Archive for August 3rd, 2010

John 11

John 11 is devoted to the story of Lazarus.  John captures in great detail the events and more importantly the emotion of that brush with death.  Jesus is ministering to people in a different place when he hears “that Lazarus was ill”.  No immediate response is taken – after all people get sick all the time don’t they.  But Jesus response was a bit unexpected – for scripture tells us that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus”.  Jesus was close to this family.  They were more than just acquaintances.  He had a deep and personal relationship.  But rather than rush to their home, “He stayed two days longer in the place where he was”.  What is up with that?  Jesus gets the message that His dear friend Lazarus is ill, and He continues where He is doing what He has been doing.  Doesn’t really make sense does it?  There is a reason for His actions.  Jesus already knew the end of the story.  He knew that Lazarus was dead.  And He tells His disciples “for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe”.  This was a faith builder.  It was Jesus allowing nature to take its course so He could be shown strong and a victor over death.   So Jesus heads over to Bethany to the house of this dear family.  As He approaches, Martha comes running and says “I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you”.  She has faith.  She knows what Jesus can do.  Mary comes and says the same thing exactly.  Then Jesus gives these words, some of the most important in all of scripture: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  Did you catch that?  Jesus is the way to beat death and achieve eternal life.  It all comes down to what we do with Jesus.  Have you dealt with that question?  Do you believe?

We see the human side of Jesus with raw emotion here.  In two words, we find out just how human He was.  “Jesus wept”.  Even though He knew Lazarus would be coming back from death, the emotion of the moment, the sad hearts of people that were special to Him, the overwhelming sadness caused Him to express His love openly.  Jesus loves you and me that much too.  “See how He loved him”.  Jesus loves us just as much.  In fact, He went to the cross for us. This expression of Jesus gives us the reality of the sacrifice He made.  It wasn’t just obedience to the Father, it was done out of love.  A deep and caring love for each one of us.  Of course the religious leaders were not impressed – they were threatened.  They could not stand the fact that Jesus was getting all the attention and was threatening their livelihoods.  “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”   No way they could let this continue.  So “from that day on they made plans to put him to death”.  All according to prophesy and plan, but oh how selfish desires get in the way of God’s glory.  What have you done with Jesus?  Answering that question is the most important thing you can do!    

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