A man named Evangelical was sick. He lived in America with all of his brothers and sisters. About 19% of Evangelical’s brothers and sisters sent a message to Jesus saying, “Lord, your dear friend, Evangelical, is very sick.”
But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Evangelical’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.”
So, although Jesus loved that 19% (made up of women, minorities, the handicapped, and the marginalized) and also, Evangelical (who represented the other 81%), he stayed where he was and did not come right away. Finally, He said to his followers, let’s go back to America.
But His followers objected. “Teacher, only a few days ago the people in America were threatening to deport you, assault you, and even kill you. Are you going to go there again?”
Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of the world. But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.”
Then He said, “Our friend Evangelical has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”
Jesus’ followers said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” They thought Jesus meant Evangelical was simply sleeping, but Jesus actually meant that Evangelical was dead.
So Jesus told them plainly, “Evangelical is dead. And for your sake, I’m glad I was not there, for now you really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”
When Jesus arrived in America, he was told that Evangelical had already been in his grave for several days. America was only across the sea, and many nations had come to console her, and Evangelical’s brothers and sisters, for their great loss.
When “19%” got word that Jesus was coming, some of them went to meet Him, but some were too sad, so they stayed in their house. The ones who went to meet Jesus said, “Lord, if only you had been here, our brother, Evangelical, would not have died. But even now, I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus told them. “Your brother, Evangelical, will rise again.”
Yes, some of the 19% said, “He will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
Jesus told them, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.
Do you believe this, 19%?
“Yes, Lord,” part of the 19% told him. “We have always believed you’re the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” Then part of the 19% returned to the rest of the 19%. They called them aside from the mourners and told them, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So the rest of the 19% immediately went to Him.
Jesus had stayed outside the village of the 19%, at the place where they had first met them – in the margins. When the mourners had seen some of the 19% leave so hastily, they assumed they were going to Evangelical’s grave to weep. So the rest of them followed them there. When they arrived and saw Jesus, they fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, our brother, Evangelical, would not have died.”
When Jesus saw the women, the minorities, the handicapped, and the outcasts, weeping and wailing, a deep anger welled up within Him, and He was deeply troubled.
“Where have you put Evangelical?” He asked them.
They told Him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much Jesus loved Evangelical!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t He have kept Evangelical from dying?”
Jesus was still angry as He arrived at the tomb, a cave with a heavy stone rolled across the entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.
But one of Evangelical’s sisters protested, “Lord, he has been dead for days. The smell will be terrible.”
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to the heavens and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, I say it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”
Then Jesus shouted, “EVANGELICAL, COME OUT.”
And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave cloths, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
Many of the people who were with the 19% believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.
But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the lead pastors and Pharisees called the elders together.
“What are we going to do?” they asked each other. This man Jesus certainly performs many miraculous signs. If we allow Him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in Him. Then the American government will take away our religious power in both this nation and in our churches.
Many high and mighty pastors and elders at that time, said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should be sacrificed for the people than for our whole nation to be destroyed.”
They did not say this on their own. As high and mighty pastors and elders at that time, they were led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation.
And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world.
So from that time on, the church leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left America. He went to a humble place, out near the wilderness, where he stayed with some of his closest followers.
It was now almost time for the Thanksgiving celebration, and many people from all over the country came together to celebrate. Many people kept looking for Jesus. They kept asking each other, “What do you think, will Jesus show up to feast with us?” Meanwhile some of the high and mighty Pharisees had publicly ordered that anyone who saw Jesus must report it immediately so they could arrest Him.
Several days before the Thanksgiving celebration began, Jesus arrived in America, the home of Evangelical – the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. One of Evangelical’s sisters served the food, and Evangelical ate among the family in peace and joy.
Evangelical’s other sister, who was always getting out of her place, served Jesus in a less traditional way. She took her most expensive perfume, which was everything she had, and poured it out, all over Jesus’ feet. She then wiped His feet dry with her long flowing hair. The house smelled sweet again. The stench of death was no longer to be found.
But there was one follower of Jesus who would soon betray Him. He said, “What are you thinking? That perfume is worth way too much money to dump it on someone’s feet. We could have sold it and given it to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor – he was a thief and a fraud, who was in charge of Jesus’ ministry’s money.
Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see Him and also to see Evangelical, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then some of the leading pastors decided to kill Evangelical, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them, and believed in Jesus.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
(This post is very loosely based on John Chapters 11 & 12)