I am so happy to be with you right now. So, this podcast is fairly new, and I am still getting the hang of this and even though there is a lot more work involved, I am enjoying it, and I so thankful that you are taking the time to listen. My heart is to encourage and inspire as many women as I can to be passionate about their Christian walk and build a community of Christian women that support each other to live passionate lives that glorify Jesus Christ.
I mentioned a few episodes back that I was amazed at the response to this podcast, and I am humbly asking that if after listening you can take a couple of minutes to rate it on stitcher and or iTunes that will allow for more Christian Women to find this podcast in their search results. I want to thank Kelly and Dee for being the first to rate this podcast I really appreciate it.
This week I had started studying and drafted two other episodes, but I felt God prompting me away from those messages and with a strong redirection towards John 11, and in studying it anew it allowed me to see this passage with fresh eyes.
So the scene takes place in Judea days before Jesus is taken away to be crucified. Mary and Martha were taking care of their brother Lazarus they see that his health is failing, and they send notice to Jesus, who was at the moment in another city.
We read in John 11:3 (NIV) “So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
Immediately they called out to God, they did not wait or try to heal him themselves.
In John 11:4 (NIV) “When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the son may be glorified through it. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.”
When I read this I honestly was a bit annoyed, I thought why is he not rushing off to help His friend who he clearly loved? I also felt convicted because I feel this way many times more then I would like to admit. I sometimes pray but feel like He is too busy with more worthy people or sadly I doubt His power to get me out of the current situation. When He makes me wait, His silence ends up feeling eternal. Not having the right perspective that to Him our lives are but a vapor and that my impatience limits me in seeing Him in the details.
I also thought of what the poor messenger must have gone through rushing back to Judea to give Mary and Martha; Jesus’s message to realize that when he arrived Lazarus was already dead. So he must have doubted if Jesus’s Word was true, imagine this poor messengers response when he tells them that “This sickness is not unto death” and He sees everyone mourning Lazarus’s death.
John 11:7 “Then after He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
The disciples said to Him, “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble for they have no light.”
We must be in God to not stumble, He is the light that illuminates our steps.
After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.”
His disciples replied, “Lord if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
God uses the example of sleeping as the condition of a Christian in death because God will call us out and resurrect us to be permanent with Him.
So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake, I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Then Thomas said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Thomas’s response was not doubtful, nor sarcastic it was brave and regardless of the danger He was not just obedient but fully trusting with his response. Jesus is our light, and we have to focus on Him, He has come so that we may be awakened out of the sleep and fog and live boldly.
“On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
“ Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Martha meets alone with Jesus she is grieving, depressed and trying to justify why He was not there to heal him and in parallel holding on to the truth that she knows about the Lord.
This so blessed me because sometimes my prayers go off on tangents between asking and trying to justify the situation and then back and forth. The fact that He shared her transparency in her despair with us shows us His love and compassion all he wants is for us to meet him alone and to be honest about where we are. When he does not answer our prayer or its timeline, it might just be because he is working on a grander answer to your simple request. If God would have healed Lazarus, He would not have been able to resurrect Him.
So what unanswered prayer do you have that has you running to other solutions when what God wants to do is not heal your physical pain, but transform you completely? We need epic faith not a prayer to prayer faith.
2 Corinthians 4:8 “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.” (NLT)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
This shows us how God cares; he is deeply moved when we are grieving or depressed. He is with us.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Really, Have we forgotten the miracles of God and become immune?
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
“Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
It’s understandable that she would be concerned, by this time Lazarus’s body would be decomposing, and the odor would have been disgusting. God asks us to do a crazy thing, but we have to stop justifying and analyzing and do what he asks.
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out; his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
For all those who believe in Him and confess Him as God, He will save, so you are saved now rise, take off the clothes of your past and stop asking why and being bound by your justifications, because your command is to rise!
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