Written by Sarah Stoffel
A few months ago I was helping my son write a thank you card to his best friend who came to his birthday celebration. I asked my son to say thank you for the present and for the gift of his friend coming to the party. My son gave me a look of confusion, then instructed me to write, “thank you for coming to my party, even though I know our moms planned this.”
I tried not to laugh at the truth of his words and the honesty of a child as I penned his words for him. My son thought it was silly to thank his friend for something that obviously wouldn’t have happened without their mom’s permission and planning!
When I read this passage in John, it reminded me of writing that note with my son.
John 11:41-42 – “…Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I know that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”
This prayer takes place right before Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Like my son noticed that his friend’s mom deserved thanks because she was working on her son’s behalf, so God was thanked for working on His Son’s behalf.
I love the familiarity Jesus shows with His Father in these verses, “I know You hear me all the time, and thank you for that, but I’m gonna pray kinda loud cause I want to prove to them that You listen to prayer.”
Can you picture yourself there? Watching Jesus pray loud enough for all to hear. Witnessing the love and absolute longing He had for every soul watching Him to know that thanks were also due to the Almighty God who sent Him. Jesus knew that their belief in His being sent by God would also bring them closer to their belief in Him for salvation.
Jesus didn’t leave God out when it came to giving thanks where it was due. When a kindness is bestowed upon you, when a miracle happens, has your thank-you been reaching the right Person? Where we direct praise for our blessings is such a simple, natural way to share the Good News of the gospel. Jesus set this example for us Himself!
Share a blessing with someone today and give God the glory! “It’s a good day because my Father planned it!”
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