Sunday, April 02, 2006

John 11:4

So, building of two earlier posts, you may ask what is an example of how God currently treats us more as a disciple (to whom teaching is focal) than a spouse (to whom intimacy is primary)?

Consider John 11:4, a verse seldom discussed but deeply troubling.
But when Yeshua heard it, he said, "This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God's Son may be glorified by it."
First, a point of terminology: the verb "glorify" was adapted vocabulary which the apostles used differently, and different from its usual Greek meaning. When John uses the word it's always about public exaltation. (By Paul's use of the term you can glorify God while alone in a room, but not by John's.)

Second, realize the context: that El'azar (Lazarus ) had just died. In order for the death (and thus the resurrection) to be irrefutable, Yeshua purposefully delayed in traveling to that town. El'azar's relatives are in deep and grievous mourning, and his daughters are now unmarried and fatherless and thus also in financial trouble.

Yeshua says that all that family's pain and anguish is acceptable to God for the chance at publicly exalting the Father and Yeshua.

Note that Yeshua does not add, at that time, that he will raise El'azar and the family's pain and anguish will be replaced by joy and celebration. He could have said that, but he didn't. That was a secondary issue. Apparently the family's suffering would be worthwhile to God even if they were not about to have their suffering reversed, just because it created an opportunity to publicly exalt the Father and Yeshua.

More personally, if we are also followers of Yeshua in This World then our suffering is also not something Adonai minds if he can use it to be glorified.

More simply: suffering we learn from is valued by God.

That's how you treat a disciple, not how you treat your spouse.