Lazarus (1) It’s Not Emotion

 God’s love is a different motivation than any kind of human love.

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John 11:3 – Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

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Lazarus was sick.  He was the brother of Martha and Mary.  This was the Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet with spikenard.  This was the house where Jesus came with His disciples for a meal, possibly more than 80 hungry preachers.  That’s quite a shock for a group of that potential size to arrive unannounced for dinner.  But remember, Jesus knew this family well, and loved them, too.

Still, when news came to Jesus of Lazarus being sick, Jesus did not come immediately.  When Mary and Martha sent for Jesus, they did not do so on the basis of faith, nor even on the basis of agape (the God-kind of love), but on the basis of phileo, a love exclusive to humanity.  Phileo (human love) is a love based on a relationship that is in a constant state of flux, or change, and it is often plagued with emotions.  Phileo (love) is the binding love that exists between a husband and wife, between parents and their children, among siblings, and among people who describe their relationship as one of friendship.  Stop for a moment to consider this kind of love.  It can be of high quality if the one loving is a person of high character.  It grows over time.  As much as I loved my wife when I married her, I love her more today.  As much as I loved my sons and their birth, I love them more today.  I have friends, especially brothers and sisters in ministry whom I love more now, after getting to know them better, than I did when I first met them.  This is phileo (love).  It is similar in some respects to agape (love), but in its fuller context, there is much difference.  Once again, this love is also filled with emotions that can at times be very hurtful, and even destructive.

The take-away from today’s Second Miler is this.  Faith works by love (agape, NOT phileo).  The Scriptures do not say that without love (agape or phileo)  it is impossible to please God.  The Scriptures are clear, stating that “without faith, it is impossible to please” God.  The appeal for Jesus to come heal Lazarus was not based on their faith in Jesus, but on their emotionally bonding relationship they had with him.  Their reference to the love Jesus had for Lazarus was to phileo, NOT agape.  Faith is based on hearing the Word of God, NEVER on a human and emotionally packed phileo love.  Yes, Jesus did hear their call, but His response was not to their request, but to the leadership of Holy Spirit in a manner that would glorify God.  Emotions do not move God; FAITH DOES 

Manna for Today – John 11:1-46; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1-6; Galatians 5:6

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