There’s a great story about brotherhood in the life of Jesus. One of his best friends, Lazarus, was at home in Bethany, sick and about to die. Lazarus’s sisters sent word to a nearby town for Jesus to come heal him, “and hurry!”
John, who wrote the story, never says that Lazarus was worried. It seems he trusted his friend. But those around Lazarus didn’t share his faith—they were freaking.
Jesus and Lazarus had been friends for some time, but now it seemed their friendship was being tested. Instead of rushing to His friend, Jesus stayed in that town teaching. Then He got word that Lazarus was dead. His friend was gone, but—it seems crazy—Jesus still waited for a couple more days. This is brotherhood?
Jesus had a plan, a strategy. It was wisdom beyond earthly wisdom, and it was happening in real time. Four days after his friend’s death, Jesus arrives in Bethany to a frosty reception. The sisters are upset. Jesus endures the blame, then tells Lazarus’ sisters and the other mourners who have gathered, “Relax, I’ve got this.” Or words to that effect.
Jesus walks over to the tomb that holds the body of Lazarus, wrapped and laid out inside. He commands the local men to roll away the stone covering the mouth of the tomb. Martha resists. In King James English, Martha says, "Lord, by this time, he stinketh!" The men roll the stone away and Jesus shouts out his friend’s name. “LAZARUS!” He yells, “COME OUT!”
Boom. Lazarus comes out. People start yelling and crying. It’s pandemonium. The region is stunned as word spreads fast. For months after this, Lazarus tells his story to hundreds of people. There’s always someone around wanting to hear it, wanting to see him, to shake hands with the guy who died.
The story gets so big that the religious leaders are fearful. People who have seen Lazarus are starting to follow Christ. So, when the religious leaders plot to kill Jesus, they decide they need to kill Lazarus as well.
Jesus and Lazarus were friends. They were brothers. Because of Lazarus’s story, God was able to move His divine plan forward for Jesus to be betrayed and killed, as a sacrifice for the sins of all humanity. What looked like a total failure was a massive win.
This is true brotherhood.
When we are in covenant with God through Christ, we’re able to be men of our word. We’re able to be men who are there for our brothers. We’re covenant men.
A brother is not necessarily a friend, but a friend is always a brother.
Meet your brothers at Lions Roar 2018 in Dallas.
We won't leave you if you're sick, we're not that man ... but, we will show up—that's Christlike.