Summary: Death, resurrection, Jesus' power, grief
BROKEN HEARTED IN BETHANY
John 11: 17-27 (p760) March 27, 2011
I became a different minister on March 2, 2004….and the difference was created by experience, not by choice. On that Tuesday I stood next to my dad's casket…I was the one receiving the hugs, and the expressions of condolences …it was my Mom, brother, and sister I was sharing the grief with…I'd ministered to hundreds of Mom's, sons, and daughters in the past…I felt compassion and saw their pain, but on March 2, 2004 I became an understander of the pain and grief by experience…before this day I did not have the right to say "I know how you feel" After this day I had that right…at least as far as burying my father.
You cannot enter the valley of the shadow of death and then emerge on the other side the same person… you will be different…not by choice but by experience.
verse 1 in John chapter eleven tells us Lazarus was sick…Lazarus has 2 sisters…Mary and Martha, they live in Bethany…and Jesus is close to them…they're the family….Jesus has eaten in their home, spent time with all three, shared his heart with them…
So when Lazarus gets sick (and its serious) they naturally send word to Jesus…the one who love them….the Messiah who heals sick people.
'LORD, THE ONE YOU LOVE IS SICK"
When Jesus gets this news he tells his disciples…. "This sickness will not end in death No, it is for God's glory, so that God's son may be glorified through it" (v4)
Then verse 5 emphasizes "Jesus Loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."
Last week we saw a young man, blind from birth…the disciples wanted to know if it was his sins or his parents that caused his blindness. Jesus said. "Neither this happened so the work of God might be displayed in his life" (John 9:3)
Now Jesus is saying Lazarus's sickness is for God's glory…so that Jesus God's son may be glorified through it."
Maybe that explains why Jesus stayed where he was for 2 more days after hearing about Lazarus sickness.
Here's a real question I'd like you to consider…which displays God's glory…and the son's glory more effectively?
I A HEALING OR A RESURRECTION?
Has there been anyone of us that when someone we love deeply gets sick doesn't beg God for a healing?
My Dad was 79…had fought cancer for 3 years and been through an aortic aneurysm surgery…. and I wanted God to heal him…I didn't want him to die….
Lazarus is a young man it seems…the patriarch of the clan…probably already buried Mom and Dad (they certainly weren’t in the picture)….2 women left on their own would find it tough in 1st century Judean.
And Jesus loves them…this seems a no brainier to us, doesn't it? A healing is what's needed…come on Jesus, step it over to Bethany and take care of this…it makes sense….perfect sense.
That is unless God has something more powerful in mind…and Jesus is going to display God's power in nuclear explosion form as compared to a Roman candle.
What we want may seem to make perfect sense to us and everyone else…but we might be settling for the appetizer instead of the feast.
It seems the disciples think just like us when it comes to this selection…
First of all its dangerous in Judea…they'd just tired to stone Jesus…and going back there didn't seem too smart…Hey Jesus why don't you do that centurion servant healing thing…we like that plan"
Jesus says (Here's the message version) "Are there not 12 hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in daylight doesn't stumble because there's plenty of light from the sun…walking at right, he might very well stumble because he can't see where he's going" )v. 11)
Its dark in the valley of the shadow of death…you hurt, you're scared, and you're confused. But fear no evil…even in the valley "I'm with you "Jesus is a light brighter than the son…and he's about to prove it.
"Lazarus is asleep" His disciples think…"Oh good…he's resting…that means he'll get better. No, Jesus says "He's dead, and for your sake I'm glad I wasn't there…why? "so you may believe"….Believe what you might ask…So you may believe a resurrection is better than a healing….I'm glad your gonna see God's power displayed in me in the most powerful way possible.
"Let's go to Him!"
Thomas and the others get a little fatalistic about now "O'k lets all go with him and die"
One last thought [All we know by experience is here and now…here and now is better if Lazarus is healed, for me…if my Dad gets better…if my loved one survives…come on
God, make it so…it's what I want. But what if God has a better plan. ..what if God is going to ask me to trust him when my loved ones been in the tomb for 4 days, or 4 years, or 40 years . I wonder what Lazarus answer would have been if we'd said, "Man I'm so glad your back. are you?"] 2.