The Miracles in John: Lesson 8: Raising Lazarus from the Dead
Sermon shared by Elmer Towns
Summary: World says seeing is believing, but God says the opposite; believing is seeing. “If you would believe, you would see the glory of God” (11:40).
Series: The Miracles in John
Audience: General adults
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1. When did this miracle occur? Winter after Purim, December (John 10:22) and before Passover (John 11:55).
2. Where did the miracle occur? Bethany, east of Jerusalem (11:1).
3. Why does Jesus wait? “When He (Jesus) had heard . . . He abode two days in the same place” (11:6).
• Our agendas are not God’s. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord” (Isa. 55:8).
• We are self motivated. “Jesus saw her weeping” (11:33).
• To show us our unbelief. Martha believed Jesus could stop Lazarus from dying, but not raise him from the dead.
• To testify to outsiders. “Then many of the Jews . . . believed on Him” (11:45).
• To give time for circumstances to develop. Lazarus was sick; Jesus let the pathology run its course.
• To glorify God. “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God” (11:4).
4. How did Jesus relate to His disciples? A teaching opportunity. “I was glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe” (11:15).
• Jesus waits for a purpose. “He (Jesus) stayed two more days (11:6).
• Jesus is unafraid. “The Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” (11:8).
• Jesus answers in a parable to get them to think. “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world” (11:9).
b. Spiritual light.
• Jesus answers by theology. “Lazarus sleepeth” (11:11, KJV).
Disciples thought sleep was therapy.
• Jesus answers plainly. “Lazarus is dead” (11:14). Impossible for anyone to die in Jesus’ presence. “Let us go to him” (11:15).
Paul said, “I am persuaded that neither death nor life . . . shall be able to separate us from the love of God” (Rom. 8:38-39).
• Jesus still has a relationship to Lazarus, even in death.
• Thomas’ doubt is revealed. “Let us also go that we may die with him” (11:16).
Thomas will die for the love which he has, but it will not affect the faith which he has not” -Wescott
5. How does Jesus answer Martha’s disappointment? “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (11:21).
a. Blames Jesus.
b. Death clouds our thinking.
• Martha thought Jesus was inferior to God. “Whatever you ask of God, God will give you” (11:22). The word for ask is an inferior asking a superior.
• Martha believed in the principle of resurrection, but not the person. “I know He will rise again in the resurrection” (11:24).
• The answer of Jesus. “I am the resurrection” (11:25).
6. How does Jesus answer Mary’s discouragement?
• Martha grieved inwardly (cut self off from help), and Mary wept outwardly. “The Jews . . . followed her, saying she is going to the tomb to weep there” (11:31).
• Mary is always seen at the feet of Jesus. “She (Mary) fell down at His feet” (11:32). Our unbelief hurts Jesus. “When Jesus saw . . . He groaned in His spirit and was troubled” (11:33).
• Jesus weeps with us. “Jesus wept” (11:35).
Why did Jesus weep?
• The ignorance of His disciples.
• He weeps with Martha and Mary.
• The callousness of the Jews (11:46).
• His compassion for Lazarus.
7. What is Jesus’ attitude towards death?
• Remove the hindrance or barriers. “Take away the stone” (11:39).
The Division of Labor
Man’s job: Remove the stone and take off grave clothes. God’s job: Raise the dead and give life.
• Why did Martha not want to open the grave? “Martha saith
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