When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death.” John 11:4

It seems from the moment Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick he knew he would live. Likewise just prior to Jesus feeding the five thousand we read Jesus saying to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Then this explanation, “He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do” (John 6:5-6). He knew he was going to feed the crowd. It seems there were times when Jesus knew in advance God was going to do something miraculous.

This wasn’t always the case. Jesus didn’t appear to know God was going to turn water into wine saying to his mother, “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). Yet he went on to perform his first miracle. Likewise, when a Canaanite woman asked him to heal her daughter initially it appeared he wasn’t going to, saying, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Nevertheless, the girl was healed (Matthew 15:28).

Then there was the time when the woman came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak (Mark 5:27). Jesus realized that power had gone out from him and wanted to know, “Who touched my clothes?” Jesus hadn’t been expecting to heal someone as he walked along.

This is a lesson for us. Sometimes God lets us know what he’s going to do, sometimes he doesn’t and sometimes he uses us without our knowing. Living by faith means we don’t always know what God is going to do. Neither can we demand he tells us. Our job is to be faithful to what he has told us to do and listen for his voice.