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In the Middle of Trials – Jesus Will Prevail

John11    In the Middle of Trials – Jesus Will Prevail

John 11 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Raising of Lazarus

11 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair.[a] Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days. 7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people[b] in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”

9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. 10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” 11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” 13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.

14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin,[c] said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”

17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. 18 Bethany was only a few miles[d] down the road from Jerusalem,19 and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. 20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[e] Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” 29 So Mary immediately went to him.

30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. 31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him,[f] and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

 Some thoughts:

Jesus has been healing people, feeding people and forgiving people.

He now receives word that Lazerus, the brother of Mary and Martha, was sick.  Jesus knew what He would do (that Lazerus’s sickness would not end in death, but He would give glory to God through this).

As they were preparing to leave, Jesus lets his disciples know He needs to go see Lazerus, that Lazerus had “fallen alseep.”  (a soft term used for death). His disciples were not getting it, but then Jesus lays it out to them.

In verse 14 Jesus is glad for the occassion to help the disciples really believe. The word believe (Grk. “pisteo”) essentially means to have faith in and trust that only Jesus can do this onething.

When Jesus arrives, Mary’s first response was essentially, “why the delay.. if you had arrived sooner my brother would not have died.” However Martha’s faith overcame her emotions and she had faith that God would give Jesus whatever he asked.

Both Martha and Mary battled their emotions but they knew that Jesus could do something for Lazerus. Martha knew about the future resurrection but Jesus said He was the resurrection and the life. Martha believed!

In the middle of Martha and Mary’s grief as well as those who came along to the grave site, Mary and Martha believed in Jesus.

Jesus calls Lazerus to come out. Lazerus is raised and God the father is glorified.

One old time preacher one said, "If Jesus had not called Lazerus specifically, every dead person in that tomb would have ran out."

Thought: In the middle of whatever circumstances you find yourself in, know this, that Jesus is the one who can bring healing and resurrection. He can raise whatever the dead issues are in your life, to new life.

The Old Testament calls God (one of His many names) Jehova Rapha, Our Healer. God (through the name of Jesus and power of the Holy Spirit) can not only bring healing but He can bring resurrection.

Psalm 103:2-3New Living Translation (NLT)

2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.

 Today let’s pray and believe God for healing and resurrection – that is whatever the dead things are in our lives, that Jesus can raise these to new life ... let’s have that faith in Jesus that believes that He is all we need!