Lazarus is Dead, Part 4: What to do About Criticism -- By Lyn Chaffart
The following Scriptural Nugget is the forth in a mini-series based on John 11.
 
"Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, 'See how he loved him!'  But some of them said, 'Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?'" (John 11:35-37)
 
Lazarus is dead, and Jesus didn't prevent it from happening.  He had His reasons, and they were excellent ones -- He was about to perform His greatest miracle to date!  But despite what He knew would happen, and the wonderful outcome there would be, when Jesus sees His dear friends mourning the death of their brother, He weeps too.  It must have been such a wonderful display of His compassionate love and caring for those of us who are suffering, for many of the Jews were moved to say: "See how he loved him!" (vs. 36). 
 
But others misunderstood Jesus completely.  When they saw Him cry, they mocked Him: "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" (vs. 37).  In other words, if He cared so much, why didn't he stop it from happening!
 
Try to put yourself in Jesus' shoes.  He is in the midst of a very emotional situation.  In sympathy and compassion, He weeps with those who weep.  But some have the audacity to mock Him for His tears.  What would you or I have done in a similar situation?  I'm afraid I know what the answer would have been for me:  I would have quit!  In the face of criticism or mockery, my natural tendency to put as much distance as possible between myself and the mockers!  But not Jesus.  John 11:38,39:  "Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  'Take away the stone,' he said." 
 
In the face of criticism and mockery, Jesus calmly continues His business.  Why?  Because He let nothing stop Him from pursuing His Father's will! 
 
Lord, You are my ultimate source of strength and courage, yet how often I forget this in the face of mockery and criticism!  Help me remember to draw from your strength and courage the next time I am criticized for doing work in Your name, so that I, too, may not be swayed from doing Your Will!   

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets ( www.scripturalnuggets.org ), Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org


(To access the entire "Lazarus is Dead!" mini-series, please click here.)