A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”
I also loved their appeal to Jesus if I'm being honest. They could’ve said anything to Him: "Jesus, your good friend whom has done so much for you is sick.” Or "Jesus, Mary and I are sad — can you come help us? We have been faithful to you.” But they said, "The One you love is sick.
They spoke as if they knew what really moves Jesus on our behalf. And they must have, for they were His friends. That's what happens when we grow in friendship with Jesus. We understand He's moved by His love for us — that's what moved Jesus, then and now.
That’s good. As Paul said, “faith works by love.” Maybe they didn’t have faith for the possibility of something after death, like resurrection, but they knew Jesus loved. They connected with Jesus’ love for Lazarus, and even though their faith could only imagine a healing and not a resurrection, they were on solid ground to believe the new thing He did (resurrection) because they believed His character: Love. I think we will always be able to believe WHAT God can do, as impossible as it looks, if we learn to believe WHO God is — our faith works by knowing He is LOVE.
Love always responds to needs, but it may not respond the same way every time. Jesus will never be formulaic, but He will be faithful.