Return to Bethany – Part 2

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John 11:1-16

11:1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “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.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (ESV)

  • Jesus receives a Message
    • From Bethany
    • From Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus
    • Regarding, “The one you love”
      • Phileo – like a brother
  • Jesus Responds
    • He doesn’t drop everything and leave
    • He will allow God to receive glory
      • Just like John 9:1-5
      • Our comfort in difficult times
    • Death will not be the final outcome
      • God doesn’t create tragedy but He will use it for His glory
  • Nothing is stronger than Jesus’ Love
    • For the family it is Agape – Sacrificial love
    • Lazarus was likely already dead by the time Jesus received the message
      • When He arrives in Bethany, Lazarus has been dead for four days
    • Jesus has full knowledge of what is happening
      • Just like Nathaniel in John 1
      • Just like the Samaritan woman at the well
      • Jesus is using this situation to strengthen the faith of both His disciples and the people in Bethany
  • The disciples are Frightened
    • John 7 – rumors that the Jews want Jesus dead
    • John 8 – The Jews tried to arrest Jesus
    • Festival of Lights – the Jews tried to stone Jesus and later take Him into custody
    • Jesus explains that the time is limited
      • For Him because His hour was near
      • For us because He could return at any moment
    • 12 hours of daylight
      • Spiritual illumination – John 1:7
  • He’s just Asleep
    • Sleep brings relaxation, rest and health
    • Jesus was indicating that Lazarus was dead
  • Jesus was Glad that they had not yet arrived
    • They would learn several lessons
      • Who Jesus really was
      • How to increase their faith
      • God is bigger than anything the world can dish out
      • Don’t jump to conclusions
  • Thomas – Not Doubting but Bold
    • He’s the first to speak up
    • He’s willing to die with Jesus
    • He’s not filled with faith, but he is filled with courage

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