Lazarus Was Brought back to Life by Jesus’ Power over Death
John – Chapter 11
- John 11:1-3 – Jesus is informed that His friend Lazarus, who He loves, is sick
- John 11:4-5 – Jesus says that this sickness will not end in death but is for God’s glory
- John 11:6-7 – Jesus waits another two days, then tells His disciples “Let’s go back to Judea”
- John 11:8 – The disciples try to convince Him not to go because the Jews want to kill Him
- John 11:9-10 – Jesus responds that when we walk in the Light, we don’t stumble
- John 11:11-16 – He also tells them that Lazarus is dead
- John 11:17-32 – Jesus arrives in Bethany and comforts Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters
- John 11:33-35 – Jesus weeps and is moved, seeing the pain of the sisters
- John 11:36-40 – Jesus asks to see where Lazarus is buried. They respond that he has been dead for four days
- John 11:41-43 – When Jesus gets to the tomb, He shouts for Lazarus to come out
- John 11:44 – Lazarus comes out from the tomb
- John 11:45-48 – The Jews report the event to the Pharisees who call a meeting of the Sanhedrin
- John 11:49-52 – Caiaphas, the chief priest, unknowingly prophesies that it is better for one man to die for the good of the whole nation
- John 11:53-54 – Jesus privately retires in Ephraim with his disciples
- John 11:55-56 – The Passover was coming and the Jews were looking for Jesus to see if He would go to the temple for the ceremonial cleansing
- John 11:57 – The Pharisees order that anyone who knew where Jesus was, should report it so that they could arrest Him
Jesus Is the Source of Eternal Life
In these verses, Jesus’ ministry to Martha reveals to her and us a powerful truth. He is more than a teacher or a prophet. He is the source of our life. For this reason, Lazarus’ resurrection is simply the manifestation of His life that cannot be overcome by physical death. Our present physical body is only a temporary container of our life. Eternal life is our true and final state.
Jesus’ Leading Question
Jesus’ question to Martha (John 11:23-16) is a way to open her heart to a reality deeper that what she can see. It was intended to help her to see beyond what her physical senses perceived. Her answer was an acknowledgment of Jesus as the Messiah, but did not demonstrate an understanding of what Jesus had revealed (John 11:27). That was as far as she could go.
Opening Our Eyes to Jesus’ Power over Death
Later Mary’s interaction with Jesus was similar (John 11:32). They both thought that Jesus could have prevented the death of their brother, but now it was too late. They loved Jesus. They believed that He was sent by God, that He was the Messiah. Nevertheless, they saw death as something final, something that even Jesus could not reverse. This perception is what Jesus wanted to change in ministering to them and to us, now.
Previously, Jesus had instructed the disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons (Mat 10:8). He had raised the dead before (Luke 7:11-15) but it was not enough for them to believe.
Jesus’ Attitude towards Suffering
Jesus was troubled, not because He was saddened by Lazarus’ death, because He knew how it would end but for their unbelief.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)
Jesus groaned int the spirit and was troubled by the suffering they were experiencing. He cared about their feelings. He realized how much suffering is the result of our inability to believe God’s promises. So, moved by compassion and love, He went beyond their ability to appropriate by faith and brought Lazarus back to life by His own faith.
Ministering in Faith Today
In a way, this is always true when we help others to receive. We must be moved by compassion for their condition, and have the faith to believe that they can be helped. We must believe that we can trigger their faith. We must act on that belief. We must receive for them with our faith. When we truly believe this, the Holy Spirit will direct us to do what we must do. This is how He directed Jesus to bring Lazarus back to life.
The Kingdom of God is Here
Can you see the scene? People are weeping and demonstrating aloud their sorrow, as it’s done in those countries. Jesus gets to the tomb and asks to roll back the stone. They think in their hear, “What a strange request. After four days, it is going to stink.” The crowd hushes and all the attention is on Jesus. The atmosphere is vibrant with expectation and questioning. He briefly thanks the Father for hearing Him. Then, suddenly, they are all shocked by the surprise. Jesus shouts at the top of His lungs, “Lazarus, come out!” Their hearts jump within them. There is not time for their logic to block God’s power. The faith of Jesus’ words penetrates deeply down to their spirit. It is done. Lazarus appears, still in his burial bandages. His life returned, his body made whole-reconstructed.
Jesus demonstrated His power over death by bringing back to life His friend Lazarus three days after he died. This also shows that death does not end our life.
Jesus’ Followers Have the Same Power
The same power over death that worked in Jesus was available to the Apostles as reported in the Bible (Acts 9:36-42). Even today the same power is available to believers because the same Holy Spirit working miracles in Jesus has come to those who believe in Him. (Acts 2:1-4, 38-39)
This is the evidence of the Kingdom of God’s. It is a Kingdom more real than what our physical senses can perceive. It is a Kingdom that we are called to be part of (Mark 16:17-18), when we become born-again (John 3:3-6) and Spirit filled. Jesus said “Greater works than these you shall do because I go to the Father” (John 14:12). The Promise of the Father (Lk 24:49, Act 1:4) and the power of the Holy Spirit, have come for us (Acts 2:1-4). We must choose what we believe, our sense knowledge or the Word of God. That choice is the beginning of the greatest adventure of your life.
Prayer of Faith
Father, I thank you for your Word and for the Holy Spirit. The power that Jesus demonstrated that day is the power that you have given us to minister to a suffering world through sign and wonders. Help me to have the freedom to hear and the courage to act on your promptings. That freedom comes from the love you have placed in my heart that is like the love that Jesus had.
In Jesus’ name, I come to you today to receive it. Amen!
© 2013 – 2019, Pastor Maurizio. All rights reserved.