This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it - John 11: 4.
Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him - John 11: 14.
This illness is for God's glory to come and to glorify Jesus through it. This illness that led to death will lead to the disciples believing afresh. Alleluia. Illness and or premature death is not permitted at every turn to bring about God's glory. Death remains our enemy. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and the disciples believed.
Jesus was a man, truly human, that was totally surrendered to the truth and love of God. (The ancient affirmation also declares Jesus to be truly God. Alleluia. This I also believe in case there's any question.) This is what a human being looks like sold out to God under the pressures and conditions of this broken world. Illness does not lead to death, but, rather it is for God's glory. It does not have the last word in the presence of someone completely engulfed by holy truth, love and the awe that comes from his presence alone. In fact, as God's glory brings about the turn from defeat to victory, there is that which infects the human heart and mind, soul and spirit to believe.
An evangelical response to what occurs in the three dimensional world is a faith response that God has come and Jesus is Lord. Alleluia. The good news of God in Christ can be trusted . Look, it's manifested. He can be trusted. He can be counted on. I will follow.
I will follow not only to be a learner and witness but to be like him. I follow him to see him on the cross. Look, my nature and my old way of doing things and believing in this world is being crucified. The penalty for sin is being paid. I've followed him to the place of his crucifixion and my death, his condemnation for surrendering to will of God and my death as a sinner. I've followed him to witness God's will being done for my sake. I've followed to witness what only God can do for me.
It's the good news of God, and the good news does not stay dead but is raised from the tomb to be glorified utterly. In this glorified body he tells his learners to stay in Jerusalem until power from on high comes upon them like it did him.
I follow now as a believer to be like him in this world. This is the ongoing nature of the good news of God, to be like him, and many will believe in his name.