After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” John 11:11-16
In the space of a minute, Jesus went from using the colloquial (Lazarus is asleep) to the blunt (Lazarus is dead).
Thomas uses this opportunity to show just how spiritual he thought he was. He thought that by telling Jesus he’d be willing to die too, it might just earn him some points. Clearly, he and the others were missing the larger point, though: in life and death, Jesus is in control. They would eventually “get it” but right now they were probably trying to process it all. There were a lot of things to think about as the first disciples of the most perfect (yet fair) person they had or would ever meet.
Having had the benefit of the entire New Testament, we have seen how those closest to Jesus failed. They were well-meaning but they still failed.
This morning as you consider these words, think about one or two ways you can strengthen your relationship with Christ.