I am the resurrection - John 11:1-45

John's Gospel - Seek the Lost  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:41
0 ratings
Page 9 of 9 John 11:1-44 I am the Resurrection and the Life Summer Hill Church 18 March 2018 1. Our great enemy a. The struggle i. This week I have struggled as I thought about our passage today. I. There is an aspect that I rejoiced as I thought about sharing with you all about this, one of the great moments in the whole Bible - one where we both see the power of the Lord Jesus, but also his heart as he weeps. II. I struggled because how do you introduce such a passage. To some extent you just say - this is it. It is such a diamond, with so many depths, a). If you’ve ever really looked closely at a clear gemstone, you will know that as you move it fractionally it refracts and reflects the light differently with the smallest changes. So it’s hard to know exactly how best for us to look at it. III. But I also struggled because I know that in a group our size there would be some who still feel keenly the recent loss of a loved one, or of that possibility rushing upon them. a). And the words of Martha and Mary are strong in our heart. i). Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. John 11:21 ii). And those words come out - where were you Lord…? b). And the emotional content can be very high - acknowledge that. And if anyone wants to talk about any of these issues to do with grief or death or mourning, then I want to invite you to do that. i). Grab me later, pop it on a connection card, drop me an email or text c). These issues are profound and important and what Jesus is saying to us today may challenge and disturb us. ii. The question(s) I. So many questions arise from this passage - many that I just can’t get to. We could spend weeks just on this, but there’s a some two’s that come up for us here a). Two Lazarus’, two days, two women, and two responses - let’s start with Lazarus - the “main” character - who does nothing and says nothing. 2. Two Lazarus’ a. Lazarus in John i. Lazarus is not a common name in the Bible I. And it’s not a common name amongst our children here in the congregation a). Which is strange really, because it has a wonderful meaning - it means “God helps” - yet it is not popular - it would seem even back in Jesus time. II. there are only two Lazarus in the Bible a). the Lazarus who was the friend of Jesus in John 11 that we don’t actually learn much about - in fact he says nothing III. but his death brings tears from the Lord Jesus and his rising from the dead brought Jesus enormous fame b. Lazarus in Luke i. but there’s the other Lazarus the one in the parable in Luke 16v20ff I. remember the poor beggar who lay at the gate of the rich man ii. in the parable both the rich man and the poor man die I. the poor man -the beggar Lazarus - went to be with Abraham a). while the rich man went to the place of punishment iii. and there is a crucial conversation between Abraham and the rich man - after asking for water and being denied, I. “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ II. “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:27–31 a). both Lazarus’ were about the resurrection iv. in Luke, the Lazarus of the parable, we are told that people will not believe because of a resurrection I. people believe because of the word of God - not because of a great miracle not even the greatest miracle, coming back from the dead will convince people if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets II. they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead v. but in John - the Lazarus of history - the one who did rise from the dead I. we are told that people did believe in Jesus because of Lazarus because of his resurrection a). Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, John 11:45 3. Two days a. An unusual introduction i. John brings us into this part of his account in an unusual way I. He introduces Mary and Martha by pointing forward to something that is about to happen in ch 12 a). And while that is strange I want to read the first 7 verses to you and ask you, what is the most unexpected word in the verses i). Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” John 11:1–7 b). Now there are a number of unusual things - This illness does not lead to death. c). The repetition of the word sick - making a point about the direness of the situation b. The unexpected word i. But the most unexpected word for me comes at the beginning of v6. I. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, ii. That’s just a bit strange isn’t it? I. Recently a good friend of mine contacted me and told me that a close relative of hers was very sick and overseas. She gave me the details of what was happening and asked “should I go back now, or could I wait” iii. That feels like the normal response doesn’t it - should go now. I. And he says because he loved them, he stayed 2 more days iv. It just doesn’t seem to make sense! I. Martha in v21and Mary in v32 make the point quite clearly a). “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. John 11:21 II. The Jewish mourners could see there was an issue a). “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” John 11:37 III. And yet Jesus waited… v. So why did Jesus delay why the delay and allow his friend to die I. and having delayed and allowed his friend to die a). why does he go to the town and cry? c. The unexpected response i. And it’s clear he was moved! I. Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. John 11:38 ii. It prompts Jesus to weep - and in one of those little trivia things I. In the shortest verse in the Bible a). Jesus wept. John 11:35 iii. we shouldn’t think that the narrative is random, and that John doesn’t really understand what he’s doing I. And I think we’ll find the key to it all back in v4 a). This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it. John 11:4 i). somehow this sickness is going to reveal the glory of God somehow this sickness is going to reveal the glory of God in the person of Jesus iv. And when he stands at the mouth of the tomb look what Jesus says in v40 I. Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God? John 11:40 v. John is telling us that the sickness, death and resurrection of Lazarus is all about seeing the glory of God. - and the women, in particular Martha - hold the key for us. 4. Two women a. Where are all the women? i. It’s often said that women play almost no part in the Bible story, and if they do play a part it is as the evil temptress, or the passive observer. I. Women did not play a large part in public life in the time of Jesus - not going to try and explain or defend that II. But it’s not the case in John 11 a). In fact - apart from Jesus, the two women are the main people in the story. b. Mary i. And saying that, even Mary doesn’t have a lot to do, whereas Martha is critical I. Mary mourns for her brother, as you would expect her to do, and when Jesus finishes speaking with Martha, she calls for her to come a). And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:29–32 II. And her grief moves him a). When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. John 11:33 c. Martha i. But Martha is the main player this time. And not the one rebuked. I. When she first arrives you can almost hear the blame and frustration in her voice, and the desperation. a). So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 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 from God, God will give you.” John 11:20–22 ii. It’s a time of desperation, of looking for anything to help. I. I remember when my mother died - suddenly - and relatively young. Only 3 years older than I am now. Standing at her bedside, pleading with God for just a little longer. - Which of course was not to be. a). And that’s where Martha is. Anything you ask, God will do... iii. And Jesus replies I. Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” John 11:23 iv. And Martha says something quite unexpected for us 21st century people who don’t know our Old Testament - instead of jumping to the “OK - what time then” “Get to it” I. She says a). Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” John 11:24 v. She knows that the resurrection will happen I. She is well schooled - she knows her scriptures a). It is often said that women were not educated in NT times, yet clearly Martha knew her Bible. And she gets this spot on right. i). her reply is deeply biblical thinking 1. If you tell me my brother is going to rise again you’re right A. again in the resurrection ie the answer is simple B. yes in the last day in the judgement day that is when he’ll rise again b). In the Bible the resurrection means the judgement day i). this is something missed by most modern readers of the Bible but it is fundamental to the understanding of the resurrection and therefore of the Bible c). That is what Martha gets! i). Because she is not just the grieving sister. She is deeply Jewish. She knows Moses and the prophets. 1. for her the resurrection is a way of talking about the judgement day ii). the world will end with the resurrection when all will be judged in the new heavens and the new earth 1. Daniel chapter 12:1-4 that we read earlier where he sees ahead the great day at the end when there will be a resurrection 2. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2 iii). Or we saw it earlier in John - in John 5 1. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. John 5:28–29 iv). Martha is thinking like someone who is a Biblical thinker! 1. because resurrection is what happens in the last day in the judgement d). And look with me at v25 - the great I Am statement i). Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25–26 1. And Martha’s response is amazing - not “yes I know you can raise Lazarus - or Wow - what power” or “can you please get a move on” ii). “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:27 d. Do you believe this I. she understood that the resurrection coming meant the Christ was coming and the kingdom of God was coming because the judgement day was coming a). she recognised in Jesus the fulfilment of the promises to Israel of the resurrection i). he was the resurrection and the life and 1. so she was ready for his question at the end of verse 26 which we so often leave out ii). Do you believe this? 1. I am the resurrection and the life - do you believe this A. Yes I believe you are the Christ B. Because anyone bringing the resurrection is someone who comes bringing the judgement day I. They come bringing the kingdom II. and who is it that comes bringing the kingdom - it’s the Christ. The Messiah. The promised coming king from God. b). And do you see the word “this” i). Jesus is not just saying do you believe but do you believe “this” 1. He’s not asking if she’s believing in God - or even “does she have faith” in some general sense ii). these are good modern questions that we might ask 1. but do you believe is not the question - do you believe this iii). I am the resurrection and the life 1. yes you are the Christ iv). do you believe that with me comes the day of judgement v). do you believe that with me comes the kingdom of God vi). do you believe that those who believe in me will live and never never die vii). do you believe I am the Christ viii). do you believe I am sent by God 1. And it’s all the same question if you know Moses and the prophets and it’s because this humble domestic woman Martha gives such strange answers 2. We would ask - when will it happen A. But she says - yes I know he will rise in the judgement day ix). So she does think very differently to us doesn’t she 1. her world is the world informed by Moses and the prophets 2. that is why she understands and believes what is going on here. 5. Two outcomes a. Those who believe i. that is what Jesus says in his prayer at the mouth of the tomb ii. “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41–42 I. he’s not acting alone but doing his father’s work - so that God may be glorified through it iii. And I am going to steal from next week a little I. But that’s what’s happening in v45 a). Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. John 11:45 II. they were coming to believe that God sent Jesus. iv. they were coming to believe in him I. in the Christ coming into the world v. they saw the sign and what it signified - the glory of God in the judgement day of the resurrection that God had sent Jesus to fulfil Moses and the Prophets I. But no matter what the evidence is - there will be those who reject b. Those who reject i. But you can see all the signs, and have a closed heart I. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” …So from that day on they plotted to take his life. John 11:47–48, 53 ii. So they had seen the signs, but had rejected what Moses and the prophets had been saying because you are most blind when you refuse to see I. That’s what we saw with the man born blind and what happened in ch 9 iii. And it’s what we see all around us today. I. Our friends, our family, our workmates, will not be persuaded by the resurrection of Jesus. a). For we can explain away everything in the end. iv. Lazarus rising from the dead was not meant to show us the existence of God by suspending the laws of nature I. it signifies the coming of the Christ into the kingdom II. this signifies the beginning of the age of the resurrection and this great high point of the drama God-gives yet again a prophetic word about his son III. Given by the high priest Caiaphas that we will look at more next week a). “You know nothing at all! You do not realise that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” John 11:49–50 IV. he did not listen to Moses and the prophets and so could not recognise the glory of God a). even when it confronted him in the resurrection of Lazarus he could not recognise it V. when confronted by the facts of someone rising from the dead he still did not believe VI. Just as Jesus said in the parable in Luke’s gospel a). If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:31 VII. People need their heart opened to God, opened to the Word of God, because until that happens “they will not be convinced” 6. Our great friend a. Our great friend - overcome i. In the midst of this wonderful unfolding of who Jesus is - the point of John’s gospel after all - we have the reality of the death of loved ones. I. And we should pause and just let wash over us for a moment, this Jesus Son of God’s response to death. ii. he stands beside the grave of the man who would rise from the dead and he weeps I. Surely if he knows he’s about to raise him from the dead what’s he weeping for? a). He could just calm everybody down and tell them not worry about it - it’s no big deal couple of minutes just a couple of words, Before you can even roll the stone! II. But no he stands and he weeps a). and he’s deeply troubled by it - WHY? iii. because death is not natural I. death is not good a). death is not desirable - the very fact that we have to think about end of life solutions is a terrible evidence that death is just not right II. Death is not a release a). Death is the destruction of life and the victory of evil - it’s the wages of sin iv. death is the destruction of life that God has created I. And we are to celebrate life and rejoice in it b. Our great friend - overcomer i. Jesus is moved by death ii. but in Jesus we see God’s victory - he is overcome, but becomes the overcomer I. In Jesus we see God’s Glory, because in Jesus - who will die in part because he raised Lazarus from the dead - in Jesus who will die for the nation and not only the nation but for God’s people everywhere II. for Jesus who will die will rise again a). so that all believe in him will not die III. and those who do will rise again with him anyway a). for he is the resurrection and the life IV. and we will see the glorious victory of God being worked out in him c. Do you believe this? i. That leaves us with the question that Jesus asks Martha I. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25–26 ii. Do you believe this - the question that we all have to face. I. That we all have to come to terms with a). And if you are a Christian - it’s because God has spoken to you through the word of God, to understand that in Jesus, everything comes together, i). That in him, the truth of abundant life now and in the age to come means that we serve him gladly, follow him wanting to live his way b). Because he is the Lord of all, and in whose service is perfect freedom. i). The freedom we were created for, and designed to live in iii. But you may not yet be a Christian, and so yet again Jesus says I. Do you believe this, a). Do you want to know this man who holds the world in his hands i). Who can so radically transform your life now, because he offers hope beyond the grave and life as you were meant to live now. II. Find out more! Cc’s Questions. Come back. Listen. 7. PRAY
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more