Summary: When GOD seems to be late He is right on time
WHEN GOD SEEMS TO BE LATE
Text: John 11:1 - 45
1. Background information about this lesson:
a. The main characters are Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, Luke 10:38-42
b. Martha welcomed Jesus into their home and Mary was focused on Him, sitting at His feet, listening to His teachings.
c. Martha was concerned about the house, meal, the service; she was worried and bothered.
d. Mary chose that good part that shall not be taken away from her, Luke 10:42.
2. Jesus loved Lazarus, and He loved Martha and Mary, John 11:5
I. THE STORY OF THIS LESSON
A. Martha and Mary send a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, verse 3.
1. They knew Jesus loved their brother and that He had the power to heal him, verses 21, 32, 37.
2. They believed if Jesus came He would heal Lazarus.
3. We know that when Jesus heard of the sickness, He could have healed Lazarus from where He was!
B. Jesus intentionally did not come.
1 He got the message, verse 4.
2 He knew why Lazarus was sick, verse 4 “for the glory of God in order that the Son of God might be glorified.”
3 So He stayed put for 2 more days, verse 6, and allowed His friend Lazarus to die: verses 11-16.
4 Now to Jesus, Lazarus was only asleep because Jesus could awaken him.
5 The disciples didn't understand it until Jesus explained it to them, verse 14-15.
C. What is going on in Bethany?
1. Lazarus is getting sicker and sicker and all three of them may be wondering “What’s taking Jesus so long?"
2. Then Lazarus died...Mary and Martha grieved.
3. Martha is taking care of all the preparations for a proper Jewish burial.
4. Mary is praying for strength and asking God "Why?” as she weeps about her brother's death.
5. Both sisters had been talking about the Lord for notice they said the same thing to Him, verses 21 & 32.
D. Jesus works His own purpose, verses 38-44.
1. He has the stone removed and Martha reminds Him of Lazarus' present condition.
2. Jesus brought Lazarus back to life anyway, "Lazarus, come forth!'
II. THE REASON OR PURPOSE JESUS WAS LATE.
A. For the glory of God to be manifested and the Son to be glorified, verse 4,
B. For the faith of His disciples to be increased, verse 15.
C. To reveal a spiritual truth, verse 25.
D. To convert unbelieving Jews, verse 45.
III. SOME LESSONS FOR US.
A. Some calamites are allowed by God to bring Himself glory by our reaction, vs. 4.
B. The proper response to a calamity is prayer and faith.
C. Accept the calamity and watch for the salvation or the solution of the Lord, vs. 20.
1. It may not be what we expect even if the Lord can do what we expect, verses 21, 24, 32.
2. The Lord can do whatever He pleases, even if it never occurs to us, verse 23, 24-27.
D. The Lord is moved by our troubles, verses 33, 35-36
1. The resolving of the calamity will come in the proper time.
2. Remember Abraham...was stopped as the knife was up in the air!
3. Remember Moses at the Red Sea...was not provided a way through until they arrived at the shore.
4. And Lazarus…died first.
1. Why didn’t Jesus just heal Lazarus? (or why doesn't He just take care of the problem before it gets so serious?)
• He has a greater purpose in mind than we do.
2. Does Jesus care about our pain and sorrow? Doesn't He care that we are hurting?
• Of course He does...at Lazarus' grave, He wept, verse 35 36.
3. Was everything wonderful after Lazarus was raised from the dead? (or will things go smoothly after salvation or after God solves the problem?)
• Not necessarily, not all the witnesses believed what they saw...some even wanted to kill Lazarus because of his testimony, John 12:10, 11.
• Not everyone is going to be thrilled that God has solved some problem in your life, the resistance may become more serious.
4. Was God late in working this miracle?
• God is never late...He works in His time which is the proper time whether or not it is our time