Tuesday, January 17, 2017

John 11

John 11:1-44– Lazarus’ Death and Resurrection

Lazarus lived in Bethany with his sisters Mary and Martha.  The sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick.  Jesus said this sickness will not end in death, but it would show God’s glory so His son, Jesus would be glorified.  Jesus loved this family, but He delayed going to them for 2 days.  He knew there was a greater purpose for Lazarus’ sickness.  He told them Lazarus was dead and that they should all go there so they would believe.  Then after the 2 days Jesus went to Lazarus’s side even though the Jews were still trying to kill Him. (John 11:1-16)

Mary and Martha had strong faith in Jesus and had seen the miracles He had performed.  They knew He could help their brother.  However, Jesus didn’t do what they expected.  He didn’t go to them immediately as they had requested.  Jesus knew Lazarus would be dead and that He would perform another miracle and make him alive again.  This would show many people His power over life and death.

Sometimes we ask God to do something and it seems He does nothing.  We think our prayer wasn’t heard.  God doesn’t always answer our prayers immediately.  He knows what’s best for us and He knows when it’s the right time.  When He does act, it brings Him glory.

When have you waited for God to answer your prayer and then when He did, it was not what you expected?

When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead and in the tomb for 4 days.  Many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha.  Martha went to meet Jesus.  Martha told Jesus that if He had been there Lazarus would not have died.  Jesus told her that her brother will rise again.  She thought He was talking about the resurrection at the last day.  “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?’” – John 11:25-26.

Jesus wants us to look through our grief and tears to Him as the resurrection and the life and answer the same question He asked Mary: “Do you believe this?”

Jesus was talking about the present as well as the future.  Anyone who believes in Jesus receives eternal life.  Martha had faith and she knew Jesus’ words were true.

Mary came out to meet Jesus and wept.  She told Him that if He had been there Lazarus would not have died.  Jesus saw her and the others weeping.  He experienced deep feelings and grief for them and He wept.  He knows that one day all our tears will be wiped away, but still He sympathizes with us in our sorrows. (John 11:32-35)

Do you come to Jesus and share your feelings with Him?

Jesus deals with each of us according to our personality to teach us what we need to grow in every trial.  As a parent we know that each of our children is different and we teach them individually and we do it in a way where they can best learn a lesson.  We should be sensitive to the unique personality of others.  Some may need words of encouragement and others may need us to just cry with them.  Jesus teaches us exactly how and what we need to learn. 

What trial has God used to teach you the most?

The people didn’t believe Jesus could do anything after Lazarus had died.  They knew about His other miracles, but didn’t believe He would bring Lazarus back to life.  Jesus went to the tomb where Lazarus was and asked that the stone be taken away.  Martha said that he had been dead for 4 days and there would be a bad odor.  Jesus encouraged her to have faith.

Jesus prayed so the people could hear Him.  “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”John 11:41-42  Then Jesus called out, “Lazarus, come out!” John 11:43.  Lazarus, the dead man came out.  He was still wrapped with linens.  Jesus told him to take off the grave clothes.

Jesus delayed His visit proved His power and His promise of resurrection for us all.  Without the resurrection we have no hope.  With it we can have assurance that nothing is impossible for God.   With God all is subject to His timing.  He really did not delay.  It’s our timing that is wrong.  His timing is perfect.

How does this power comfort you as you wait for the resurrection?

When has Jesus done something for you that you did not expect?
Do you pray expecting Jesus to answer?

John 11:45-57 – The Plot the Kill Jesus

Some of the people who had come to visit Mary and Martha put their faith in Jesus.  Some went to the religious authorities and told them what He had done.  Maybe they thought this would prove to them that Jesus was the Messiah.  After all they were waiting for the Messiah who would free them from Roman oppression. 

But this caused the authorities to worry even more.  Jesus’ miracles were getting bigger and better and soon everyone would believe.  This might cause more trouble with the Roman government. 

Caiaphas, the high priest said it would be better for one man to die than for all the Jewish nation to be punished.  So they plotted to kill Jesus.  Caiaphas didn’t realize that he was speaking a prophecy that Jesus would die for the all people. (John 11:49-53)

We should learn that you cannot frustrate God or change His purpose.  You can oppose Him and it may seem that you are succeeding in your attempt.  They killed Jesus, but God is going to win and all who oppose Him will lose.  You can be opening hostile toward Him or just plain neutral, but to be neutral is to be unbelieving.

What are you doing about Jesus?
Do you oppose Him?
Are you neutral toward Him?
Do you believe in Him as Lord and Savior?

God lets us wait for His perfect timing.
Jesus leaves no doubt about His power.
No one can change God’s purposes.
Greater purpose in all things both good and bad is the glory of God.

Next week we will study John 12.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.

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