Summary: Trust in the Lord: 1. When life is a mystery (vs. 1-6; 32-36). 2. When we are in agony (vs. 17-21). 3. For His ability (vs. 21-25; 39-44). 4. For our eternity (vs. 26-27).
The Lord's Great Miracle of Life
The Gospel of John
John 11:1-44 (Reading vs. 1-15)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - September 16, 2018
(Revised November 19, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 11, and we will begin to study one of our favorite miracles. It's the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Tonight, we will cover a lot of Scripture to get an overview of this miracle. Then over the next few weeks we will take a closer look to see the glory of God in this passage, to see how the disciples followed Jesus back into danger, and to see how the Lord led this family through the valley of the shadow of death.
*This great miracle is only found here in the Gospel of John. It took place just a few months before Jesus died on the cross for our sins. And it teaches us that we should always trust in the Lord. Let's begin by reading John 11:1-15.
*Who do you trust? I trust my wife. And I know many good, godly Christians I would trust with my money, my children and my life. But standing over and above all, we can trust in the Lord our God! The cross of Jesus Christ proves that forever. I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior over 44 years ago. And though I have failed Him many times in those years, He has never failed me once. And He has blessed me beyond measure.
*We can always trust in the Lord, and we should!
1. FIRST: TRUST JESUS WHEN LIFE IS A MYSTERY.
*One of the greatest truths about God is that He loves us. The Bible confirms this truth to us in many places, but most famously in John 3:16 where Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
*God surely loves us, but we are frail creatures living in a fallen world, and we will still have to go through hard times in life. There will be mysteries in life. Sometimes it will seem like the Lord has let us down and we won’t understand how God is working in our lives.
*That's what happened here with Lazarus and his sisters. The Lord loved them for sure, but He left them in despair. We can see the Lord's love starting in vs. 1-5:
1. Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
3. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.''
4. When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.''
5. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
*God's Word goes out of the way to confirm the love that Jesus had for these people. They were very close friends. Verse 2 mentions one of what must have been many times Jesus visited in their home. In vs. 3, the sisters sent a message to Jesus saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.'' And vs. 5 plainly says, "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."
*We also see the Lord's love down in vs. 32-36, when Lazarus' other sister Mary ran to Jesus:
32. Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.''
33. Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.
34. And He said, "Where have you laid him?'' They said to Him, "Lord, come and see.''
35. Jesus wept.
36. Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!''
*Jesus surely loved Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus, but He left them in despair, at least for a while, and it was a mystery. Consider vs. 6. There God's Word tells us that when Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, the Lord stayed two more days in the place where He was. That sounds like a very odd thing to say, just the opposite of what we would expect. Not: "He loved them, so He got back there as quickly as He could," but "He loved them, so He stayed away."
*We will find similar mysteries many times in the Bible: Why did Abraham and Sarah have to be so old when Isaac was born? Why did the Children of Israel have to stay in Egypt for four hundred years? Why did that man in John 9 have to be born blind? Why him? -- Why us? Sometimes, we are left to wonder why.