Idle Threats

Christians are told throughout Scripture that we are to expect trials. Yet, we aren’t supposed to fret about these trials because we know the One who has overcome all this world can dish out, and His power is at work within us (John 16:33). However, that doesn’t stop the world from trying to intimidate us. And it doesn’t mean things will always be easy.

Take the story of Lazarus, for instance. What is most well-known about Lazarus is that he was the man that Jesus raised from the dead. This is no easy feat but considering he had been deceased for four days it becomes even more remarkable. John 11 shares with us the entire drama of the event. Jesus’ delayed arrival, the sadness He experienced, and His desire to glorify His Father are all recorded. However, it’s in John 12 that we see what might be the second most surprising part of this story. After Lazarus was raised, the Jewish leaders plotted to kill him. Because his resurrected life was such a testament to the power of our Savior – they wanted to snuff him out. They wanted to quench the light that burned brightly through his transformed life.

Think of the irony with that. Here was a man that died , was raised,  and then they threaten to kill him.  The threats couldn’t have had much effect on Lazarus. After all, he had already experienced the sting of death, and the victory that is in Christ.

And while a physical overcoming of death is rare in Scripture, Jesus provides everyone who repents and puts their faith in Him the opportunity of a spiritual victory (I Cor. 15:56-57). As the Jewish leaders recognized, His power over physical death was indicative of His power over spiritual death as well. As He told the crowd at the healing of the paralytic, it’s easy to say you’re sins are forgiven, must harder to tell a man who can’t walk to do so. Yet Jesus does both (Luke 5:17-26). He forgives and He heals. Because there is nothing this world can concoct, that is greater than His power. All threats against us the are idle ones, as we know the One who can thwart them all. And just like Lazarus’ life was a testament to the power of our King, so our transformed lives should be.

It must have been odd for Lazarus to hear that people were trying to kill him after Christ had raised him from the dead. He must have had confidence that nothing would happen to him that wasn’t a part of God’s plan. It’s the same confidence that we share. And it’s the reason that although the world may threaten we never need to fear. After all, we know the One who has overcome the grave. The very worst that they can throw at us is the very best for those that are in Him (Phil. 1:21).


Now it’s your turn…how does trusting in the power of God change the way in which you live?

What do you think?