The Home of Bethany
A certain man was sick … Lazarus, of Bethany.
~ John 11:1
This home at Bethany was wondrously favoured. The family seems to have been wealthy. It was a loving home, the three members named being bound together by very close and tender ties. This we know from the fact that Jesus found it such a congenial home for Himself. He surely would not have chosen a quarrelsome household for His own abiding-place. He could not have found a refuge there if it had been anything but a home filled with love’s sweetness.
We know that it was an affectionate household, also, from the sorrow of the sisters when their brother was dead. As we read the matchless story we are sure it was no ordinary tie that bound the family together. In too many homes brothers and sisters are not to each other what they might be. Ofttimes there is at least a lack in the showing of the love. Brothers and sisters should not only love one another, but they should be kindly and affectionate in their intercourse together.
Then it was a favoured home, also, because it was the one which Jesus chose to be the resting-place for His heart in the still evenings after the fierce strifes with His enemies in the temple. It was His love for the members of this family, and the honour He put upon their home, by which the little town of Bethany was immortalized.
Yet, highly favoured as was this home in these ways, sickness came into it. We get some lessons. No home can be made which will shut sickness out of its chambers. Wealth cannot keep it away, love cannot. Yet we learn, also, that sickness in our home is no proof that Christ does not love us. Into the households that are dearest to Him pain and sorrow come; but we shall see that in the end blessing to the family and glory to God come from the trial. These thoughts should comfort us when sickness comes into our households.