Mid-Week Message Of Importance

The I Am Teachings Of Jesus
Learning From Jesus – Lesson 6

Scripture To Consider:
“So when Jesus came [to the tomb of Lazarus], He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.”

“Then Martha, as soon as she heard Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.’”

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He [or she] who believes in Me, though he [or she] may die, he [or she] shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world’”.   John 11.17-27

Something To Consider:
This is a most interesting portion of Scripture for several reasons. For one, Jesus was made aware of His friend Lazarus’ sickness in time for Jesus to have gone to him and to have healed him. In verse 3 of John chapter 11, we read; “Therefore his sisters [Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus] sent unto Jesus, saying, ‘Lord, behold he who You love is sick.’”

And in verse 6 John recorded, “When Jesus had heard that Lazarus was sick, Jesus stayed two days still in the same place where He was.” Therefore, for all practical purposes Jesus appeared to His disciples, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, to have deliberately delayed His response to their acknowledging the sickness of Lazarus, of whom Jesus loved.

Have we ever been guilty of blaming Jesus of being late with His answering of our own prayers? As mature Christian believers we hopefully have learned that the answer to our prayers is sometimes an immediate yes, and many times it is a delayed no. And sometimes our answer comes in the form of not yet!

Something Else To Consider:
After delaying His response and some debate with His disciples, Jesus declared; “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent [apparent pre-determined will of God] you may believe; nevertheless, let us go to him.”

And in the very next verse we are given a front row seat to something proclaimed by Thomas, who has received down through the centuries, the truly undeserving title of doubting Thomas. “Then said Thomas unto his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with Him [Jesus].’”

The Jewish so-called religious leaders have already attempted to stone Jesus to death. Thomas understood the danger of Jesus returning to that region. And yet, Thomas was willing to place himself in danger to be at the side of Jesus in His time of possible peril.

What is it that we are willing to do if deemed dangerous as it pertains to our following Jesus? Will we desire to live holy lives visible by all? Will we do and say that which is in opposition with the majority and continue our living holy lives in complete agreement with Jesus and the Word of God squarely in the face of danger?

We are living in days of great division! Our belief in Jesus and our willingness to live godly lives will bring persecution and end time isolation in our direction. Are we prepared to live in isolation if it comes to that? Are we willing to confess that Jesus is all we need? And if not, why not?

Something More To Consider:
From a human perspective, I assume there was tension in the air when Jesus arrived in the area of Bethany after being summoned, or at least having been made aware of Lazarus’ sickness. And to be perfectly honest, how often do we disagree silently with the timing of Jesus in our own lives?

Even after Lazarus’ death, Martha expected Jesus to have done something to prevent the death of her brother. And that brings us to the ultimate question of life concerning death. For the most part, we resist death! We resist the thought of death! But in reality, death is a most important part of life.

For the true believer like Lazarus, death is a defining moment that connects this temporal and short-lived earthly experience to the much unknown world of eternal life. And because there is much that we do not know concerning eternal life, we possibly fear death, or at least are very uncomfortable with the thought of death!

A Few Final Words:
Therefore, we are given the true to life and death account of Lazarus, of whom Jesus loved. For Martha and Mary this account has a most happy outcome. These two grieving sisters regained the joy of their brother’s companionship and all that meant for two women on their own in that culture.

But what about Lazarus? He was on a fast track to eternal life in Christ. And yet, according to the will of God, his entrance into everlasting life was for now placed on hold.

Many of us have personally or have known others who have lived through similar on the edge of eternity moments. And yet, many are greeted everyday with eternity on the other side of this earthly life. As true present tense believers, we should anticipate our graduation from life on earth into eternity through the portal of death.

For according to Jesus, I [Jesus] am the resurrection and the life.” And as we believe in Jesus and in His written Word, we have hope in life after death. As we believe in Jesus and in His written Word, we understand that though we shall all die, we shall live forever in eternity! Amen.

Let’s Pray:
Our Father in heaven, thank You for the true story of Lazarus, his death, and his resurrection. We thank You for revealing Your own death and resurrection in the Word of God. May we no longer fear death or fear our leaving loved ones, but wholly trust in Your perfect plan for our lives and their lives as well. In Him Always, Amen!

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