majoring in the minors: being the “they”

i love the “behind the scenes” people.  the get-it-done people you probably never noticed until something major is needed.  it’s these people that make such a big difference.  & honestly, this is the whole idea behind our “majoring in the minors” series… to point out these “behind the scenes people.”

recently i was reading {John 11: 38-44}.  it’s a passage most of us have either read or heard of before… it’s where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.  check it out:

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38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
44 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.”
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at first i found myself skimming over the passage but then was struck by something interesting…. the “they.”  look at verse 41, “So THEY took away the stone.  Then Jesus looked up and said ‘Father i thank you that you have heard me.  i knew that you always hear me, but i said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.'”  So Jesus tells the people (the “they”) to roll away the stone, they do, and then Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.

how often do we skip over the “they”?  how often to we read this passage and pay no attention to the very people who literally rolled away the stone so that the once dead man could come out, now fully alive and restored?  almost every time i’ve read this passage i have read over them.

at first glance the “they” don’t really do anything significant.  i mean they didn’t raise lazarus from the dead.  they don’t preform any big miracles.  they were just common, ordinary people rolling away a stone.  but here’s what they did do… they were obedient. they were present. and they were willing.  Jesus gave them a command (which could have seemed ridiculous to most people) and they do it. exactly as he asked. they were also present.  i mean they wouldn’t have been able to be apart of something extremely significant (and i think witnessing a dead man being raised from the dead is pretty significant) if they weren’t simply following Jesus around.  they were near Jesus and willing to be apart of that adventure.  and lastly, they were willing. willing to be used by God and participate in what He was doing.

and for me, that’s who i want to be.  i want to be obedient.  i want to be present.  and i want to be willing.  i want to be the “they.”  the “they” who helped roll away the stone to reveal what God was doing.  so, no i can’t make a dead man raise from the dead.  and no i can’t preform any great miracles. and no i (in and of myself) can’t change anyone’s life.  that’s God’s job.  but what i can do is help roll away stones to reveal the work that God is doing… the work that changes lives and raises people from the dead and causes us to want to share that crazy good news with others. and to me, that’s the heart of the gospel;  hearing and receiving the good news so that we can, in turn, roll away stones so others can experience Jesus.

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One thought on “majoring in the minors: being the “they”

  1. “but what i can do is help roll away stones to reveal the work that God is doing… the work that changes lives and raises people from the dead and causes us to want to share that crazy good news with others.”

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Love this! I have NEVER even read the word “they” in this passage. It’s always been invisible. Thank you for pointing it out!

    Like

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