Blogging through the book of John
(John 11: 1-3) A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair.[ Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”
I think it's very interesting to think of Jesus' friends. We think of him as God's Son so much, and of course he is, but I find the human part of fascinating (if you haven't noticed lol).
So, Lazarus was sick. Actually, he was already dead by the time Jesus got the message, and he already knew it. He also already knew that bringing Lazarus back from the dead would be the miracle that would make his disciples truly believe. It's one thing to turn water into wine, it's another to raise a four day dead man from the dead.
Jesus loved these three people very much. They were like family to him, and it still took him four days to answer their cries. When we don't get a prayer answered right away, we get upset and wonder where is Jesus? Jesus proves here that he might not answer when we want him, but he answers when its best. Just think of all of the people who believed in Jesus because he waited to bring Lazarus back instead of healing him before he died? He answered their cries at just the right time. What a good reminder for us all...
The disciples didn't understand. They thought if Lazarus was sleeping then he must be getting better.... But....
Jesus knew his time was running out, and he also knew that his disciples still didn't believe fully. For them to fully understand, they would have to see an amazing miracle. Bringing Jesus back from the dead would be that miracle.
The disciples didn't think they would get out of Judea alive since the last time they went, people tried to stone Jesus, but they went anyway. Sure they were scared, but they went where Jesus went.
Bethany was only 3 miles from where Jesus was. He could have easily walked it in a day. I'm sure when Martha saw him coming four days later, she wondered what had held him up. She believed so much that she knew if he had of been there, he wouldn't have died. But Jesus was going to show her something beyond her wildest imagination.
Martha thought Jesus was talking about the last day when all the dead will rise. She never imagined that she would ever see Lazarus in her earthly days again. They knew Jesus did miracles, but they had no idea he was even more powerful than death.
It was obvious by the number of mourners that Lazarus' family was very influential. This gave Jesus another opportunity to show who he really was. There were lots of people around to witness this miracle. Jesus knew what he could and would do, but the people had no idea. It bothered him that they woudln't think he could bring Lazarus back.
They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
This has the shortest verse in the Bible. Then Jesus Wept. This proves to us that Jesus feels emotions. He feels our pain, our happiness, our suffering. He understands becuase he's been there. He's felt the same emotions we have/are.
The people all around were gossiping (as people tend to do) and asked if he healed the blind man, why coudln't he have kept Lazarus from dying.
But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
Why was Jesus angry? Why do you think? I think he was angry because people were questioning his power, and maybe some were saying it was his fault that Lazarus was dead-- because he wasn't there.
For whatever reason, Jesus was mad (another emotion we all have... so see, he understands). He ordered the stone to be rolled away, but Martha protested. Lazararus had been in there for 4 days. He'd started to smell.
Can you imagine being one of those people who saw that? This guy had been dead for four days. And here he walked out! It would have been very hard not to believe in Jesus seeing that.
It was a big time for Jesus' ministry. People were believing, but people were also talking. The Jewish leaders were not happy.
(John 11:45-48) Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. . But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council] together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. \ If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.”
Certainly the Pharisees didn't like Jesus because he claimed to be the Messiah. They didn't want to lose their power or their authority as Jewish leaders. But there was another reason, a much more political reason why they wanted him dead...
At that time, Roman controlled the Jewish nations. They pretty much left them alone as long as they didn't cause too much trouble. Jesus, with his miracles and being God's son, was making trouble. They feared an all out war with the Romans if Jesus got too powerful. Caiaphas told them it was better for one man to die for all than all for one.
I'm not going to lie, I don't really understand this. So, does this mean that Caiaphas ordered Jesus to die because of this prophesy? Because he really believed him to be the Messiah?
In any case, the plot to kill Jesus wasn't just one evil sinester plot. There were many things going on. Jesus claimed to be God's son, healed on the Sabbath, disrupted the people which threatened to get Rome's attention, and then we throw this prophesy on top of it.
No matter which was the straw that ultimately decided it for them, the Pharisees began to plot.
This is the beginning of the end. Passover is coming. The plot to kill him is already in motion. Jesus knows his time is running out. Events have started rolling that will lead to his death. Next chapter will be Pslam Sunday and Jesus will arrive as a king. He will leave as a criminal.
I truly hope this series is helping you in some way. I know I love reading the book of John. The next post in the series will be Monday. Saturday and Sunday will be Wordless Weekend.
POST 365 is coming SOON (Tuesday to be exact!) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE head over HERE to learn how to enter the giveaway to win one of FOUR GREAT PRIZES (I never thought I'd have to plead for people to win free stuff lol). If you have any questions about it, please let me know.
a copy of Laura Krokos' Bible Study Beholding Glory Becoming Missional;
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A copy of the Summer 2012 issue of Woman to Woman Magazine;
A Paperback copy of my Ruth Bible Study
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Other posts in the John Series:
Linked with:Faith Filled Friday @ Beholding Glory (Laura is the one who provided the copy of her bible study for the giveaway! :))