We don’t usually talk about Lazarus when we talk about fathers. We talk more about his sibling dynamics with Mary and Martha. But Lazarus’ story has profound implications for fathers and those who lead families.
In John 11, we find a friend of Jesus named Lazarus. Jesus knows Lazarus is dying, so he says to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” His disciples object because people in Judea were trying to kill Jesus just a few days prior.
No surprise, Jesus wins the argument, and they make their way to Judea. When they arrive, they learn that Lazarus has died. In verse 25, Jesus comforts Lazarus’ sister Martha and tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
Again, Jesus reminds the people at Lazarus’ tomb, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)
Then, Jesus performs the impossible. “Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go’” (John 11:43-44).
In this short, miraculous story, Jesus makes three world-changing declarations that fathers should take to heart.
“Let’s go back to Judea.”
What is our Judea? It’s the space that hell has fought to keep us out of. To follow God’s call on our lives, we need to be ready to occupy the area God has prepared for us, regardless of the opposition.
Jesus did not go back to Judea to relive trauma. He didn’t go back to rehash the past. He went back to perform one of the greatest miracles in his ministry. He resurrected someone who had been dead for four days.
We all have a place in our lives where we have experienced warfare and walked out with some wounds. When God tells you to return to a physical, relational or spiritual place, it’s to unleash something new.
Fathers, your Judea may be your church, children, spouse or community.
The idea that Christians shouldn’t be involved in culture is a lie. The education system is Judea. The government is Judea. The entertainment industry is Judea. As Christians, and especially as leaders of our families, we must be involved in these spheres, ushering in redemption and resurrection.
“If you believe, you will see my glory.”
When a moment becomes impossible, it belongs to God. If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you’ve heard the phrase, “Nothing is impossible with God.” This is true, but you must believe. It’s not about what you hope for — it’s what you believe.
If you genuinely believe what you profess, your life will reflect it. You will pray confidently, knowing that God hears your prayers and answers them. You will live out God’s will with the faith that he will accomplish all he has promised.
Fathers, persevere in your faith. Believe that God will bless your family as you continue to follow his lead. Have faith that you will see God’s glory manifest in your home and that your prodigal children will return.
“Come out! Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
When God brings you to life, you have to leave the grave. The book of James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). So too, living in a tomb is pointless. If God has raised you from the dead, come out and take off the grave clothes.
Fathers, if Christ raised you to life, shed the sin that holds you back and lead your families with courage. Live a life worthy of imitation, and show the world what Jesus has accomplished in and through you.
Fatherhood is a heavy responsibility, but with a heavenly Father who loves us, we have a perfect example to follow. With God’s Word on the page and in the flesh as our guide, we can go back to our Judea, believe and leave confidently.
We will leave a legacy that honors God and brings heaven to earth for our children and their children after them.
The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.