By the time Jesus arrived Lazarus had been in the tomb for 4 days. Many of the Jews were there to comfort Martha and Mary; as soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming she went to meet Him while Mary stayed in the house. Martha told Jesus that had He been there He could have saved Lazarus but even though he is here later, she knows that whatever Jesus will ask God, He will give Him. Jesus looked to Martha and told her that Lazarus will rise again.
First lets look at the faith Martha had, even though her brother was dead she knew that whatever Jesus asked God, it would be given. She knew that somehow someway Jesus could still perform a miracle, why else would she say that? Had she been without hope she surely wouldn’t have said that, deep down she had faith that He could do something. I don’t think she was aware of exactly what that something would be, especially because next Jesus told her that Lazarus will rise again and she thought Jesus was referring to the carrying away of the church at the end of age. Despite not knowing what Jesus meant she had faith that Jesus could do something to fix the situation and bring good of it. We need to always keep our faith alive and strong, we don’t need to always understand the way or the outcome but simply having faith that God will provide and has a plan is what we need to focus on. Its a reminder to keep your eyes on Jesus, not the storm around us.
Jesus said that He is the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Him, though they were dead, shall live. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and we get born again, we will live with Him eternally and shall never die. When we see that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and we make Him our life, we will live in Him eternally.
Martha went and got Mary to come see Jesus, when Mary saw Jesus she fell to His feet, wept and said that had He been here Lazarus wouldn’t have died. Jesus groaned when He heard what Mary felt and when He saw her and the Jews that followed her all weeping. Groan in greek means to show discomfort, to sigh, to express grief or frustration. A few verses later it says that Jesus wept. I beleive it was hard for Him to see how sad all these people were, and also how they had given up and accepted that Lazarus was gone purely because they didn’t know any different. This isn’t how it was meant to be and was another confirmation that things had to change. Jesus was going to change the world in more ways than they knew, in more ways than raising Lazarus from the tomb.
Jesus told them to move the stone blocking the tomb to which they argued, they said that surely he would stink by now because its been four days. Jesus said, ‘Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?’ We have to beleive, we have to have our faith strong in the Lord, we can’t afford to entertain doubt, no matter how impossible or odd it may seem. They rolled the stone away and Jesus went into the tomb, He lifted up Lazarus’ eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.’ As Jesus said this, Lazarus began to cry out and he came forth. He had been wrapped and Jesus told them to loose him and let him go. Lazarus who was dead for four days was now fully alive.
After this miracle some saw and believed yet some still doubted. Not only did some doubt but they went to the Pharisees to tell them about what had happened. The Pharisees then gathered and held a meeting to figure out what to do, they feared that if they did nothing everyone would follow Jesus because of the miracles He did (light is contagious). They feared that if everyone followed Jesus it would upset Rome and Rome would wipe out religion altogether. Its sad how much fear gripped their hearts, fear of their traditions going away; so much fear that they would rather deny the Son of God than loose their traditions. Caiaphas, the high priest, then decided that they would sacrifice Him in order to keep their traditions and peace with Rome. So Jesus went to the wilderness after this and didn’t walk openly amongst the Jews anymore because He knew what Caiaphas was plotting and He was waiting for His time.
Fear of change can create awful mindsets. Its important to never operate out of fear, and to be open to change. Be open to being uncomfortable, in fact embrace it. We never want to get so stuck in our ways like the Pharisees did that we miss a move of God. The Pharisees had God in a box and didn’t even realize it, we need to learn from their mistakes. We should seek relationship with Jesus, not religion.
1 Corinthians 13
This chapter has repeatedly shown up this week and I feel its something we need to dive into which is why I’m adding it to this weeks bible study, as an extra.. This whole chapter is about love, how we should be doing things in love. With love we can have hope and faith, but faith and hope will not exist without love. Love conquers all. Why? Because God is love, and in God everything is possible.
This chapter gives us illustration to help us understand what is being done in love verses what is being done not in love. Love is: patient, kind, nice, it rejoices in truth, it protects, trusts, hopes and preserves. Love is not: rude, proud, self-seeking, easily angered, boastful, it doesn’t keep records of wrongs, it doesn’t delight in evil and love never fails.
If you are doing something in love it will not fail.
We as the church should be praying for the world, for our country, for our cities, for our families, for our friends etc. However, its good to put ourselves in check sometimes with our prayers. Our prayers always need to come from a place of love, that’s when they carry real authority in Jesus. However, if we are praying it isn’t done in love, its maybe self-centered or a reaction to anger; well that’s not going to carry much authority with it. We need to always make sure we are coming from a place of love. Love never fails and love endures all. Jesus never fails and He endures all.