Saturday, October 26, 2013

John 11 - I AM the Resurrection and the Life

  At the close of John 10 we see the Jewish leaders once again seeking to arrest/kill Jesus. And once again He escaped their hands for His time had not come. Jesus then went across the jordan and remained where John the baptist was first baptizing. (John 10:40)   

In John 11 we see the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ coming to a close as Jesus is standing in the shadows of the cross. John uses this last & 7th sign of his gospel as proof that Jesus is the glorious divine Son of God. 

As this chapter opens, we see that Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, is very ill. His sisters send a messenger to let Jesus know. Jesus sends them this message from verse 4, "But when Jesus heard it he said, “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.”.
Jesus said... 
1) Lazarus will not die
2) This illness is for the glory of God, so that the Son may be glorified.

 Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were good friends with Jesus. We see Martha opening their home to Jesus in Luke 10:38-42 and in John 12 they are hosting a dinner celebration in honor of Jesus. Note the love between this family and Jesus.
Mary loved and adored Jesus as Messiah.  vs 2 "It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment...." (we see this in John 12)
* The sisters, Martha and Mary, said, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." vs 3
Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. vs 5

Jesus having dinner with Lazarus, Martha, & Mary. Luke 10:38-40
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus[a] was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  

It was love that kept Jesus away a few days longer.  God loves even when the cancer is not healed. He loves even when their is pain, suffering, and turmoil. He loves when the grade isn't made, when the money isn't there, when the children are acting up, when the spouse walks out, when it does not mean that God does not love. Sometimes there is a waiting period where roots of faith need to go down. God's love is not pampering, rather, His love is perfecting. He Loves us with a refining love.

In this story, Jesus would reveal His full diety and power to HIs disciples. In just a matter of days now, His disciples were about to see their Savior die on the cross and Jesus was preparing and perfecting their faith for what was to come. Jesus was about to reveal, once again, in a climatic manner that HE IS GOD.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him,“Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. .”

It was time to go to Bethany to "awaken" Lazarus. The disciples did not understand and thought Jesus was out of him mind to want to head back to Judea where the leaders were looking to kill him. Jesus, being one with the Father, knew the will of the Father. Though His hour of suffering on the cross was getting close, it had not come yet. He would be walking in the day - walking in the knowledge and will of God. His hour had not come so He would be safe as walking in the day. Those who walk in self reliance apart from God's will walk in the dark and stumble.
The disciples did not quite understand what Jesus was saying, but bravely followed Jesus expecting to possibly die with him! The disciples had love and faith, but they still needed refining.

When Jesus arrives in Bethany, Martha runs to Jesus. 
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 shall he 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, who is coming into the world.” John 11:21-27
Martha believed. She believed Jesus was the Christ that Old Testament prophets had talked about and that the nation Isreal had been waiting for. She believed that Jesus was one with the Father and whatever He asked God would do to help make the situation better. Martha believed that there was a heavenly resurrection on the last day. But did she believe that Jesus could raise her brother after being in the tomb for 4 days? Was that too much for Jesus, the Son of God? Jews of that day believed that after 3 days the spirit of the deceased person left them. Lazarus was beyong the help of Jesus because it had been 4 days, you know! Jesus had done many many signs and wonders already up to this point, even raising 2 others (atleast 2 documented cases) from the dead. Why did Martha and Mary not expect Jesus to raise Him from the dead since in verse 4, Jesus did say this illness wouldn't lead to death. He also told them that God would be glorified! Were they so blinded by their sorrows that they forget what He had told them? How often do we take our eyes off of Christ and become consumed with our pain or suffering? That waiting time when we are unsure how God is going to rescue can be difficult. We as believers can stand in faith knowing that our God see's are situation and hear's our cries. He is a God who comes down to rescue. He doesn't always answer our prayers the way we expect, but He does ALWAYS love, hold, and carry His followers.

 "Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “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.”  Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  John 11:32-36
In this passage we see the humanity of Jesus and the heart of God. Jesus wept. We do not have a God who does not or cannot sympathacize with us! As Isaiah says, He was a man of "grief and sorrows". (Isaiah 53) Jesus loved these people and they were weeping as if they had no hope! We see the fall in Genesis 3 and since then this world has been cursed. Humanity suffers through life with much sadness, pain, evil, and our greatest enemy death. Jesus, being God, can see the great divide between good and evil. He knows hearts and the many who would deny Him even after seeing so many great signs. The human heart is fickle, who can understand it?! Thanks be to God who sent us Jesus Christ! He made a way for us to be healed and He made overcoming death possible!  "I AM the resurrection and the Life!" Jesus has power over life and death. He speaks it and it is. Nothing can separate from the love of God! (Romans 8) 
Jesus came to the tomb. He told them to move the stone. Martha could not help herself, she had to make sure Jesus knew it had been 4 days and moving the stone may not be a good idea Jesus because it's going to smell. Did the thought cross her mind that Jesus knew what He was doing?  Do we question Jesus sometimes?  Are we slow to understand?  God grow our faith and help us with our unbelief!
Jesus gently reminds Martha what He had already told her in verse 4, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"  Martha steps back, quiets down, and watches God in the flesh awaken the dead!
Jesus thanked God the Father for the benefit of the listens to know and believe that they are ONE. Then Jesus spoke, "Lazarus, Come out!".  
 "The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44
Awake and rise to life. The thief, Satan, comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but CHRIST comes to bring LIFE. (John 10:10) Unbind him and let him go. Set free the captives! (Is 61) What thought or action do you need to throw off? Who do you need to help set free?

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Gal. 5:1
The words of Jesus from verse 4 ring true. The illness did not lead to death and God and the Son were glorified! Many believed Jesus and the disciples faith grew that day no doubt. 

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31

Wait on the LORD. Trust His timing. Even if you can't see the light in the darkness, trust that it is coming. Praise His name in the storm. Thank Him for His goodness. 
Ask Him, "LORD, show me your glory!!"

Not all were excited about this great miracle. When the leaders got wind of it they decided they weren't going to wait till after the passover now to sieze Jesus. 

Jesus was too risky. He was too dangerous. The Romans may take notice and end their temple worship and even nation all together. So Ciaphas, the high priest of Israel, out of pride, hardness of heart, and fear of the Romans, declared this innocent man guilty. He gave orders to look for and arrest Jesus. 
Ciaphas (High Priest AD 18-36) did not realize it, but he spoke a prophsey by saying that one man would die for the nation. 

(Ciaphas) prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on theymade plans to put him to death." John 11:51-53
All of this was according to God's plan. He loves us. He has hope and a future for us. We have nothing to fear for He is for us and He has overcome death! What an incredible truth and promise! What an awesome and good God! 
"“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor 15:55-56
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

John week 8 homework copy.pdf