Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
JOHN 11:36-44 JESUS SAID TO HER, DID I NOT SAY TO YOU THAT IF YOU WOULD BELIEVE YOU WOULD SEE THE GLORY OF GOD
John 11:36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!" 37 And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?" 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 "And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."
Today we will see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Even though he has been dead four days, it is not too late. Did you know that it is never too late for Jesus to do His work, when we give up and give in we have missed God’s best, because He wants us to trust Him in Faith. Jesus tells them they will see God’s Glory, that was the message all along, but they missed it and many times so do we. We are looking for a way out and God wants to show us His Glory. Jesus allows them to participate by removing the stone and removing Lazarus’s grave clothes. God wants us to serve Him and gives us the privilege of helping Him if we will only be obedient. Jesus prays and calls forth Lazarus to come forth. Lazarus is a picture of us who are dead in our trespasses and sins and unless God calls us out of that life, we will continue to be spiritually dead forever. Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That is what Jesus did for Lazarus and is what He will do for us if we will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Have you done that? If not, why not do it today?
36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"
All of this is to let us know that our Lord is greatly affected by the sorrow of those about Him. He does not dab away at a tear or two; He visibly trembles as He weeps. This is observed by those there at the burial place of Lazarus, along with Mary, and they say to each other, “Look how much he loved him” (verse 26). This is now the third time that mention has been made of our Lord’s love for Lazarus. The first is when Martha and Mary remind Jesus of His love for Lazarus, when they send word to Him of the illness of their brother (verse 3). The second is in verse 5, when John makes it clear with the strongest term for love (agaph) that Jesus deeply loved Lazarus, and his two sisters (verse 5). Now, those standing by Mary can see our Lord’s love for Lazarus themselves (verse 36).
37 And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?"
Men say, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” The Christian can say far more: “Where there’s death, there’s hope.” In fact, this is not even going quite far enough. It is not enough to say that God gives life to us in Christ in spite of death. It is far more accurate to say that God gives eternal life to men in Christ by means of death. It is by means of His death on the cross of Calvary that the penalty for our sins has been paid.
I am saying that it really was necessary for Lazarus to die here, so that true biblical faith can be produced in many. It was necessary for all hope of Lazarus’s human recovery to die with him, so that the resurrection power of our Lord can be demonstrated. This is no mere healing; it is a raising of a body so dead that it smells.
One of the greatest hindrances to spiritual renewal is that people refuse to die, or better yet, they refuse to admit they are dead. Too many Christians are trying to wring something good for God out of their fallen flesh, as though their bodies were weak, needing only a little divine help. We are dead with respect to any good works. It is His resurrection power which we all need to live the Christian life:
8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not controlled by the flesh but by the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you (Romans 8:8-11).
You may have a marriage that is in trouble. Rather than looking at it as sick, perhaps you should look at it as dead. I do not mean that you should pronounce it dead and get a divorce; I mean that you should see that it is humanly impossible to save, and that God must give it resurrection life. Biblical faith is resurrection faith, it is trusting in a God who can produce life where there is only death. This is what we are told about Abraham’s faith:
15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. 16 On account of this it is by faith, that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham (who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”) before God whom he believed, who makes alive the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.” 19 Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that what God promised he was also able to do. 22 So indeed it was credited to Abraham as righteousness. 23 But it is not written that it was credited to him only for Abraham’s sake, 24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was given over
Biblical faith is resurrection faith, faith which trusts in a God who is able to raise the dead. How many Christians are trying to “keep something alive” that God has declared to be dead? We do not live by the principle, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” We live by the kind of faith which believes that God brings about life through death. Let us not strive to keep alive what should be laid to rest. Let us not strive to preserve life when God means to produce it. It all begins when we acknowledge, with God, that we are sinners who are dead in our trespasses and sins. We must cease striving to produce “dead works,” which we hope will please God, and confess that our finest deeds produced by fleshly efforts are an offense to God. Death is not the end of our hope, but its starting point. It is by means of the death of our Lord that we die to the guilt, penalty, and power of our sins. When we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, we acknowledge our own sin and inability to save ourselves. Because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification (Romans 4:15-25).
John 12:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
No one could be on more intimate terms with God the Father than was Jesus, His Son. And yet no one has ever suffered more than the Son of God, and this (ultimately) at the hand of His Father. Suffering is a part of God’s “school” through which every saint must pass, even our Lord:
7 During his earthly life he offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. 9 And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 and he was designated by God as “high priest in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:7-10).
Suffering is proof of our sonship: Hebrews 12:3-13
2Ti 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
When God sends suffering our way, it comes for His glory, as well as our good; it springs from His love for us; it comes from One who Himself suffers with us in our suffering. The tears of our Lord at the grave of Lazarus tell it all. Suffering does not come to the saint from a callused God, who is insensitive to our pains. Suffering comes from Him who has suffered more than we shall ever know, from the hand of One who is touched by our affliction. The verse, “Jesus wept,” may be short, but it is very significant. It is worthy of much meditation on our part. Let us remember that all the blessings into which we have entered as Christians have come as the result of His suffering:
Trust God's will, trust God's power, trust God's timing...you trust those three things and you're a trusting soul. God knows what He's doing. And He knows when to do it. And it's so easy to sit back and say, "Well, God has gone so far now," you're really messed up, "You're not going to be able to do anything about it now." And you start wavering into doubt. I like what it says in John 13:7. Peter, he was always asking questions. The Lord was always telling him, you know, to remember his place. Verse 7, "Jesus answered and said unto him," after he had asked a particular question about washing feet, "Jesus said,, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."
38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
As the great God-man, he had deep, strong emotions that always accorded perfectly with every situation. And this revelation, too, is an act of love. Even anger at unbelief and suspicion and questioning is an act of love. Because these are the very things that keep us from seeing the glory of Christ in our pain.
39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." Dead men don’t have names, When He is raised he has a name.
40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"
Mary is a picture I think of those of us who always think there is something we can do, to get to heaven, to fix things, to help God, but Mary is one who comes to Jesus and gets at His feet and knows that only Jesus can do something.
True Faith relies on God’s promises and releases God’s power
Here's the key thought. "Jesus saith unto her," Jesus talking to Martha, "Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest believe thou shouldest see the glory of God?" Now you remember that I told you last time that that statement is the statement of principle. In other words, He's saying this, "If you want to see the most out of this miracle and see it in its true value, you've got to come to the miracle in the right frame of mind." Right? If you come to the miracle believing that it's going to manifest God's glory, then when it happens you're going to say, "Oh look, there's God's glory." If you come to the miracle preoccupied with a corpse, all you're going to see is a living corpse and you won't really reflect on the glory of God. If you come to the miracle blinded, totally unbelieving hardened heart, you're going to walk away, "And so I don't know what happened but obviously it didn't happen like it looked."
This is absolutely fundamental to the main purpose of this Gospel—and the whole Bible. In John 1:14–16, John writes, “The Word [the eternal Son of God] became flesh [became human] and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Then in verse 16, he relates the demonstration of that divine glory to us. Verse 16: “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” So the pattern is this: Jesus reveals his divine glory—glory as of the only Son from the Father—and we behold it, and from its fullness we receive grace.
So the incarnate revealing of the glory of God in Christ, climaxing with the cross and the resurrection, and our seeing it is the way we receive grace—that is, the way we are saved and receive all the promises of eternal life.
Christ says, "In this miracle, Martha, I don't want you to see a corpse made alive, I want you to see the Son of God glorified." Do you see the difference? The difference is just this, if you keep your eyes on the corpse, when the corpse comes alive all you're going to see is a living body. If you keep your eyes on Me, when the corpse comes alive all you're going to see is My glory. Do you see the difference? You see, what you carry into the miracle, Martha, is what you're going to get out of it. That's exactly what He's saying.
Oh, this is a tremendous principle. And He says I want you to see the glory of God. Now the glory of God is everything, isn't it? Everything that is, is what it is because of the glory of God. That's the theme of the universe, the glory of God. Everything is for God's glory...everything.
"What is the glory of God?" The glory of God is the revelation of all of His excellencies ... all of His attributes, all the fullness of His person. For example, His glory takes many, many facets. Moses said in Exodus 33:18 "Show me Your glory." And what did God show him? His goodness, His grace and His mercy. See. Those are just three of God's attributes. All of God's attributes or excellencies make up His glory.
Did you know that resurrection life was one of the attributes of God's glory? In Romans 6, listen to this, tremendous truth, verse 4, "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death," that's speaking of our death with Christ, we died with Him. Now watch this, "As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life." What raised Christ from the dead? The glory of the Father. What is the glory of the Father? That manifestation of it in resurrection power. One of the excellencies, one of the manifestations of God's glory is resurrection power. Therefore, Jesus says this miracle is for you to see the manifestation of God's glory in resurrection power. "Martha, I'm not so concerned that you be preoccupied with Lazarus. I want you to be preoccupied with Me and My glory."
If Martha sets her heart on Christ and then the miracle happens, she's going to see a glorified Christ. Right? That's the key.
But you know what happens to the Christian who keeps his eyes on Jesus Christ? When the solution comes, what does he see? He sees the glory of Jesus Christ. And you know, every time a problem's answered, you say, "Hey, praise the Lord, this is terrific." See. It's terrific. I've seen the glory of God.
Second Corinthians 3:18, it's a key verse. Listen to this, 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "But we all with unveiled faith," since we've been saved the veil is off, we can see it now, "beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord." What are we supposed to be looking at in our Christian lives, our problems? No, no, no, we're looking into the glory of the Lord. And what happens to us? We are, listen to this one, terrific, changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord. You know what that verse is saying? That's saying that when you gaze into the face of Jesus Christ, you're going to see His glory. And not only that, you are literally going to be changed into His image from glory to glory. His glory is going to become your glory. You're going to be Christ-like and actually giving off His attributes.
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
His prayer was not a request for Lazarus' resurrection. Such a prayer would have glorified the Father. It was rather a prayer of thanksgiving for what the Father would shortly do. It had the effect of focusing attention on the Son as God's agent in
performing the miracle. Jesus' prayer had the effect also of drawing the onlookers into His intimate relationship with the Father and proving that He really did do nothing independently of the Father (cf. 5:19-47).
42 "And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."
42 times Jesus says He has been sent by the Father in the Book of John
43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"
Lazarus was dead and he is a picture of us being spiritually dead, just as he could not do anything until Christ called him out, neither can we do anything to achieve holiness or heaven. Eph 2 – We are Spiritually dead
1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
The dead heard the voice of the Son of God and lived, as Jesus had predicted (5:25, 28-29). If Jesus had not specified Lazarus by name, every dead person might have arisen at His command. Jesus probably cried out loudly to make clear that this resurrection was not an act of magic. Wizards typically muttered their incantations and spells quietly cf. Isa 8:19 And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?)
44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.
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