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80: Lazarus; Dead and Alive

May 14, 2009

Major Text: John 11:1-44

Key Verse: John 11:25-26

Outline:

  1. Lazarus is Sick and Jesus Stays John 11:1-10
  2. Lazarus is Dead and Jesus Comes John 11:11-16
  3. Lazarus is Mourned and Jesus is Met John 11:17-32
  4. Jesus Weeps and the People Talk John 11:33-40
  5. Jesus Prays and Lazarus Comes Forth John 11:41-44

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus and His disciples are still ministering in Perea east of the Jordan River. Jesus’ friend Lazarus is sick and his sisters send word to Jesus. John identifies one of the sisters, Mary, as the one who anointed Jesus just prior to His crucifixion. Jesus visited this family earlier [see Lesson 65]. Obviously they were friends, dedicated followers, and believers in Jesus as the true Son of God, the Christ. From the reaction of Thomas in hearing of Lazarus’ death, one could conclude that Lazarus was a friend to all the disciples, an encourager, a supporter, a motivator, and a visionary. From the number of mourners gathered from Jerusalem we can conclude Lazarus was also respected and influential. Perhaps he was a Levite and took his turn working at the Temple.

The presence of Jesus was not necessary to heal Lazarus. Jesus allowed Lazarus to die so that He could show His Glory to the family and mourners.

Note the role reversal of Mary and Martha. This time Martha goes to meet Jesus and Mary stays to care for their guests. Jesus takes this opportunity to assure Martha and to encourage her to believe what she knows to be true. Jesus stays at the edge of Bethany and Martha returns home to get Mary because Jesus asked to see her too. Jesus sees no need to encourage Mary’s faith but asks to go to the Lazarus’ tomb. Jesus weeps with them. He has put them through much pain in order to show His Glory. Jesus needs to assure Martha once again and then prays. Note the tone of Jesus’ prayer. He prays with an attitude of assurance [see my comments in Sec. IV of Mark’s gospel]. With that, Jesus calls Lazarus to come out. Thus, the Power and the Glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God was shown to those who believed and to those who mocked Him.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. When you think Jesus is dragging His feet and ignoring you, remember He is preparing to reveal His Glory through your circumstances. Be patient, be yielded, and be ready to rejoice.
  2. If we are walking in the Light we will not fear death.
  3. Believers can anticipate and expect to meet Jesus when they die.
  4. In times of crisis or mourning, take time to assure one another of God’s truth and God’s promises. God’s greatest miracle, our resurrection, requires that we have faith and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Creator of Life, and the giver of life eternal.
  5. Jesus does feel our pain. But He is also present to comfort us and heal our pain. In pain, anticipate His Glory.
  6. Come to the Lord assured and be prepared to rejoice at the manifestation of God’s Glory and Sovereignty over all things. This manifestation of Glory is not just for us personally but a witness to unbelievers in our midst.
  7. God’s children bring Glory to God in life and in death. We must lose our life to save our life.
  8. Man’s sin has brought death but Jesus, the Son of God, has Resurrection Power.

The Benefit of the Resurrection

[vs. 1-16]

is realized when we understand

The Truth of the Resurrection

[vs. 17-32]

and express

Our Belief in the Resurrection and the Life,

[vs. 27-32]

even though

We may Grieve before the Resurrection,

[vs. 33-40]

that we may experience

The Joy of the Resurrection

[vs. 41-44]

such that

God’s Glory is Revealed to All.

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