Martha, Mary, Lazarus    John 11

September 13, 2017

Martha, Mary, Lazarus    John 11

Once upon a time, there were two sisters and a brother lived in a small town called Bethany (not someone we know). Their names are Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.  They lost their parents when they were still young.  But they helped each other to live strongly. Older sister Martha did house works and cooking to support the family, and two others helped her. Always three are together and helping each other.

Jesus and his disciples used to visit them, had meals, and sometimes, stayed in their house.  Three were happy to welcome and accommodate them.  Their deceased parents were rich and their house was large enough to accommodate many of them in the rooms.  Three also had a treasure; very expensive Nard perfume in a jar, and kept it carefully.

Jesus especially liked them for their obedient personality and strong faith for the Lord.  Jesus loved Lazarus like his own brother, called him, “my beloved Lazarus.” He and his sisters love to have Jesus with them and greatly encouraged by Jesus.

One day Lazarus became sick.  At first everyone thought he would get better soon, but he was not.  His conditions got worse each day and high fever lasted.  Martha and Mary asked Jesus for help, sending a messenger to Jesus, and asking him to come right away. “Lord Jesus, your loved one is very sick. …please come and heal him…we need you, Jesus.”

They believed Jesus would come right away to heal him, and so they prayerfully waited.  But nothing happened. Jesus did not show up.

Symptom of Lazarus got even worse, moaning in agony with high fever.

“Lazarus, Lazarus, can you hear me?  We already asked Jesus to come soon.  He will come any moment. So, hang on.”

“soon, very soon…. Jesus hurry, hurry. Come now.  Your beloved Lazarus is suffering so badly.  Come to his bedside and heal him now.”

“Hurry, Jesus, hurry.  Is it today you are arriving?  We’ve been waiting for you for every moment.  Before too late… come today. I beg you for my whole life.”  But, Jesus still did not come.

“Why Jesus?, why not you coming?  Ah… now his body is getting colder…LAZARUS,

L- A - Z - A - R – U - S!   Ah… it’s too late. Oh God.”

Lazarus had died.  Jesus did not make it on time. Dead body decays soon. So, Lazarus was buried in a tomb.

Four days after burial, Jesus finally arrived… It’s way too late. Both sisters had no word to welcome Jesus. Their hearts were deeply broken. John 11:22

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha knew at the end time every body will be risen from the dead. So 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Her word clearly states that Jesus is the son of God, Savior, Messiah, the Christ. She confessed her faith in such a precise word with confidence.  Not so many people in that time confessed their faith in Jesus just like she did.

Martha indicated her amazing faith in Jesus. However, she had no idea that Jesus was about to rise her brother Lazarus from death…it was beyond her imagination.

Just after this, Mary also met Jesus and said the exact same thing. “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  But this time Jesus did not reply to Mary like her sister. Instead he was deeply moved. 11:33

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. (the shortest verse in the entire Bible) Jesus wept. (just 2 words)

From Jesus’s eye a big tear dropped… one and two tear drops…tears ran down his cheeks. Jesus cries with crying person, Jesus saddened with sad people.  Jesus cries with you.

Jesus of course knew what he was going to do from then.  That is the reason he came here….it is to rise Lazarus from death.  Death of man does not end in sorrow, but Jesus changes it into joy of having a new resurrected life.

Knowing that, Jesus still cries with crying people.  This indicates that Jesus is merciful, loving God, full of thoughtfulness with loving heart.   Yes, Jesus is God of LOVE.  He loves you and cares for you.

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “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.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

In their mind, they never thought that the dead man would rise again. What Jesus was going to do was beyond their imagination.

41 So they took away the stone. After prayed to his Father, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 

44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. “Wow! it’s Zombi, no it’s a mummy” not so.  It was live Lazarus. 

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 

Many people came to the funeral saw this miracle. Many were astonished and some lost mind or almost fainted. They all became eyewitnesses. For the rest of their life they must witnessed and told others about this miracle they just saw.

This miracle shows how powerful God is…He is capable of everything. Called Omniscient, and omnipotent. This also shows a preview of Jesus’ resurrection.

 

One question I have:

Why Jesus did not come to Lazarus right away?  It was Lazarus his loving brother like man who was suffering and dying.  Why Jesus deserted him and also his two sisters? …they were praying so hard for his recovery.  Jesus as loving God did what? Deserted this wonderful family...why?

Many of you already have an answer.

When Jesus first heard about the news that Lazarus was sick, he said in 11:4,

“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  This is the answer to the question.

Human cannot think about rising of dead man after 4 days.  It’s impossible.  This miracle is to show how great God is! How glorious God is! For other people to see God’s mighty power.  And for them to believe Jesus as the Son of God, and to worship him.

That is the reason why Jesus delayed for 4 days intentionally. If we could see and feel Jesus’s heart during those days.  It would be very sad and full of agony, I suppose.

Jesus knew how much Lazarus suffers with high fever, and how he dies… gave up the last breath.  Jesus saw all those in his mind.  He tried not to look, he tolerated without seeing it.  He is the God of love. We cannot hardly feel how Jesus suffered for Lazarus and two sisters.

Jesus cries with crying person.  He suffers with suffering person.  Jesus experienced them all on his cross.  This is the real reason Jesus died on a cross…in order to know and feel our pain with his own body. Agony on cross is for your sake.

What can we learn today?

Even when our prayers are not heard, Jesus sees us and knows us well enough.  He knows our pain.  He also teaches us to wait. Waiting is rather difficult, but also very important. After the waiting period, there is a glorious way opens up in front of you.

Jesus is preparing his glory for you. Before dawn is pitch black, cannot see a foot away. But Jesus sets up the light behind darkness, He shows us rising sun. 

Therefore, if you are walking in darkness, please do not lose your hope.  Behind darkness for sure is a light, shining bright future for you. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says;

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Jesus knows hardship you are experiencing. And so, he will give you strength to get over it.  And he will also give you a way to escape from that hardship. Believe in Lord Jesus.  To get over the trial, you need some good prayers. Prayer is important always, but especially when you are in a trail and in a suffering stage.  Then, prayer should be the highest priority.

Jesus hears our little prayer, even a small, small prayer.  He remembers each one of them very well. And he will give you an answer.

I don’t mean all of your prayers would come true right away.  But we need to wait to hear his answer for our prayer.  We need to learn how important to wait for his answer.  And we need also patience.

What are you waiting for now?  Are you in a trial? Are you in concern, unease feeling? Let us pray to Jesus.  He will give you a rest.

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