Monday, May 11, 2009

The amazing lesson in Lazarus' story

John 11: 1-44

1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Jesus, you said this sickness is not unto death!

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

Look at that! Jesus loved them, so he decides to delay his visit. What kind of love is this? He could heal him so he doesn't die.

These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”

He purposely lets him die. Why? Jesus, you're nuts! But no. He said, He did it on purpose, so that you may believe! Look at that!

20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

Martha is a feisty female. She has no question about her place as a woman in the kingdom. She goes right into the face of the Son of God and demands answers. She's the one who complained to Jesus when her sister wasn't helping her with her domestic chores.

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that
You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

She also has faith. She believes in the resurrection. She believes Jesus can do anything.

Then Martha calls her sister Mary to Jesus and Mary makes the same complaint to Jesus - that if he had been there, Lazarus would not have died.

This is where, when Jesus sees her weeping and the other Jews weeping, he weeps also.

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

Yes, He could have! He purposely let Lazarus die! This is the whole point!

They brought him to the tomb, and Jesus told them to roll away the stone.

Wait a minute, not so fast! Martha is in His face. She's a realist. She's not living in a dream world. Lazarus is dead!

“Take away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

Jesus is saying: Ok, so he's dead. I said BELIEVE! EVEN IF HE'S DEAD. BELIEVE!

Jesus, you're not asking for much (yuck yuck!) Four days dead. Every cell, gland, muscle and bone has begun decaying! And I should just believe!

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.d]">[d] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

This, no matter how you look at it, is an amazing story in what it is telling us.

How many things have died in your life?

How many dreams and hopes have died?

How many things on your body have died? (I have lost a joint in my foot!)

How many relationships have died?

How many business prospects or financial possibilities have died?

So you understand that God has willed that these things should die so that He might reveal His glory?

Did He not say that if you believe you will see the glory of God?

God cannot turn a table that was not set against you. (See recent post on Beth Moore)

You see that we limit God because of our unbelief. If He says to even believe in the raising of a dead body that has begun to decay for four days, then we can believe in any miracle from the hand of God.


sherri said...

Beautiful scriptures that are so encouraging! Thanks for the reminder.

Gabrielle Eden said...

Thanks Sherri. I just love this story! So glad you're OK and back in the saddle!!

Guitarman said...

This is especially encouraging for me. Thanks

Gabrielle Eden said...

I thought of you when I wrote this. I mean not you only, but I knew you might find it helpful. It seemed to fit.