Jesus Wants to Heal Your Broken Heart

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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The story of Lazarus shows us how: 1. Jesus comes and calls us closer to Him (vs. 27-32). 2. Jesus hurts when we hurt (vs. 32-38). 3. Jesus delivers us from doubt (vs. 37-43). 4. Jesus defeats our death (43-44).

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Jesus Wants to Heal Your Broken Heart

The Gospel of John

John 11:27-45

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 19, 2017

(Revised November 29, 2019)


*Please open your Bibles to John 11 to continue our study of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. In this miraculous Bible story, remember that Lazarus, Martha and their sister Mary were all very close to Jesus. But vs. 1 tells us that Lazarus was sick. He was very sick. In fact, Lazarus was about to die, so Mary and Martha sent someone to tell Jesus. Verses 3-6 tell us:

3. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.''

4. When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.''

5. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

6. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

*Then in vs. 7, Jesus said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again.'' By this time so close to the cross, it was extremely dangerous for Jesus to return to Judea. Most of the leaders who wanted to kill Jesus were there in Jerusalem. And in vs. 8 the disciples replied, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?'' Then in vs. 16, Thomas spoke to the other disciples and said, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him.''

*The Lord did wait two more days before He returned to Judea, but Jesus did not delay out of fear. He delayed for the glory of God. As Jesus said in vs. 4, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.''

*Jesus delayed for the glory of God. He also delayed because He loved Lazarus and his sisters. Jesus delayed because He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. And Jesus delayed because He wanted us to know that He has the power over death.

*Verse 17 tells us that "when Jesus came, He found that (Lazarus) had already been in the tomb four days." And vs. 20 tells us that Lazarus' sister Martha was the first to meet the Lord. We focused on her story last week and heard her great declaration of faith in Jesus. Please listen again to this part of the story in vs. 20-27:

20. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house.

21. Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.

22. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.''

23. Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again.''

24. Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.''

25. Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

26. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?''

27. She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.''

*With this background in mind, let's read vs. 27-45, and as we read, please think about what Jesus does for us when people we love pass away.


*Until I graduated from college, I only went to two or three funerals, and none of them were for people close to me. Now it's almost 2020, and my dad has been gone 43 years, Mom 24 years, one brother and one sister 11 years, plus many more close relatives and friends. Unless you die very young, the sting and pain of losing loved ones will come your way too. And the longer we live, the more we have to say good-bye to people we love.

*But if you are a Christian, if you have trusted in the Lord, God will surely help you in your times of grief. One of the things Jesus said in Luke 4:18 was this: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has . . . sent Me to heal the brokenhearted." Jesus wants to heal your broken heart, and the story of Lazarus shows us how.


*Whenever we are in grief, the Lord comes to us and calls us closer to Him. We can see this happen in vs. 27-32.

27. (Martha) said to (Jesus), "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.''

28. And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Master has come and is calling for you.''

29. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him.

30. Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him.

31. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there.''

32. Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.''

*These mourners were in deep despair because Lazarus was dead, and many of us here have been there. One time, Max Lucado was reading these verses, and he thought about all of them going to the grave. Max said, "Really, in a way, that’s what we are all doing. We are all going to the tomb." (1)

*Grief is real in our world, and it can happen so fast. One Tuesday morning an acquaintance named Matt was driving to Ohio. On the way, he came up right behind a seven-car pile-up with an 18-wheeler. Matt and another man tried to help a woman trapped in her crushed car, but there was nothing they could do, and she was gone. The next day, Matt was grieving over the loss of that total stranger, and he wondered if he could have done more. But there was nothing more he could do. Matt and that other man would have had to lift a truck up off that woman's car.

*Sometimes there will be nothing we can do to help other people, and we too will grieve. But the Lord can give us the comfort we need. In vs. 28, God's message to Mary was "The Master has come and is calling for you.'' Today, this is God's message for us. Jesus wants to heal our broken hearts, so He comes to us and calls us closer to Him.


*Jesus hurts when we hurt! God's Word shows us this remarkable truth in vs. 32-38:

32. Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.''

33. Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.

34. And He said, "Where have you laid him?'' They said to Him, "Lord, come and see.''

35. Jesus wept.

36. Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!''

37. And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?''

38. Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

*Jesus was hurting. He was hurting enough to groan and weep. He was hurting for this family, for their friends, and for their lack of faith in Him. Our Savior's tears help us see how much Jesus cares for us. The Lord is not distant or withdrawn. When you hurt, He hurts for you. Jesus takes part in our suffering.

*In 2 Corinthians 1:5, Paul was speaking about his own sufferings and said, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ." Paul called his sufferings the "the sufferings of Christ," and Paul did that in part, because he was suffering for the cause of Christ.

*But Paul's sufferings were also "the sufferings of Christ" because Jesus takes our suffering as His own. Jesus identifies with our sufferings so closely that He takes them as His own sufferings. One of the best places to see this truth is when Paul got saved in Acts 9:1-4:

1. Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest

2. and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3. And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

4. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?''

*There in Acts 9:4, Jesus logically could have asked: "Why are you persecuting My church?" or "Why are you persecuting My people?" But instead, Jesus asked: "Why are you persecuting ME?" And the Lord put it that way, because He shares in our suffering.

*Church: We are the Body of Christ, and when we hurt, He hurts. Jesus understands every pain we have to go through, and He can do that, because He is God. But Jesus can also understand our suffering, because of what He went through in this world.

*Davit DeWitt gave great insight in a sermon he preached shortly after the horrible terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. David said, "When I think of the sufferings of Christ, I almost always think of the cross and the pain of enduring the crucifixion. But it is helpful to remember that Jesus suffered in many ways during His life. He was no stranger to sorrow and grief.

*Jesus lost His earthly father, Joseph, sometime before His ministry began. Jesus also lost His friend, cousin and partner in ministry, John the Baptist. And here in John 11, Jesus lost His close friend, Lazarus. It is from this passage that we find the shortest verse in the entire Bible, 'Jesus wept.' And I can tell you that God not only knows your pain, He understands your pain, because He experienced the same kind of pain through His Son Jesus Christ." (2)

*Church: We know that the Lord hurts when we hurt.


*These grieving people had despair, but they also had doubts. And God's Word shows us some of their doubts. First in vs. 37-39:

37. . . And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?''

38. Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

39. Jesus said, "Take away the stone.'' Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.''

*Martha and some of her friends doubted the Lord, and doubting the Lord is always damaging for us. It almost always makes a bad situation worse. Doubting the Lord moves our focus from the Savior to the storm. That’s what happened when Peter tried to walk on the water. After Jesus fed the 5,000, He sent the disciples back over the Sea of Galilee. Jesus stayed behind to send the people away. Then the Lord went up on a mountain to pray, but Matthew 14:24-31 tells us that:

24. . . the boat (with the disciples) was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

25. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

26. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!'' And they cried out for fear.

27. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.''

28. And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.''

29. So He said, "Come.'' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

30. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!''

31. And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?''

*Doubting the Lord moves our focus from the Savior to the storm. That’s what happened when Peter tried to walk on the water, and that’s what happened here at Lazarus' tomb. But Jesus wants to deliver us from our doubts, and that’s what He did here with Martha in vs. 40. "Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?'''

*The Lord wants to deliver us from our doubts. He will strengthen our faith in big ways and small. Jesus will show up to prove Himself in all kinds of ways. But most of all, the Lord will strengthen our faith by the things He says. This is the miraculous power God has put into His Word. And Jesus was driving out doubt in vs. 40 when He asked Martha, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?''

*The Lord strengthens our faith by the things He says. That is also what the Lord was doing when He prayed out loud in vs. 41-42:

41. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

42. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE that You sent Me.''

*How does Jesus deliver us from our doubts? Again, the Lord will show up and prove Himself in all kinds of ways. And if you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know this is true, and could tell us some ways that Jesus has proved Himself in your life.

*But most of all, the Lord strengthens our faith by the things He says. He has surely put this power into His Word. And that is why Romans 10:17 tells us that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

*Jesus wants to heal our broken hearts, so He delivers us from our doubts.


*In vs. 43-44, God gives us a preview of the Lord's ultimate victory over our death:

43. Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!''

44. And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go.''

*There was no way that the grave could hold Lazarus! Death couldn’t keep Lazarus in, and death couldn’t keep Jesus in when He died on the cross for our sins! That's why Peter said this when he preached on the Day of Pentecost. In Acts 2:22-24:

22. "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know

23. Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

24. whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it."

*The Amplified Bible says "God raised (Jesus) up, liberating Him from the pangs of death, seeing that it was not possible for Him to continue to be controlled or retained by it." Jesus Christ has all power over death and the grave! And He gives eternal life to everyone who receives Him as Lord and Savior. That’s the victory you have right now, if you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior!

*But let me ask you: How hard do you think it was for Jesus to call Lazarus out of the grave? It was easy as can be, easier than calling your dog to come to you, and a lot easier than calling a two-year-old child to you. The Lord didn't have to struggle or strain. He didn't work up a sweat.

*It was easy for Jesus to call Lazarus back from physical death for a while. But overcoming our eternal death was the hardest thing that has ever been done, because the Son of God had to humble Himself to become a mortal man and die on the cross for our sins. But three days later, Jesus rose again from the dead, and Christians, our Risen Savior has defeated our eternal death forever!

*This is our greatest comfort when death comes close to us. God lets us see beyond the suffering! In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the Apostle Paul speaks to Christians and says,

13. . . I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.

14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

16. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

17. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

18. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

*When death comes close, God lets us see beyond the suffering. Many Christian people have gotten close enough to the edge of death that they have seen the other side, and then have come back to tell us about it. One of those people I knew at McClendon was a sweet Christian lady named Cubie Biggs.

*Mrs. Cubie was pronounced clinically dead at St. Francis, and when she was revived, she told about getting to the very edge of heaven before being sent back. Mrs. Cubie said, "You know, I always thought that it would be my mother who came to greet me when I got to Heaven, but it was my daddy. I could see him reaching his arms out to me."


*I haven't seen Heaven yet with my eyes, and probably neither have you. But by the Scripture, and by His Holy Spirit, God lets us see beyond the suffering of our grief. He wants to heal our broken hearts. That's how much Jesus loves us, so put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let Him save you and then when sorrows come, keep trusting the Lord to heal your broken heart.

(1) Original source for Max Lucado quote unknown

(2) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "The God who Comforts" by David DeWitt - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

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