John 11:33-57

John 11:33-57 has Jesus with Mary and Martha outside their home. He has just arrived there after Lazarus has died, and both women had stated that they knew their brother would still be alive if Jesus had only come sooner.  Jesus walks into a place filled with sorrow where the sisters and friends of their family were all sobbing.  And Jesus gets emotional – “a deep anger welled up within him….Jesus wept”.  The human side of Jesus leaks out, and His love for Lazarus, Martha and Mary comes to the surface.

Of course, there are always those in the crowd who choose to look at things through a different set of negative eyes.  “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man”.  How often we respond to circumstances with no real understanding of the situation.  There are always multiple ways to see the truth, and in this case, as well as everything that happens each day in your patch, people can view it in a number of different ways. Some will always take the negative approach, as these Jewish leaders did.

Jesus just ignores what those people were saying and went as His anger continued to well up to the tomb which was “a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it”.  Then He took action.  He didn’t touch the stone.  He spoke the words: “remove the stone” and Marta quickly reminds Jesus that Lazarus has been dead four days and it going to stink things up.  She hadn’t yet put two and two together.  Jesus looks her in the eye and says “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God”?

So some in the crowd removed the stone and then Jesus does what only He can do, He took action and says “Lazarus, come out”.  He spoke the words and Lazarus walks out.  Jesus tells the people there to unwrap him from the wrappings that were on him and set him free.  This all makes quite an impression.  “They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him”.  But the Pharisees saw it differently and got together to talk about how to protect the “power and privilege” they still had.  They were focused on protecting their turf.  So “from that day on, they plotted to kill him”.  Jesus does a miracle.  Some respond with joy and believe in Him receiving salvation.  Others, who saw the same exact thing, saw it through their own dim eyes and could only focus on taking care of their own interests.  Which camp do you sit in?  Are you a believer, or one who is plotting His death?

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