So Many Implications

Good morning!

Have you ever thought about the word “so?” It has many different usages, but one in particular is inferential, or subsequent. In other words, it can be used to indicate that the statement following logically follows the statement preceding, as in “I was hungry, so I went to the kitchen.”

Particularly interesting is the use of it in John 11, where Jesus is told that Lazarus is ill. John says “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. SO, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was” (John 11:5-6). Did you catch that? I would have expected a different conjunction, like, “however,” or “regardless,” or something that would highlight the seeming disparity between Jesus love for this family and his hesitation to go an heal Lazarus. But nope. We get “so.” (In Greek the word is oun, often translated as “then,” or “therefore”).

Obviously there’s a point to this. Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus so much he let Lazarus die, because, as he said a verse earlier, “it is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4).

God loves you. And so, he will bring you grief and pain. But he does not willingly afflict, nor will his hand be heavy forever. He loves you. Mysterious though it is why God should act in this way, it is as Cowper wrote, “Behind a frowning Providence/He hides a smiling face.”

-Daniel

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