Jesus Raises His Friend Lazarus from the Dead, Part 7 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 160)
TEXT: John 11:14-22
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 160.
Warren Wiersbe said, “God’s truth has been given to us in three ‘editions’: His Word is truth; His Son is the truth; and His Spirit is the truth. We need all three if we are to experience true sanctification, a sanctification that touches every part of our inner person. With the mind, we learn God’s truth through the Word. With the heart, we love God’s truth, His Son. With the will, we yield to the Spirit and live God’s truth day by day. It takes all three for a balanced experience of sanctification.”
B.B. Warfield said, “In the infinite wisdom of the Lord of all the earth, each event falls with exact precision into its proper place in the unfolding of His divine plan. Nothing, however small, however strange, occurs without His ordering, or without its particular fitness for its place in the working out of His purpose; and the end of all shall be the manifestation of His glory, and the accumulation of His praise.”
In this passage, we see that Jesus has finally arrived at Bethany, where the Bible informs us that Lazarus has lain in the grave for four days. This detail is important because the Jews believed that a person’s spirit hovered around the body for three days in hopes of being reunited with its physical form and being returned to life. After the third day, it was believed that the spirit abandoned the body and all hope of resurrection was gone. So, Jesus steps into a situation that was considered hopeless by everyone else.
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, He was not just met by Mary and Martha; He was met by “many of the Jews” who had come to comfort the sisters in their grief. In the Ancient Near East, grieving was a very public process that carried on for seven days or more. Family, friends, neighbors, and even professional mourners participated in the display of grief. All of these people were present when Jesus arrived in Bethany. The Bible tells us that Mary was so stricken with grief that, when news of Jesus’ arrival reached them, she did not even go to meet Him.
Martha, however, did. “As soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him.” She said to Him, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Unlike some of Jesus’ blood relatives, Mary and Martha took Jesus’ identity as the Son of God seriously. They knew that when Jesus was around, things did not just go on as usual. Jesus was a game-changer, and Martha was disappointed that He had not been with them during Lazarus’ illness. She was certain that, had He been there, her brother would not have died.
Although Martha was honest about her feelings, she had not lost faith in Jesus Christ. She followed up her comments to Jesus by saying, “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” We cannot be sure what, exactly, Martha expected Jesus to do seeing that Lazarus was dead and that (in her mind) the chance of him being resurrected was gone. But, what we can commend is her faith in Jesus Christ. Even in this hopeless situation, she believed that Jesus would do what was best. She made what one commentator called a “non-specific prayer request.” Essentially, she said, ‘Lord, I don’t know what You’re going to do. I don’t even know what to ask You to do. But I trust that You will do what is best. I’m leaving this in Your hands.’
Have you ever tried that? Have you ever been so confident in God that, when you don’t know what to do, you can say, ‘I don’t have any will about it. God, do what You know is best. I’ll be content with that.’ Sometimes, that is the only thing we can say when we are in hopeless situations. God will often allow these situations to come about so that He can force us to rely on Him. As Corrie ten Boom said, ‘Sometimes we don’t realize that God is all we need until we find that God is all we have.’
Martha is a great example for us today. No matter what you are facing — even if you think you know a way to work out your situation — you can choose to rely on Jesus Christ and leave everything in His hands. When Jesus is in control, things may not go as you expect them to go, but they will go according to God’s plan — and His plan is always best. You may not think so now, but God has a plan for your life — yes, a plan for all of your seemingly hopeless situations. That plan begins with you placing your faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, just as Martha did, for your soul’s salvation.
Are you ready to do that today? Here is how:
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.