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|Posted on November 8, 2016 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
Session 11 – 2 Peter 1:16-18 - WITH TRUST – Day 2
2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; instead, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
The disciples of Jesus did not run after fairy tales, nor did they make them up. They had seen His miracles with their own eyes and heard the voice of Truth resonating in their own ears. They reported accurately what God had revealed to them and what they personally had lived.
2 Peter 1:17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory:
This is My beloved Son.
I take delight in Him!
John MacArthur Study Bible:
1:17 Excellent Glory. A reference to the glory cloud on the Mt. of Transfiguration from which God spoke to the disciples (Matt. 17:5). This is My beloved Son. This means, “This One is in essence with Me.” The Father is thus affirming the deity of Christ (cf. Matt. 17:5; Luke 9:27–36).
2 Peter 1:18 And we heard this voice when it came from heaven while we were with Him on the holy mountain.
Peter, James, and John had the unique privilege of witnessing Christ in His glory on what we call the Mount of Transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-9, Luke 9:27-36)
Luke 9:29-30 (VOICE) Jesus began to pray and the disciples tried to stay awake, but their eyes grew heavier and heavier and finally they all fell asleep. When they awakened, they looked over at Jesus and saw something inexplicable happening. Jesus was changing before their eyes, beginning with His face. It seemed to glow. The glow spread, and even His clothing took on a blinding whiteness. Then, two figures appeared in the glorious radiance emanating from Jesus. The three disciples somehow knew that these figures were Moses and Elijah.
Peter, James, and John had seen and heard the intimate exchange between God the Father and God the Son. They saw God’s radiance poured out upon Jesus and heard the Father’s voice proclaiming Him to be His Son and equal.
Hebrews 1:3 (NIV) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
No one is God’s child, His seed, in the same way that Jesus is. We are His children by adoption, but Jesus was His son by miraculous conception and is one with the Father and Holy Spirit in a way we cannot completely comprehend this side of Heaven. According to the gospel accounts, they were also instructed by God to listen to Jesus.
Peter, James, and John were Jesus’ secret keepers because He admonished them not to tell what had happened on the mountain until after He had been resurrected and had ascended back home to the Father. After becoming the perfect sacrificial Lamb and defeating sin and death, Jesus sat down to begin His heavenly ministry as our chief intercessor.
Chew on This: Ten of the original apostles, as well as Paul who was added as an apostle after He was personally called by the resurrected Jesus, suffered martyrdom. They died violent, painful, and many of them slow deaths. John lived to be an old man and probably died a natural death but had at one point survived being boiled alive and had spent years in exile on the Isle of Patmos. I have a hard time believing they would or even could suffer those things for stories they had concocted themselves. Their testimony, even to the point of torturous deaths, confirms for me that their accounts of Jesus’ work on earth are true.
|Posted on August 15, 2016 at 10:20 PM||comments (0)|
Jesus Shares Breakfast with the Disciples
John 21:10 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
Jesus wanted to add some of the fresh fish to their breakfast. The disciples were going to get to eat some of the fruit of their labor. According to the fishermen in my family, there is nothing quite like fresh fish cooked on an open fire. I wouldn’t know because I don’t like to eat fish at all. If Jesus had been cooking chicken fried steak with cream gravy (the preferred drink of the South), I would have been right there!
John 21:11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
No one ever accused Peter of being wimpy, for even 153 small fish would be a heavy load. The net miraculously held under the weight of such a tremendous catch.
John 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
Jesus invited the men who were hungry from fishing all night to share breakfast with Him. The fact that He ate is evidence that He had resurrected in bodily form and was not merely an apparition or spirit. Jesus had said they would see Him again, and there He was eating fish and bread with them. They finally were completely convinced this was Jesus in the flesh.
John 21:13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.
Jesus served as the host of this seemingly impromptu meal. What do you think is important about that? The Father or Master of the house was the host. It is also reminiscent of the times He fed the multitudes and the breaking of the bread at the Last Supper before His arrest. Jesus had come to serve – He had washed their feet at the Last Supper, and now He was serving as the cook for their breakfast. I wonder if any of the disciples were ever tempted to say, “Yes, indeedy, one morning Jesus, the Son of God, cooked my breakfast!”
John 21:14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
At this point, Jesus had appeared to the apostles three times. They would later testify that they had seen Jesus many times after He had been raised from the dead. He continued to appear to various groups of disciples over the next forty days. Paul reports on these appearances in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7.
Q – Do you ever question whether the resurrection of Jesus was real? He made sure His apostles would not doubt His bodily resurrection by allowing them to touch His wounds and even shared a meal with them. Paul records that He once appeared to over 500 people at one time. These people faithfully spread the good news of His triumph over the grave, and now we believe because of their testimony passed down through the ages as well as written in the word of God. If Jesus has revealed the truth of His reality to you, it is your mission to pass that gospel on to others. Have you shared the good news with someone today? This week? This year?
|Posted on August 15, 2016 at 9:55 PM||comments (0)|
Swim, Peter, Swim
John 21:6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
Jesus told them to go against their fishermen’s instincts and cast the net on the other side of the boat. They may have been annoyed and thought, “So now fish swim on only one side of the boat?” But for some reason they tried what this as yet unknown stranger told them to do. They may have begun to doubt their own expertise because when they cast the net, they did not have the strength to haul it in. It was so full of fish that SEVEN grown men could not draw the net back into the boat!
John 21:7a That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
Because of the miraculous catch, John realized the man on the shore was Jesus and proclaimed to Peter that it was the Lord. John always seemed more attuned to Jesus, realizing the truth of His resurrection at the empty tomb and now recognizing Him before the others.
John 21:7b When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.
Impulsively, Peter dressed and jumped into the water. This time he was not walking on the waves but swimming rapidly to shore. He could not even wait until they all arrived by boat! Peter was not the kind of guy to be patient. He was probably the kind of child who wanted everything RIGHT NOW.
John 21:8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
Peter had left the boat, but the others took up his slack and finished the task of bringing the catch to shore.
John 21:9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.
Jesus did not need their fish to cook, for He had already prepared their breakfast of fish and bread. If it seems odd that He had fish without going fishing and bread without baking, think back to the feeding of the 5000 plus.
Q – Do you feel like your nets are coming up empty? Keep on in obedience and trust the Lord for the catch. Many times we witness and go years without seeing one person come to know the Lord. However, we do not know how the word we share will be added to by others and grow in their hearts. Keep on sharing. Keep on being obedient fishers of men!
|Posted on August 15, 2016 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
Disciples Go Fishing
John 21:1 (ESV) After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.
Sometime after Jesus had appeared to the disciples and Thomas, He presented Himself again. We are not told how much time elapsed between the two events, but it had to have occurred within the 40 days before Christ ascended to the Father. Tiberias is another name for the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had instructed His disciples to wait for Him there. (Matthew 28:10 and Mark 16:7) In Mark’s account of the resurrection the angel specifically told the women to tell the disciples and Peter to wait in Galilee. Perhaps Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter would understand he was still invited to the party.
John 21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.
Seven of the eleven remaining apostles were together. It makes you wonder, “Where were the other four?” But we’ll just have to wonder because the Bible does not tell us. Simon Peter and the sons of Zebedee, James and John, had all been fishermen when Jesus called them. Thomas and Nathanael may have been fishermen, also. The other two with them that day are not named.
John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Peter may have thought himself unworthy to serve the Lord as one of His messengers since he had denied the Lord three times on the night of His arrest. So he proposed that some of the other disciples join him in going fishing which was his previous livelihood. Even though several of the seven who got in the boat were skilled fishermen, they caught nothing!
John 21:4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
The poor guys fished all night to no avail. At dawn, there was a figure on the shore. Bleary-eyed from being up all night and certainly not expecting to see their Master on the shore, the disciples did not recognize Jesus. This could be another one of those times that Jesus kept them from recognizing Him right away.
John 21:5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”
Even though Jesus addressed the men in the boat with the term of endearment “children,” they did not recognize Him. When He asked if they had any fish, they answered simply, “No.”
Q – The disciples were in Galilee in obedience to what the angel told them do. At this point, they may have been feeling a bit like they were in limbo – not yet having a clear direction about their continued service to the Lord on earth. So they waited and occupied themselves with what they already knew how to do – fishing. Are you waiting on a specific assignment from the Lord? Are you unsure of your marching orders at present? Occupy the place Jesus has you right now, being obedient to what you know to do. At the right moment, He will clarify your next move. Stay in His word, seek Him in prayer, and continue in obedience.
|Posted on August 15, 2016 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
Thomas Gets What He Asked For
John 20:26 (ESV) Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
I think Jesus enjoyed entering through locked doors. These dramatic, miraculous entries were a part of confirming that He was indeed the Son of God, risen from the dead. This time all of the eleven were present and accounted for, including Thomas. Jesus did not want Thomas to be the only one missing out on the fact that He was risen from the grave, in the flesh, but able to appear in the room with the doors locked tight.
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
Jesus gave Thomas the opportunity to test Him. I believe that Thomas was not the only that had doubts. He was the only one brave enough to articulate them. The others had doubted as well before Jesus had shown them proof of the crucifixion scars on His body. Note that Jesus did not wait for Thomas to ask to see His hands and side – He offered that proof immediately. Jesus admonished Thomas not to reject this proof but to believe.
John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus had shown Thomas the proof he needed, and Thomas worshipped Him as both Master and God.
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus chided Thomas a bit for not believing until he had seen for himself. Then He pronounced a blessing on those who would believe even though they had never seen Him with their physical eyes. “Those” are those of every generation after the original disciples who had walked with Him on earth. Including us!!! We have not seen and touched Jesus’ physical, human body; but the Holy Spirit graciously has enabled us to believe with spiritual eyes and recognize His word in the Bible as truth. We are truly blessed!
John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John had walked over three years with Jesus, so there was much more he could have written. The Holy Spirit enabled John to discern what key events to record that would lead people to believe the things Jesus had done and said during His sojourn on planet earth. This gospel account was written so that people would believe and trust in Jesus and gain eternal life. There is power in the name of Jesus! Peter later preached concerning the name of Jesus:
Acts 4:12 (NASB) And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
Q – Thomas may have doubted, but that did not cause Jesus to reject Him. Jesus proved Himself to Thomas and through the Holy Spirit caused him to become a bold witness of the truth. John wrote so that people would believe. Do you ever recommend that a person who is seeking God read the Bible? Point them to the gospel of John as it is a clear account of Jesus life, death, and resurrection that can lead them to eternal life. I (Susie) have even seen just that one book of the Bible printed as something to give to people, called “Living Water.” I once had the Spanish Version. They are available at http://www.livingwater.org/#home for ministries who might want to give them out to visitors, seekers, or new believers.
|Posted on August 12, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Go and Tell My Brothers
John 20:15 (ESV) Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
At first, Jesus did not give Himself away but just addressed her politely as “woman.” Mary Magdalene still did not recognize the Lord, so she addressed Him respectfully as “Sir.” He asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for. For some reason she thought He might be the gardener and would know what had happened to Jesus’ body. Then she said she would take Him away. How does she, a woman, think she’s going to take the body anywhere? And where on earth did she think she was going to take Him? In her distraught state, I guess she just wanted to make sure the body was properly cared for and re-entombed.
John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
When Jesus finally spoke her name, Mary, she recognized the cadence of her teacher’s voice. Her eyes were opened to the fact that Jesus was standing there before her. She addressed Him as “My Teacher” acknowledging the fact that she now knew who He was.
John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
According to Matthew 28:9, Mary Magdalene bowed in worship and took hold of Jesus’ feet. So He urged her not to cling to Him. Jesus did not want her to cling to the relationship they had here on earth. He would be ascending to the Father and sending His Spirit bringing their relationship to whole different level. Jesus gave her a message for the disciples whom He now called His brothers. Jesus had to be the firstborn of the resurrection before other brothers and sisters could join Him in His forever family. He entrusted Mary, a woman whom He had delivered from seven demons, with the message that He would soon ascend to the Father. Jesus smashed down the wall of thinking women were not credible witnesses by having Mary Magdalene be the first to see Him and declare He was alive. This also proves that once one has trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they are considered clean in God’s eyes. He did not view this formerly demon possessed woman as unworthy but saw her as His chosen, redeemed child capable of taking an important message to His disciples.
John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Mary immediately obeyed. She sought out the disciples to tell them she had seen the Lord and to give them His message. Luke 24:11 records that the disciples had a hard time believing the women who had seen Jesus thinking it to be “an idle tale” (ESV), “nonsense” (CJB), “fiction” (VOICE). Apparently the disciples did not get the memo that their Lord deemed women to be credible witnesses!
Q – I remember a student listening to the Carman song “Lazarus, Come Forth” in my classroom before school began. It was a public school. Suddenly he said, “Bad to the bone, man. He’s talking about dead people coming to life!” He had never heard the story of Lazarus, let alone the resurrection of Jesus. However, Jesus’ own disciples had a hard time believing He had actually fulfilled His promise to rise from the dead on third day. Nothing is impossible for God. The next time you think your situation is hopeless, impossible, no way out, remember the resurrection of Jesus. He is able to deliver you!
|Posted on August 12, 2016 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
John 20:11 (ESV) But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.
Mary Magdalene had stayed behind when John and Peter went home. Mary Magdalene was a woman who had once been possessed by SEVEN demons. Jesus cast those demons out and gloriously brought her into His forever family. However, at this moment, she was confused and frightened because she did not yet realize He was alive, raised from the dead. She thought His body had been moved or stolen away. Mary was having an “ugly cry” outside the tomb. She bent down and looked into the tomb the disciples had just vacated.
John 20:12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
John and Peter had not seen angels, but when Mary peeked into the tomb, there were two of them. They sat where Jesus’ head and feet had so recently lain. Mary must have been breathless with wonderment at the sight of two men in what she thought was an empty tomb! How had they entered without her knowledge? She had been standing right there!
John 20:13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
The angels showed concern for her distress and asked her why she was crying. She must not have realized they were angels because she did not express any fear or awe of them. She once again explained that she thought someone had moved or stolen the body of Jesus, her Lord and Teacher.
John 20:14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
She turned around and was startled once again to see a man before her. She did not recognize Jesus perhaps because of shock or because His appearance had changed or He purposely did not allow her to comprehend who He was. Perhaps Mary was in shock due to the tomb being empty causing her to not recognize her Lord, Master, and closest Friend.
Q – Women (see also Matthew 28:1-10) were the first people to see the resurrected Jesus face to face. According to the Jewish Law, only men could be witnesses in court, and women’s testimony was not seen as trustworthy. Yet Jesus entrusted this most important news that He was alive to women before appearing to the eleven male apostles. Some people try to tell us that Jesus would make women less than they are. The truth is that Jesus elevated women to a higher position in society than they had ever held. Do you harbor prejudices due to gender, race, or ability? Jesus broke down those barriers over 2000 years ago.
|Posted on August 9, 2016 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
The Empty Tomb
John 20:1 (ESV) Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
Jesus was crucified on Friday, and it was now Sunday morning. According to how the Jews reckoned time, this would still be three days as any portion of a day counted as a day. How did Mary Magdalene think she was going to move the heavy stone in front of the entrance to the tomb? Perhaps she thought the soldiers posted there to make sure the body was not stolen by Jesus’ followers would assist her. How startled must she have been to see the stone already moved?!
John 20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
Mary was perplexed. Where was the body? Who moved it? Why did they move it? Where was it moved? So she took off running to find Peter and report this strange turn of events. She found him in the company of John, the beloved disciple. She delivered the astonishing news that the tomb was empty and that she and the other women (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-3, Luke 23:55-24:1) thought the body appeared to have been moved.
John 20:3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
Peter and John raced to the tomb as fast as their feet would carry them. John, being the faster runner, arrived first.
John 20:5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
John peaked in the door but did not enter the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there but waited at the entrance. We do not know why John did not enter the tomb, but here are some ideas. Perhaps he was awe-stricken and feeling the place was holy. Perhaps he was timid, although I can’t picture one of the “Sons of Thunder” being afraid. Perhaps he was waiting for Peter who may have been his elder and was an acknowledged leader of the disciples.
Q – The tomb was empty! Although Jesus had told them in no uncertain terms many times that He would be killed and would rise on the third day, they could not comprehend that it had actually happened. Would you have believed? We like to think we would, but would we? Do we believe modern day miracles when they occur or do we search for a scientific explanation?
|Posted on May 17, 2016 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
Jesus Raises Lazarus
John 11:38 (ESV) Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
Jesus arrived at the tomb. He was deeply moved again, but the scripture does not say why. Was He moved by the sorrow of the mourners? Was He troubled by their unbelief? Was He already thinking about the ordeal He would undergo on the cross and His own time spent in a tomb? The tomb, like many in Israel during that time, was a cave with a rock rolled in front of the entrance.
John 11:39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus commanded them to remove the rock from the entrance. Martha pointed out that by that time the body would stink since Lazarus had laid in the tomb four days. Bodies were not preserved by embalming as they are now. They were simply anointed with fragrant spices and wrapped in linen strips, so the body would have begun decomposing in that amount of time. Due to the lack of embalming, the burial process was completed within twenty-four hours. Therefore, Martha said he had been dead four days rather than entombed four days. Probably both things were true.
John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
Recall Jesus’ earlier conversation with Martha. He pressed her about whether or not she believed He was the Resurrection and the Life, and she declared Him to be the Son of God and able to ask and receive anything from the Father. So actually, Jesus had set Martha up to be able to express her personal revelation that He was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. In this passage, Jesus reminded her that she would see the glory of God.
John 11:41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”
They obeyed Jesus and took away the stone. Jesus prayed aloud for the benefit of the family and especially the Jewish leaders who had gathered at the tomb. Jesus came to the Father with thanksgiving. Even though He was God in the flesh Himself, He considered gratitude a priority. He prayed thanking the Father even BEFORE the miracle occurred. We, too, are to have an attitude of thanksgiving when we petition God.
Philippians 4:6 (NASB) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Jesus knew the Father always heard His prayers because they maintained uninterrupted, intimate relationship. As Jesus stated many times, He and the Father are One. Jesus wanted the crowd to know that He was God’s ambassador, here on God’s mission, and did only that which the Father authorized.
John 11:43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”
Jesus could have accomplished the task with a whisper, so I wonder why He shouted? The people needed to hear Jesus commanding the dead man to rise in order to know it was by the Father’s power through Him that it was done. Jesus wanted those outside the grave to hear Him speak with authority in order to validate the fact that He was the Messiah, the Son of God.
John 11:44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Lazarus came out of the tomb alive but still bound in the burial cloths. This was proof that he was the man who had died. The Bible leaves us to imagine the looks on the faces in the crowd. Did Mary or Martha faint? I would have liked to see the faces of the Jewish leaders. Did their mouths drop open in amazement? Nothing is recorded about Lazarus’ reaction either. Did he hoot and holler? Did he fall at Jesus’ feet? Someday when we meet Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, we can ask them to tell us the rest of the story. Jesus simply told them to untie Lazarus and let him go.
Q – You would think seeing someone raised from the dead in person would cause the entire crowd to believe, but we will see that it did not. Are you waiting to witness a miracle firsthand before you will trust Jesus? There is no need to wait as we have the Bible, God’s word, where many signs were recorded. There is also the testimony of Christians you know who can tell you how Jesus has changed them forever. Ask Jesus to open your eyes to the truth. Then respond by faith and trust Him completely, giving Him control of your life.
|Posted on May 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
Jesus Weeps with Mary
John 11:28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
After Martha had declared to Jesus her belief that He was the Christ, the Son of God, she went back into the house to announce His arrival to her sister, Mary. Privately, Martha took Mary aside to let her know that Jesus had asked for her. The message of Jesus’ being nearby was not shared with the entire room. Mary got up immediately and went out to meet Jesus.
John 11:30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
Jesus was not right outside the door. He was yet a way off. He was still outside the city limits. Perhaps Jesus desired to speak with Mary alone, so He waited for her to come to Him.
John 11:31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
They supposed wrongly that she was returning to the tomb. Since Martha had told only Mary of Jesus’ nearing their house, the Jews who had been there did not realize it was Him she was going out to meet. Lazarus and his sisters must have been in the upper echelon of society to be worthy of the Jewish leaders making an appearance to mourn with them. These were the very people the disciples wanted Jesus to avoid since they wanted to kill Him! However, Jesus, being omniscient (all-knowing) knew they would be there and went anyway because He also knew HIS TIME HAD NOT YET COME.
John 11:32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Mary, in her grief, was laying her heart at the feet of her Lord. Falling at Jesus’ feet may have been partly due to her sorrow, but she was also still acknowledging and worshiping Him as her Lord. She pointed out that had Jesus been there death would not have touched and overtaken her brother. She expressed her faith that Jesus had the power to heal even someone near death.
John 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
Jesus was deeply moved because those He loved on a personal level, not a communal level, but as dear friends, were in great pain and anguish of heart. They wept openly in their sorrow and grief which touched Him. It hurt Jesus in His humanity to see those he loved in such pain. He may have been troubled at the havoc sin visited upon the world, that death causes such grief. He may also have been upset that these people were weeping as those who have no hope rather than the grieving of those who believe in the resurrection.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (ESV) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
As Christians, we still grieve, but differently than the world if we are remembering a fellow Christian. Of course, Mary and Martha were grieving prior to the resurrection of Jesus; but they knew that He taught there would be a resurrection of the dead.
John 11:34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus asked the women to take Him to the tomb. Either the sisters or those with them told Him to follow them to the place.
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
Two power packed words. The shortest verse in the Bible. Although it is the shortest verse in the Bible, it is one of the weightiest. Our favorite commentator, John MacArthur, points out that Jesus’ weeping is not the same Greek word as the others. He silently burst into tears rather than the loud wailing of the Jews. Nonetheless, He wept. Jesus empathized with Mary and Martha in His tender response and was not dismissive of their emotions, but respectful. How much more should we as Christians follow Jesus’ example in this way to not be dismissive or judgmental of a person’s emotions? We should show understanding and compassion.
Romans 12:15 (NIV) Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul gives us the condensed version of how we should respond to others as Christians. Weeping with those who mourn is on the list.
John 11:36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
Even the Jews could see that Jesus truly cared for Lazarus and his sisters. When we console others in the midst of their tears, sometimes weeping with them, we are demonstrating a sincere portrait of the love of Jesus and our love for them.
John 11:37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
If they truly knew that since Jesus opened the eyes of the blind, He could have kept Lazarus from dying, why didn’t they believe? Was this said sarcastically such as, “He healed the blind man, but He couldn’t save His own good friend!”? No one was anticipating what was to come. Don’t miss the next lesson when we share the rest of the story!
Q – Jesus wept in empathy for Lazarus’ sisters, perhaps in His own human grief, but also because He was saddened by the effects of sin in the world. How often do we sincerely share in a friend’s troubles to the point of crying along with them? When we ask someone how they are doing, do we really want to know? Do we care? Do we tell the truth when someone asks us how we are? Do we simply say, “I’m fine,” because we know most people, even our Christian friends, don’t really want to know? Or are we afraid that instead of being blessed by their compassion we may be burned by their criticism or even gossip? Dear Christian brothers and sisters, pray we can learn to behave like the family God adopted us to be!