John 11 is the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Early in the chapter. we read that “the sisters (of Lazarus – Mary and Martha) sent word to Him (Jesus), saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick” (verse 4). Ryle made these comments:
These verses teach us that true Christians may be sick and ill as well as others. We read that Lazarus of Bethany was one ‘whom Jesus loved,’ and a brother to two well-known holy women. Yet Lazarus was sick, even unto death! The Lord Jesus, who had power over all diseases, could no doubt have prevented this illness, if He had thought fit. But He did not do so. He allowed Lazarus to be sick, and in pain, and weary, and to languish and suffer like any other man.
The lesson is one which ought to be deeply engraved in our memories. Living in a world full of disease and death, we are sure to need it some day. Sickness, in the very nature of things, can never be anything but trying to flesh and blood. Our bodies and souls are strangely linked together, and that which vexes and weakens the body can hardly fail to vex the mind and soul. But sickness, we must always remember, is no sign that God is displeased with us; no, more, it is generally sent for the good of our souls. It tends to draw our affections away from this world, and direct them to things above. It sends us to our Bibles, and teaches us to pray better. It helps to prove our faith and patience, and shows us the real value of our hope in Christ. It reminds us that we are not to live always, and tunes and trains our hearts for great change. Then let us be patient and cheerful when we are laid aside by illness. Let us believe that the Lord loves us when we are sick no less than when we are well.