to Bethany, which it seems, he had often visited. He had received a message, “he whom you love is ill.” Jesus had a special relationship with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, who lived there. But Lazarus had been ill and had died before Jesus arrived. He had been in the tomb for 4 days, and his sister Mary when she “saw him … fell at his feet, saying … “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” [v.32]
Jesus asks, “”Where have you laid him?”[v.34]. They come to the tomb and “Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha questions this, “Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days.” [v.39] How awesome is his response, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” [v.40]
This causes us to ponder the awesome nature of things that give glory to God! At the start of the chapter, when Jesus first heard of Lazarus being ill, Jesus said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” [v.4]
Do we really believe? Do we show this by the way we talk and live? If we do, then, in our humble way, in this godless world, we will be giving glory to God. And what glory is soon to come – for God – in the wonder of the resurrection at his Son’s return! How soon now!