John 11:1-57, Jesus wept; Raised Lazarus four days after his death.

"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,... 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, ... have right to the tree of life, and... enter ... the city."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

"John 11:43 .., he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;"

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Mary and Martha were two wings of Faith.

Let us study the 11th chapter of the gospel of John. I like to call the topic as; "Mary and Martha were two wings of Faith." But the chapter is about the resurrection of Lazarus, four days after his burial. Then an extraordinary thing we see in this chapter is that "Jesus Wept." I could not avoid it. So, I made the topic as, "Jesus wept; Raised Lazarus, four days after his death."

Jews and Christians rejected Jesus Christ

We are going to study the entire chapter of John 11. Jesus raised a man to live, after four days from his death; and the high priest of God, has decided that Jesus must be put to death, because of this. How ridiculous that situation was? God's high priest want to kill the Son of God! Even now, the leaders of churches have the same attitude. Jesus told in "Luke 18:8 ... Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Nobody has faith in God, yet they are theologians, pastors and preachers. There is no faith or truth in churches at present.

Mary on the feet, Martha on the Kitchen.

Let us study. "John 11:1, Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)" There is a lot to study about Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus. Jesus was very close with this family. Mary was spiritual and was keen in learning the doctrines of Jesus, whereas Martha was very dedicated and took responsibility; it is explained in Luke 10:38-42. The verses say, that "Mary sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving. And Jesus said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." It shows that eternal rewards are by following the doctrine of Jesus Christ, rather than doing any other service. In the next chapter, John 12:3 says, "Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment;" and so on. There are more to study in that, and we will study it with the next chapter. The same incident is mentioned in Matthew 26:7-12, and Mark 14:3-9 also. One other incident of alabaster ointment on the feet of Jesus is mentioned in Luke 7:36-48. Most probably it is not Mary. We will study that also with the next chapter.

Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

Jesus loved the family very much. "3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick." Even from the message we know that Jesus has loved Lazarus very dearly, they know that Jesus has healed the sick and he has supernatural power to heal. That is why they sent the message to Jesus, so that he could heal Lazarus. "4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was." Please notice that Jesus said, "this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God." And, he did not go to Lazarus to heal him but remained there for two more days; and by the time Lazarus has died.

Martha and Mary were two wings of one Spirit

In 7-13, Jesus was discussing with his disciples about going to Judaea, and about the sickness and death of Lazarus. "14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him." Jesus did not go before Lazarus has died because, he wanted to build the belief and faith of his disciples, by raising Lazarus from the dead. It is for the ministry's sake. "16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." The Jews at Jerusalem wanted to kill Jesus, and so it was risky for Jesus to go there. "17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. 18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother." The sisters and their friends were mourning the death of Lazarus. They buried him four days ago. They lost him. "20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house." They both loved him, but they show their love in different ways. We are also the same, every one of us show our love in our own way, and that is perfectly alright. In "21 said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Jesus was not there with the family when they needed him the most. But they were not bitter against him.  Martha told Jesus; "22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." We can preach tons of sermons from these few verses. Since it is a bible study, I do not want to make any sermon out of this. But please do one thing. At home, in your solitary moment, please do what I do. Look at these verses, own these verses for yourself, make these meaningful spiritual dialogue between you and the Lord Jesus, who is in the Spirit, who will be present with you at that moment, it is not Martha---it is you, you and him together, repeat this dialogue with him. Then, you will experience the spiritual depth of the verses. It will do more to you than a thousand sermons. Get intimate with him. Let it be your personal time with God Jesus and let the dialogue come from the depth of your heart. God will bless you.

Jesus groaned in the spirit, was troubled, and wept.

From verses 28-31, Martha went to Mary and told her that Jesus was looking for her. "32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Of course, Lazarus would not have died if he was there. Remember, Martha also said the same thing in verse 21. We will also say the same thing. They didn't have to go through all the grief. Jesus also went through the same grief. But these were all needed for the glory of God. "33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept." This is the shortest verse in the bible. "Jesus wept." He was fully a man with all the love and emotions. "36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it." He was buried on the same day of his death, four days ago.

Jesus Called dead Lazarus, he came as a Living Man.

"39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" No one will look down on Martha for saying this. Because, you and I will say the same thing. Martha had faith. When Jesus will finish this episode, her faith would reach sky high, and no one will reach it. I like to say one more point on this. Preachers take verse 40, and preach saying that "if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God," and encourage them to venture to do supernatural healings and miracles. Such teachings are totally unacceptable, because it is not a general statement of Jesus for anyone to use the verse and to put up a show. It was a personal statement of Jesus Christ to Martha alone. We all must have faith in God, but we cannot bring any manifestation or result by using such verses. "41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go." Again, so many sermons are preached on these verses. There are sermons even on the grave clothes. It is not preaching time. However, one man who was dead and buried for four days was brought alive in the flesh. If it was spectacular, please imagine that millions of souls that are dead for hundred and thousand years, will be raised in one day, and many of them will be in the heavenly glory and they will look like Jesus Christ, how much of a spectacular scene that will be? Are you planning to be one among them? Won't that be marvelous?

High Priest of God prophesied to kill the Son of God

"45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done." See, the religious politics is not different from the national politics. They witnessed a spectacular miracle that is the manifestation of God. Instead of being struck with an awe, they went to the Pharisees to help them plot to kill Jesus. Verses 47-49 say about their plot and the high priest gives the verdict. "50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;" Did you notice what these verses say? They thought that it is a clever plot to kill Jesus. But as a matter of fact, God the Father has put the thought in the mind of the enemy, who is the high priest, and he announced it as a prophesy. However, what an irony was it? The high priest of God, plotting to kill the Son of God; it is unbelievable! Even now, the church leaders are enemies to God. Referring to the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, Jesus said in Matthew 26:24, "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!" This will apply to the high priest as well as to the Jews. It may apply to our preachers also, since they have rejected the resurrected Lord God Jesus Christ, who will turn us away from our sins now. Verses 52-54 tells about their plot to kill Jesus and Jesus kept a low profile. Verses 55&56 mention about the Passover feast. "57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should show it, that they might take him." The chief priest gives orders to catch Jesus to kill him." The people of God became the enemies of God. But they were acting as godly people. Christians are not different. It is religion.

What are the take away Points from this lesson?

1, Mary was spiritual and was keen in learning the doctrines of Jesus. Even though Martha was dedicated and careful, Jesus said that his doctrine is more important than any other work for eternity. 2, Jesus did not go to heal Lazarus since, he wanted to build the belief and faith of his disciples, by raising Lazarus from the dead. 3, Mary and Martha had faith; but they did not know how to express it in the higher dimension. We are also like that many times. 4, Despite the spectacular manifestation of God by Jesus, in raising Lazarus, the servants of God decided to kill Jesus. God the Father also went along with it by giving the high priest the prophesy, since it is the will of God. 5, We must learn from Mary and Martha, not to become bitter, but to keep our faith and relationship with God tight, in the moments of distress. Have faith in God.

God Bless You

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