Jesus wept at the loss of Lazarus. However, Lazarus rising from the dead confirmed Jesus' power as the One who is the Resurrection and the Life. Be encouraged to walk in the newness of life in Christ!
John 11: The Death of Lazarus
1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.
3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."
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."
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."
8 The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?"
9 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.
10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."
11 After saying these things, he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him."
12 The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."
13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died,
15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
I Am the Resurrection and the Life
17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.
18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,
19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.
21 Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."
28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."
29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
32 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."
33 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.
34 And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see."
35 Jesus wept.
36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?"
Jesus Raises Lazarus
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, 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 the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days."
40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me."
43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out."
44 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."
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him,
46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.
48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all.
50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish."
51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.
56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?"
57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
John 12:Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table.
3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said,
5 "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"
6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 Jesus said, "Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.
8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well,
11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
The Triumphal Entry
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"
14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.
17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.
18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.
19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."
Some Greeks Seek Jesus
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
34 So the crowd answered him, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"
35 So Jesus said to them, "The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.
36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light."
The Unbelief of the People When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.
37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,
38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."
41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.
42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;
43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
Jesus Came to Save the World
44 And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.
46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment---what to say and what to speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."
Things to think about…
1.Jesus wants to go back to Bethany – near Jerusalem to heal Lazarus, Jn 11:1-6. Bethany today has a traditional site for the tomb of Lazarus and is one of the sites that helps bring tourists into this West Bank town. As a small village in Jesus day everyone would have known Lazarus and mourned his death. Jesus puts Himself in danger to go back to Judea to heal His friend. What would you do for your closest friends? Surely the greatest thing is their salvation. Have you shared the message of the cross with them yet?
2.We often hear that Mary is the one who sat at Jesus feet and Martha was the worker. But look here in Jn 11:17-27, Martha is the one who goes out to greet Jesus who confesses that Jesus could have healed her brother and that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. Look at her theology and confession in Jn 11:27 "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." Martha's eyes had been open to the truth even though she struggled at times. I get great encouragement when I see these insights in scripture. There's hope for me!
3."Jesus wept", Jn 11:35. Is the shortest verse in the bible and yet it displays the compassion and humanity of our Lord and His identity with a lost, broken and dying world. What makes you weep? When was the last time you wept over someone who was outside a saving knowledge of Christ?
4.Imagine the effect of seeing your brother who had been dead for four days get up and walk out of the tomb, Jn 11:44. Yet those who have accepted Christ as Saviour have a greater resurrection. They have been raised spiritually – a truly impossible task for the flesh.
5.This miracle was always going to cause a problem for Jesus. The Pharisees were already angry at Him before He left the area and wanted to stone Him. Now with this latest miracle which displayed the undeniable power of Jesus, they plotted to kill Him from that point on, Jn 11:53. What do you think of Caiaphas's comment, Jn 11:49-52? He was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God used their plotting towards Christ's murder for the purpose of saving the Lord's people. Peter confirms this in his speech in Acts 2:36.
6.We see in John 12:1-8 the character of people coming out to meet Jesus. Mary still wants to sit at Jesus' feet, this time to worship Him. Martha is still serving and the disciples, not just Judas, are criticising the actions of others. Jesus exalts extravagant worship. What are you doing for the Lord that is just for Him and no-one else?
7.How hard does the heart have to be to consider this as an option, Jn 12:11 "So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well"? A mighty miracle was done. Such a miracle had been seen since the time of Elijah. In order to control the people even murder was considered by the priests. What a tragedy it is when spiritual leaders cover up the truth to protect themselves.
8.Look at these people in Jn 12:12-19, they are laying down palm branches and shouting out praises to the Lord. Surely these same ones could never yell out 'Crucify, crucify'. Alas, we know the truth. We need to ask ourselves if there are any areas where we are being hypocritical in our worship of the Lord. Jesus says His commandments are not burdensome and that His yoke is easy and His burden light.
9.In Jn 12:27-36 people hear a voice from heaven, they see and hear the supernatural and yet in Jn 12:37-43 there is still rank unbelief among the masses. How is this so? What more proof is needed? The answer is none! The issue is with the heart. The human race is so blind, we cannot see our own hypocrisy. Unbelief is expected in the world, how tragic it is when we see it in the church, the body of Christ. The remedy for getting rid of unbelief in the church is of course lifting up truth and Christ's witness in the world?
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
Sunday morning's message on "God has left the building" from Ezek 10:15-22.
1.Ezek says God departed from the threshold, vs 18. Can you recall where in scripture God's presence is on display with certain people or the nation of Israel.
2.A few short years after this prophesy Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in 586BC. Years later Jesus standing in the rebuilt temple said "destroy this temple and in 3 days I will rebuild it" Jn 2:19. What did He mean?
3.Is it possible to have the Holy Spirit be removed from a church, yet still gather as a church? What does that look like? Consider Rev 2:4,5.
4.Some people are concerned about God's presence leaving them and concerned about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Why is it likely that such a person's concern is unjustified? Look at the promises for the true believer in Christ and God's promise that He would never leave or forsake them. Discuss this in the light of Rom 8:31-39.
1.Katie Aitchison – Niece of Murray and Rhonda, has a Golden Staph infection. In hospital. Pray for healing.
2.NSW parliament they have passed the lower house to decriminalize abortion laws. Likely to be passed in the upper house. Another very sad day in Australia. But keep praying,
3.More Sunday school teachers
4.Those who are not well – Flu and other conditions. Continue to pray for Andre's heart health.
5.CBC's ministries for this term
6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
7.Next Sunday's messages. John 7"Who do you think you are Jesus" in the morning, "Tell me about yourself…again"– Axiom 6pm.
8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop.
9.Church finances to meet our expenses.
10.Recharge – Pray for someone to take over Recharge.
11.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
1.The Lord blessed with His word and presence on Sunday.
2.Murray out of hospital, pray he remains well on current medication.
3.New folk at church on Sunday
4.Our Lord's tangible presence at Sunday night's prayer service
5.New ministries being considered – Outreach opportunities and Church services
6.Unity, love and peace
1.Aitchison group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.
2.Members Meeting – This Sunday after the morning service.
3.Playpatch – Back this week. Carly Backwell leads this ministry.
4.Recharge– back this week. Pete Alback leads high schoolers from 7-9pm Friday nights at church.
5.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children.
6.Mapleton Women's retreat – Fri August 23rd- Sun Aug 25th. Cost $175. More details here https://www.anewconference.org.au/conferences/mapleton
7.Working Bee at church – Saturday 14th Sept, start at 8am.
This month's catechism question...
Q. 3. What has Christ given us to teach us how to pray?
A. The Lord's Prayer.
Bible Reference – Matt.6:5-15; Luke11:1-13.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3