Text: John Chapters 11-12
OBSERVE: Throughout these two chapters we observe the following:
INTERPRET: Prior to the coming of Jesus, the Rabbi’s had divided miracles into two separate categories – those that many could perform if empowered to do so by God, and those reserved only for the Messiah. The four miracles reserved only for the Messiah included: healing a leper, casting out a mute demon, healing a man born blind and raising someone form the dead after four days. This understanding may help explain why each of these miracles was followed by so much excitement and commotion.
The raising of Lazarus was the fourth and final Messianic miracle performed by Jesus. The Rabbi’s taught that resurrection from the dead was only possible within the first three days and only the Messiah could perform a resurrection on or after the fourth day. Perhaps this provides the reason to us readers for why Jesus delayed upon hearing the news of the death of his friend. This also explains why there was so much commotion after this miracle – Jesus had just performed the fourth and final Messianic miracle. The religious authorities now had to either accept Jesus as the Messiah or do away with Him as quickly as possible. History records their poor choice.
APPLICATION: The people were also faced with a choice after witnessing this miracle from Jesus. We read that many people believed in the signs of Jesus and understood what this meant. When Jesus asked them to remove the stone, He was declaring His Messiahship in a clear, loud voice and everyone who was there that day knew it. We see many believing in these clear signs yet many still remaining in unbelief. Jesus knew that by performing this final miracle that he was giving up his life for the life of Lazarus. Jesus was now entering Jerusalem on a donkey after declaring with his words and actions to be the source of resurrection and life.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life for all of us who believe in Him. Jesus gave his life for each and every one of us. When we turn to him in faith and repent of our old ways, we receive new life now and forever. Just as Lazarus stood up and walked out of the tomb, we too need to rise up and walk away from the darkness that we have lived in. Jesus offers us so much and we need to follow him into the light of His Kingdom; desiring all that He has for us.
REFLECTION: Has the voice of Jesus awoken you and risen within you a new resurrected heart? Have you followed his calling to walk out of the darkness of the tomb you were in? Are you leaving the old behind you and focusing on walking towards the light each day?
PRAYER: Jesus; call me out of the darkness. To life and to hope and towards the promised Kingdom meant for us. Call me out from all those places where I hide from you and from others. Call me towards your light and help me to leave my old ways behind me. Call me towards you; THE RESURECTION AND THE LIFE. AMEN.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.