Summary: 1. Jesus wants us to be confident in Him (John 12:1-2). 2. Jesus wants us to be committed to Him (John 12:2-5, 9-11). 3. Jesus wants to take care of us (John 12:4-8). 4. Jesus wants to commend us (Matthew 26:7-13).
God Wants Us to Get Closer to Him
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 3, 2017
(Revised December 5, 2019)
*Here in John 12, God's Word jumps forward about two months. We are now only six days before the cross. And in the opening verses of this chapter we are faced with two very different responses to our Savior, extreme opposites. One of these people was an extraordinary giver. The other was an extraordinary traitor.
*The giver was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. These three were all very close to Jesus. He had been in their home probably many times. Mary was known for carefully listening to the Lord as she sat at His feet. She was also there when Jesus raised her brother from the dead. And now Mary was about to perform a great act of love and devotion for the Lord.
*Judas the traitor had also seen Lazarus raised from the dead and much, much more. But now Judas was about to betray our Savior for just 30 pieces of silver.
*With this background in mind, let's read John 12:1-11. And as we read, please think about the kind of relationship Jesus wants to have with us.
*Kevin Higgins asked this important question: "Do you ever feel distant from God? Do you ever wish you were closer to Him?" Church, you are in good company. In Psalm 13:1, King David cried out these questions to God: "How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?"
*In those moments, David felt very far away from the Lord. And Kevin explained that "we all go through wilderness times in our lives, times when we feel deserted by God, times when our prayers don't seem to be heard. We feel distant from God, cool in our devotion to Him, wondering if we will ever get that closeness back." (1)
*Well, you may be going through one of those dry spells right now. But even if you're not, let me give you some great news: You and I can get closer to the Lord than we have ever been before! God wants us to get closer to Him, and Lazarus' family can help us get there.
1. FIRST NOTICE THAT JESUS WANTS US TO BE CONFIDENT IN HIM.
*The Lord Jesus Christ wants us to be fully confident in Him, and we should be! Verses 1-2 remind us of this truth:
1. Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.
2. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.
*Mary, Martha and Lazarus were all highly confident in the Lord, because Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead! And the sisters were there when it happened. Please listen to this part of the story in John 11:38-44:
38. Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, 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 him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.''
40. Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?''
41. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.''
43. Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!''
44. And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go.''
*Mary and Martha were there that day. They saw and heard all of these things. And now Lazarus was sitting with them there at the table! There is no doubt that they all had total confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and so should we!
*We should be confident in Jesus because He loves us beyond measure, because He died on the cross for our sins, because He rose again from the dead, and because He will never fail us! We have God's Word on all of these things, so we can fully trust in the Lord.
2. JESUS WANTS US TO BE CONFIDENT IN HIM. HE ALSO WANTS US TO BE COMMITTED TO HIM.