Summary: No matter what your situation is, Jesus is always on time.
Four Days Late But He’s Still On Time
Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hardest been here, my brother had not died. John 11:21
My brothers and sisters, our text today is dealing with a place, a family and a problem. The place of our text is called Bethany. Bethany means house of song and well as house of afflictions. I think I ought to tell you my brothers and sisters, it seems that we can do well to learn a lesson from this model today. That no matter what your afflictions may be, it’s good to have a song. If you get the right song, it can help you through your afflictions. When you are going through, you can sing, “The Lord will make a way somehow.” When doors are closed in your face, you can talk about and sing the song, “He’s just a way maker.” When things get difficult in your life, you can sing, “Trouble in my way, I have to cry sometimes, but Jesus will fix it, after while.” It just seems that songs go well with afflictions. In that they will help us through our experience. Can I get a witness? The place of our text is called Bethany. Bethany represented a place with unfulfilled possibilities. For it is in Bethany that dreams and aspirations and hopes take a detour. And I stopped by to tell y’all that all of us have a Bethany.
No matter where you are or who you are, all of us, there is something in our lives that we have desired to see grow and be something, yet it didn’t make it. All of us have a dream that dies. All of have some aspirations and some desires and in fact sometimes we find ourselves looking where we are and thinking about where we ought to be. And there’s a great big gap between where we are and where we felt like we should be. We should have been farther than where we are now. But we are having some Bethany experiences. But oh brothers and sisters, I thank God that the good news about Bethany is that Jesus can show up. No matter what your Bethanys are, He’s able to make a difference in your life. When you think about Bethany, think about a place. But my brothers and sisters, this text is also about a family. The text talks about a place called Bethany, but it also talks about a family. One named Martha, one named Mary and one named Lazarus. You know them. Martha was better known as the worker. Mary was known as the worshiper. But Lazarus became known as one without life. You understand what I’m talking about. Oh brothers and sisters, they all can teach us a little something. Martha teaches us that no matter how hard you work, work ain’t everything.
Some folk throw themselves in the work. And let me tell you that sometimes we even struggle in our church work. Because sometimes we have to put up with folk with bad personalities and funny ways and character. Yet we try to tolerate them with a footnote saying that they are a good worker. I stopped by to tell you that work ain’t everything. Martha was a worker, but Mary was a worshiper. Jesus had declared that Mary had chosen the better part. No wonder Mary was a worshiper. Oh brothers and sisters, it was this same Mary that Christ redeemed. You know the story about how she was possessed. He turned her life around. And my brothers and sisters, if the Lord has turned your life around, you ought to learn to sit at His feet. If the Lord has ever picked you up, you ought to shout hallelujah, not every now and then, but every time you think about how good He’s been to you. If the Lord kept making a way, took a nobody and made you a somebody, you shouldn’t have no problem sitting at His feet and worshipping Him. Martha was the worker and Mary was the worshipper, but Lazarus was the lifeless. Martha teaches us that work ain’t everything. Mary teaches us that worship is all that we are called to do.
Lazarus teaches us about the love of the Lord. Lazarus is an example for us. He gives us a picture of how we ought to learn to look at God. For the record says that Lazarus, even though the Lord loved him, he got sick. I think I ought to tell you that we need to be careful about how we take a yard stick to try to measure God’s love for us. Some folk think that we can measure God’s love by the type of car that we drive. By the house we live in. By the clothes we wear. By how much money we have and our social standings. But oh brothers and sisters, we need to be careful, because we shout and praise the Lord and nothing wrong with that, but we must be careful using things as our foundation to determine whether God loves us. Can I tell you why? Because there are some folk who never call God’s name are driving better cars than you. There are some folk who care less about Jesus got a better job than you have and as a matter of fact some them own the job. You can’t even move to their neighborhood. They dress better than you. They have more money than you.