Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 35 Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead



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The message for today is from John's gospel chapter 11.  

Often when Jesus came through the town of Bethany, he would stop over at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, to rest and have a meal.  They became good friends. but one day while Jesus was in another city, he received a message from Lazarus's sisters Martha and Mary which said, “Lord, your friend whom you love is ill.”   
But when Jesus heard it he said to his disciples, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Now Jesus cared about Martha, Mary and Lazarus.  But even hearing that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  Then he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”  The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews in Judea are desiring to stone you, and are you sure you want to return there again?”
 
Jesus said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I must go to awaken him.”  The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, perhaps we should let him rest.”  Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.  Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died."

Now when Jesus arrived just outside the village of Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  Now many of the Jews had come from Jerusalem to comfort Martha and Mary concerning their brother's death.  So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, but Mary stayed with the others. 

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
 
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live,  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

When she had said this, she hurried back to speak with her sister Mary, saying, “The Master is here and is calling for you.” And Mary immediately got up and went to him.  When the Jews who were with her in the house, saw Mary get up so quickly, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the grave to weep.  When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 

And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Then Jesus began to weep.  So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 

Some have wondered why Jesus was weeping ? ? The crowd thought he was weeping because Lazarus was dead; but wait - - there was another reason Jesus was so moved. 
Both Martha and Mary had just blamed Jesus for their brother's death saying if you had come sooner when we first sent you the message, our brother would still be alive - so there.  In their sorrow, these harsh words were like a slap in the face to Jesus.  

Tenderly Jesus told them he was going to rise Lazarus from the dead, but both women were so deeply involved in grief, and entrenched in Unbelief, they could not accept what Jesus was telling them about the present day.  Instead they could only refer his words to an event in the far away future.  Even the crowd was against him, saying all kinds of negative remarks about Jesus.  He marveled at all their unbelief.

Some of the mourners were critical saying, “If he could open the eyes of the blind man why didn't he keep this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb which was a cave, with a stone door.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be a terrible smell, for he has been dead four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Didn't I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
 
With hesitation they obeyed and removed the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me. I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 

When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” Lazarus, who had died came hobbling out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him,  but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what was done.   So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What shall we do? For this man Jesus performs many signs and wonders.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away our positions and our place.” 

But one of them, Caiaphas; who was high priest that year, said to them, “Don't you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”  Being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,  and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one family the children of God who are scattered abroad.  So from that day on the religious council made plans to put Jesus to death.

I am reminded in Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, yet we too are guilty at times of relegating our miracle to the future instead of realizing that God desires for us to enjoy health, provision, protection now, today.  As Jesus told Mary and Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life, and those who believe in me shall never die."  Wait a minute, don't we all expect to die someday?  Yes, but what was Jesus really saying.  Eternal Life is ours when we receive Jesus, so when a believer "dies" physically on this earth, their Spirit does not die, but is merely continuing on in a different form of life everlasting with Jesus in heaven.  

If you have not already do so - - Receive Jesus now - and receive His eternal Life in your spirit.


2 comments:

Karen said...

I am so thankful for my wonderful Lord and Savior!

Floyd Chaplin said...

May we have that same warm heart of our Master...