Summary: Is Jesus calling to your spirit, "COME FORTH"? Don't ignore His call to participate with Him in the promised resurrection from the dead.
Scripture Reading: John 11:17-27
John 11 has one major curious feature -- a two-word verse. It's very short -- John 11:35 - "Jesus wept." Yet in this short verse, we see such compassion from the Creator and King of all. All things are subject to Him, and yet He still shows concern for each individual. He cares for His creation!
There are many short verses in the Bible.
Paul advises us (by implication) very directly as part of good Christian character:
(a) 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - Rejoice always.
This verse is actually the shortest verse in the Bible if you go by number of letters in its original language. We are always to rejoice, whether we are going through prosperous times or whether God is putting us through trials.
(b) 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.
This verse doesn't mean that we are to shut ourselves in a closet for our entire lives, but rather that in all things, we need to be in a state of prayer -- accountable to God, ever-listening for His direction, and always acknowledging the power and gift of Prayer for our lives.
From an inventory list in Numbers:
(c) Numbers 31:44 - Thirty-six thousand cattle,
This verse has little theological significance in the scope of redemptive history, but it is yet another genre that is covered by the whole of the Books of the Bible.
And so we have here in John 11:35, "Jesus wept."
Jesus could have been a Savior who came to earth, lived a sinless life, and completely shut us out because He did it and we can't. We are incapable of sinlessness, and even from birth, we are stained by the spread of sin's curse. But praise be to God, we have a compassionate Savior who understands our weakness and cares for us so much that He gave His life to restore us to the Father.
Today's text is John 11:38-44, focusing on the preparation, prayer, and power shown in Jesus' miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, even after he spent four days in the grave. We see Jesus as the Compassionate Life-Restorer, as well as the Healer and the friend of those who trust in Him. Before we examine the text, let's open in a word of prayer.
I. Preparation (38-41)
II. Prayer (41-42)
III. Power (43-44)
Summary: Perception (45-46)
John 11:38-44 (NKJV)
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!"