NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition - Flipbook - Page 50
J ohn 1 1
God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 28Then she returned to Mary. She
called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to
see you.” 29So Mary immediately went to him.
30Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. 31When the
people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she
was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32When Mary arrived
and saw J esus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother
would not have died.”
33When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep
anger welled up within him,* and he was deeply troubled. 34“Where have you put him?”
he asked them.
They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Then Jesus wept. 36The people who were
standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37But some said, “This man healed
a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
11:33 Or he was angry in his spirit.
THE DETAILS SURROUNDING DEATH MAY VARY, but the reality is universal. Scenes like Lazarus’s funeral in Bethany are repeated many times around
the world each day. A grieving family gathers at a graveside. Friends agonize over
what to say. Their helpless silence, downcast eyes, mumbled clichés, and shuffling feet provide more distraction than comfort. When death is unexpected, the whys hang in
the air like choking smog.
Drawn by grief and duty, people came from Jerusalem and the surrounding area to pay their
last respects to a notable citizen of Bethany. Jesus’ friend Lazarus was dead. His brief sickness
proved stronger than any available medicine. Jesus had been sent for but had delayed his arrival
until it was too late. Death didn’t wait. Following the wisdom of hot countries, the body was soon
wrapped and buried. Four days later, Jesus arrived.
Lazarus’s sisters, Mary and Martha, reacted in shock. Grief-stricken, they struggled to understand why Jesus had delayed in coming. We have no idea how Lazarus felt about this experience.
In fact, we don’t have a record of a single word he spoke. We do know that he listened to Jesus.
Even when the curtain of death was between them, Lazarus responded to Jesus’ voice. He came
hobbling out of his cave-tomb, still wrapped in graveclothes. Jesus had raised him from the dead!
When all is said and done, only what God has accomplished through us will really matter. We
will take little credit. Jesus worked in and around Lazarus just as he does with us. We have Christ’s
invitation to participate in his work, but we must not forget that he will do much more than we
will ever know. Meanwhile, we delight in what Christ does with the little we have to offer him.
Lazarus’s resurrection poses an important question: When you die, do you fully expect that your
next conscious experience will be hearing the voice of Jesus call you by name?
• Regularly hosted Jesus in his home
• Raised from the dead by Jesus after four days in the grave
• Once we have given God ownership of our lives, we can’t predict what he will do
• Jesus’ circle of relationships went beyond the 12 disciples.
• God can use even the most difficult experiences in our lives for his glory.
• Where: Bethany
• Relatives: Sisters: Mary and Martha.
“But when Jesus heard about it he said, ‘Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No,
it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.’”
Lazarus’s resurrection story is told in John 11:1–12:11.
response that Jesus wants from us. No matter how busy we are, we must
listen to him, believe in him, and then follow him.
11:33-37 John stresses that God cares for us. When Jesus saw the
weeping and wailing, he, too, wept openly. Perhaps he empathized with
their grief, or perhaps he was troubled at their unbelief or at death’s destructive grip. Whatever the case, Jesus showed that he cares enough for
us to weep with us in our sorrow. Here we see many of Jesus’ emotions—
compassion, indignation, anger, sorrow, and even frustration. In his
life on earth he often expressed deep emotion, and we must never
be afraid to reveal our true feelings to him. He understands them, for
he experienced them. Be honest, and don’t try to hide anything from
your Savior. He cares.