Summary: This is the first sermon in a series about Jesus being The Great Nevertheless. He keeps wonderfully surprising us. Using the Lord’s "nevertheless" statement in the KJV we get a delightful glimpse of our awesome Savior.
THE NEVERTHELESS OF HIS CARING
John 11 (KJV)
• [Illus] – A bank was opening a new branch office and flowers were ordered to celebrate the occasion. After the ribbon cutting an upset business man was on the phone with the florist. “Charles”, he said, “we will never do business with you again.” The florist was shocked and asked if the flowers had arrived and if they were pretty enough. “Oh yes”, was the reply, “but it sure was embarrassing to me to cut the ribbon and then look over and notice that the flowers stated ‘Rest in Peace’”…There was silence on the other end of the line for a good 30 seconds. “Charlie are you still there?” “Well, yes sir, I was just thinking about the flowers that are at a graveside stating ‘Congratulations on your new location’”
• The Bible is full of contrasts and surprises.
• God’s actions are above ours. We just can’t fully comprehend all that He is, does and is about.
• Jesus is Son of God and the son of man – God yet man
• The moment you believe you have Him figured out – POW – He surprises you.
• To me Jesus is “The Great Nevertheless”
• That may sound corny, sac religious, and funny – yet I’m serious.
• The word “nevertheless” means “nonetheless, however, in spite of”.
• The word describes Jesus so well – Romans 5:8
• Try to remove your mind of Christ thinking for a minute. The cross & the resurrection seem so out of place. Those would not be the answer we’d come up with if we were God. Nevertheless, Jesus went to the cross for you and for me.
• In the upcoming weeks I’d like to help you see Jesus as “The Great Nevertheless”. To accomplish that I will be focusing on several of the “nevertheless” statements of our Lord in the KJV.
• Today we focus on “the nevertheless of His caring”
• John 11 tells the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead..
• What do we notice about Jesus, “The Great Nevertheless”, in this passage?
1. The way that He loves
a. In verse 3 Jesus gets a message from Mary and Martha concerning their brother Lazarus’ illness. They remind Jesus of His love for Lazarus. The word they use is “friend love” – indicating that Jesus knew Lazarus somewhat and had some feelings for him.
b. In verse 5 we are told that Jesus did love Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Yet a different word is used this time. The word John chooses to use is “God love”. The word indicates that Jesus knew them through and through and was totally devoted to them.
c. And He loves you the same way!
d. He knows you – every action – every thought – every motive. He knows what others know and He knows what only you know – and He still loves you.
e. He loves you despite how you’ve treated Him – despite your sins, failures, and unfaithfulness.
f. He knows the truth, nevertheless, He loves you.
2. The way that He views death
a. Verses 4, 11-15
b. It took at least one day for the news of Lazarus’ sickness to reach Jesus. By then Lazarus was dead.
c. Though the sisters were urgently calling for Jesus to come, He wasn’t in a hurry to get there.
d. To the sisters – Lazarus was near death AND death is so final.
e. To Jesus – the finality of death did not exist BECAUSE He was its Master.
f. A good many deaths have rocked our church over the last few years. Yet Jesus is still in charge. He does not view death as we do.
g. We are scared of it. We don’t understand it. It is ugly. We try to avoid it.
h. Jesus has no fear of death. You did notice how calm He was in verses 11-15, didn’t you?
i. Lazarus is dead; nevertheless, it is not as final as it appears.
j. Oh the way that He views death.
3. The way that He responds
a. Notice that Jesus tarried for 2 days – verses 5-6.
1) That is quite a wonderful way to show love, wouldn’t you say?
2) This is certainly an unexpected reaction from the Lord.
b. Just imagine things in Bethany. Everything is in turmoil. The sisters are full of fear and stress. They have cried out to the only One who could help and Jesus still has not arrived.
c. Let’s pause a moment and think about “answered prayer”.
1) Did Jesus answer their request?
2) Did He answer their request the way they expected?
d. All prayer is answered. God answers with a “Yes”, “No”, or a “Wait”.