Summary: This morning I want to speak to you about a family who was very close to Jesus, but went through a crisis. Let us see how they responded in the hour of crisis?
Series – Miracles of Jesus
Rising of Lazarus
Introduction: This morning I want to speak to you about a family who was very close to Jesus, but went through a crisis. Let us see how they responded in the hour of crisis?
John 11:1-2 The Death of Lazarus 1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.2This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
Jesus had a home into which he could go any time and find rest, understanding, peace, and love. This was very important for Jesus. See Luke 9:58 58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." The house of Lazarus was very peaceful and friendly so it gave Jesus some place for peace, rest, and love. It is very important to keep our houses peaceful and all in the family has to work to make that happen. Nowadays when we go to some houses we can find all the members of the family to themselves. Let us strive to keep our house peaceful and welcoming to all.
V3 3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
The sisters did not request Jesus to come to their house. They just sent word to Jesus. They knew their need would bring Jesus to them. Our crisis must bring us to our knees. Prayer is not requesting Jesus to do something for us. We need not suggest a solution to Jesus. We just need to let Him know our circumstances in prayer.
V4 4When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it."
There are 2 meanings to this passage. First, the cure of Lazarus would enable man to see the glory of God in action. Now there is another meaning to this passage. John’s gospel speaks of glory which is related to the cross. John’s gospel frequently says son of man has to be glorified. Now, this incident was immediately followed by the chief priests and the Pharisees plotting to kill Jesus. This incident is preceded by the Jews trying to stone Jesus. So when Jesus said the cure of Lazarus would glorify Him, he knew that going to Bethany and healing Lazarus was a big step which would end in the cross. With open eyes and arms Jesus accepted His cross or death to help his friend, Lazarus. Dear friend, Jesus knew the cost of helping and he was prepared for it.
V5-6 5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
Jesus loved Mary and Martha, yet he delayed some days to meet them. If any of our loved one was sick we would rush to meet that person. Then why did Jesus delay his visit to Mary’s house. Jesus takes action entirely on his own initiative and not because of the force of anyone. We often like to push Jesus to act on our behalf but Jesus has his own time and initiative for our case.
V7-19 7Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea." 8"But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?" 9Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. 10It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."
The Jewish and Roman day was divided into 12 equal hours from sunrise to sunset. Here Jesus was literally speaking that he would go in the day so that they would not stumble upon something and get hurt. There is also a spiritual meaning to this passage. The world’s light or the light of the world according to the Bible is Jesus himself. How long is the sunlight, it is only 12 hours or the literal light of the world is very limited, afterwards come darkness. Jesus is telling that man has got very little time to make peace with God. If he does not do that darkness will follow and judgment will follow where we will all stumble. We must finish the job of getting right with God while the light of the world, Jesus is here.
V11-13 11After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." 12His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.