Do you have a best friend? When I was young, I had a best friend named Cindy. She later moved away, but we had lots of fun together before that. Today’s lesson is about one of Jesus’ very dear friends – a man named Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, who lived in Bethany. Have someone read you their story in John, Chapter 11 and verses 1-45 and see if you could use a friend like Jesus too.
One day though, Lazarus got very sick. (No, we don’t believe he had the coronavirus.) His sisters sent word to Jesus and told him about their brother and asked Him to come. Jesus was in another town, so He didn’t come right away. When Jesus finally arrived, Martha ran to meet Him and told Him that Lazarus had died four days earlier. She was upset with Jesus that He had not come sooner to help Lazarus. She said, “If only You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Then we have the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept.”(John 11: 35) Jesus was sad for his friends even though He knew what He was going to do. Jesus then told Martha, “Your brother will rise again. I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”
Martha and her sister Mary didn’t understand, but they took Jesus to where Lazarus was buried. When they arrived at his tomb, Jesus said to roll away the stone that covered the entrance. He prayed to His Father and then He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus then walked out of the tomb! He wasn’t dead anymore or even sick! Mary and Martha were so happy to have their brother back with them.
How would you like to have a best friend like that? Well, you do! Jesus is always your friend and wants what is best for you. He’ll help you and never go away from you no matter what happens in your life. He is the “bestest” kind of best friend we could ever have!
I know we are still in the middle of this stay at home order because of the coronavirus. Let’s keep remembering to do what we can to stay safe and pray for all those who are not only sick, but those people who are helping the sick people. It isn’t easy for everyone, but for right now it is necessary. God sees what we are doing and hears our prayers. Maybe for reading, ask your parents if they have a Bible story book that you might read in on some days. Jesus loves us and is our friend always.
Let’s pray. Dear Jesus, thank You for being our best friend forever and ever. All we have to do is call on You when we need Your help, and You will be there for us. We could never have any better friend that You. Please bless all those people who are sick and those people who are helping them. May they all be in Your love and care. In Your name we pray. Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.