Summary: This is Chapter 6 of John On the Run: A Survey of the Bible New Testament Book of John. Pick up a copy of this book at https://www.amazon.com/John-Run-Survey-Bible-Testament-ebook/dp/B01MXR29PB/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 .
I went to Abilene, Texas in view to a call for the Holiday Hills Baptist Church. The term “In View to a Call” is what a church without a pastor ask the minister to do to try to discern whether God is calling him to pastor their church. I had a chance to meet with the deacons and members before I would preach on Mother’s Day Sunday. I preached that Sunday and the Lord blessed the message. After the service, I was invited the home of a member for lunch. We were on the freeway and a car that did not yield as they were entering the highway nearly sideswiped us. The driver swerved to miss another car and lost control of his car. My life flashed before me as it appeared that we were headed across the off the bridge. Our angel saved us from the door of death. This is the closet that I came to the door of death. The devil was trying to kill me before my ministry started. “But God!”
In the today, Lazarus does not have the same testimony. Lazarus had been through death’s door. Let see want we can learn from his experience.
The Mourning of Jesus (John 11:38)
As children that grew up in church at Sunday School, Baptist Training Union and Vacation Bible School we learned the scripture, “Jesus wept.” John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. However, we should have asked the question “Why did Jesus weep?” Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, but he stayed in where he was for two more days. Once Jesus had reached Lazarus, he had been dead for four days. Did Jesus weep? If we look at John 11:4, it will shed some light on this question.
…“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
No, this may not answer the question as to why Jesus wept. However, Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead so why did Jesus weep? I heard someone say that Jesus wept to enter into the pain of those who wept for Lazarus. Although in the next few minutes, He would be raising Lazarus from the dead. In Hebrews 4:15 it states, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus wept to empathize with Mary, Martha and with people who had come down from as far as Jerusalem. Jesus wept also because He loved Lazarus. Jesus weeps for you when you are in pain, perils, and problems because He loves you too life.
The Message of Jesus (John 11:39-41)
This next moment would put Lazarus sisters in an awkward situation. Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jesus instructed them to roll the stone away from the grave. Martha was concerned about the odor of the decaying body. I have never smell this kind of odor, but it is said to be an odor that you would never forget the smell.
I can imagine it is as horrible as the odor of a dead skunk on the side of the road. In John 11:39, it states, “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Martha had missed the message of Jesus. Jesus had told Martha earlier in John 11:25-26, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Martha like some of us today are looking for God to move in the by and by as opposed to the here and now! Martha did not believe like Job believed. In Job 19:25, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.” Jesus was the redeemer who was about to stand on the earth and raise Lazarus from the dead. This was Jesus’s message, “… Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
The Miracle of Jesus (John 11:42-44)
Martha nor the people listen to Jesus this day could have ever imagine what Jesus was about to do. Jesus spoke with the Father as a witness to what they were about to do. Jesus says in John 11:42, “I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” Jesus was about to do arguably the most miraculous miracle during His time alive on the earth. Jesus would do this miracle to prove that He was sent from God. This was to prove that He was the Messiah that the Old Testament spoke. After He spoke to God, he told the people to roll the stone away from the tomb. Then Jesus spoke to Lazarus.