Jesus Raises His Friend Lazarus from the Dead, Part 14 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 167)
TEXT: John 11:38-42
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 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.
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 167.
A.C. Dixon said, “When we have accepted Jesus Christ, we have become akin to the Father; having become real children of God, we then have the spirit of sonship by which we can come into His presence and make known our wants in a familiar way.”
Jesus is at Lazarus’ tomb. The stone has been rolled away. Martha, Mary, and the other Jews who have gathered to mourn with them are waiting for what Jesus will do next. The Bible says that “Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast 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.”
Why did Jesus stop and pray at this point? We must remember that this episode takes place in the larger storyline of Jesus’ situation with the Jews over who He is and why they should believe in Him. Jesus has said repeatedly that He is sent from God. Many did not believe Him and raised objections to this idea. Some accused Him of blasphemy and tried to stone Him.
So, here Jesus is with a rapt audience. His whole purpose in coming to Earth and spending three years preaching, teaching, and working miracles is so that He could get men to believe — not just to believe in Him, but to believe in Him as the Way to God. Many of them are willing to believe on Him as a Great Teacher, a Rabbi, a Miracle-Worker, or even the Messiah. Jesus wants them to understand that He is all those things, but much more. Hence the prayer: Jesus is pointedly reminding the audience of His connection to the Father. John Piper said Jesus prayed “so that all can see he is one with the Father.”
Jesus thanks God for always hearing His prayers. God the Father always heard the prayers and requests of His Son because they were always in sync, in perfect harmony. Unlike us and the people around Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus never stepped outside of the will of God, so there was no daylight between Him and the Father. They were always perfectly one.
Those who are ‘dead in their trespasses and sins’ are not at peace with God, so they cannot have all their prayers answered as Jesus’ were. Even those who are saved sometimes step out of the will of God, and God will not hear their prayers either.
Jesus’ prayer is meant to contrast His relationship with God as opposed to our relationship with God. Jesus means to show His immediate audience (and us) that we can share in His union with God if we believe on Him. That is why He said, “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.”
God sent Jesus to close the gap between us and Himself. There is no other way that this gap can be closed and that man and God can be, as one writer put it, “happy together again.” Jesus is the bridge, the door, between us and God. We must go to Him and through Him in order to be saved and to have eternal life. Here is how you can do that today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “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 phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
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.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. 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. 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 email@example.com 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.