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John 11:1-44

Key Verses 11:25-26                                                                                                                   


“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’”


             Happy Easter!!! Our Lord Jesus came down from heaven to save us. He died on the cross to pay off our sins. He rose again in order to give us eternal life. Jesus is the Lord of Easter. But if you go to stores, the lords of Easter are eggs and bunnies. I don’t know the relationship between Jesus and them. In the world, those guys are more famous than Jesus on Easter. But I thank God for all of you who came to meet the true Lord of Easter, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is still alive. Jesus Christ is with us here today. Those who seek him earnestly will surely meet him. Don’t you want to meet him? Please don’t rub your eyes to see him. Prayerfully pay attention to what Jesus says in this passage. You can meet him in his words by faith.  


             In this passage Jesus performed an unbelievable miracle. He raised dead and decayed Lazarus from the tomb. The main focus is not the miracle. It is Jesus Christ. Jesus revealed who he really was and wanted to plant resurrection faith. Let’s see who Jesus is. Jesus is much more than we think. I pray that we may all have resurrection faith through knowing Jesus correctly.  


I. The sickness will not end in death (1-6)


             In Bethany, there was Lazarus whose two sisters were Martha and Mary. Because Bethany was 2 miles away from Jerusalem, Jesus often stopped by Lazarus’ house after visiting Jerusalem. Jesus taught them the word of God and they served Jesus with delicious meals. (Lk 10:39-40) Mary even anointed Jesus with her very expensive perfume. They had deep love relationship. One day, Lazarus got sick and was dying. Because there were no hospitals, the only hope was Jesus. Fortunately, Jesus was on the east side of the Jordan River which was about 15 miles away. The two sisters immediately sent a text message to Jesus. "Lord, the one you love is sick." (3b) They were sure that Jesus would come right away.  


             What was Jesus’ response to their urgent prayer? Look at verse 4. “When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.’" Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death.” What does it mean? We can think that Lazarus would not die. But it is not what Jesus meant. Jesus meant that Lazarus would die but Jesus would raise him. Through Lazarus’ death Jesus wanted to demonstrate his resurrection power. It was a good opportunity to reveal who God was and who he was. Even though Jesus had raised a little girl and a young man before (Mk 5:41-42; Lk 7:14-15), the disciples still did not know who Jesus was. They were slow to believe. In other words, it is hard to believe the resurrection of the dead. So what did Jesus do? Look at verse 6. “Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.” Jesus stayed two more days. Jesus waited until Lazarus had died. Jesus looks very cruel. But the very purpose was to plant resurrection faith in them. Here we have to understand why Jesus tried to plant resurrection faith in the disciples? First of all, Jesus wanted them to believe that he would die on the cross and rise again on the third day. But more fundamental reason is that without resurrection faith Christianity is nothing. Paul says like this, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (1Co 15:17-19) Even if we believe everything about God and Jesus, but if we do not believe the resurrection of the dead, our faith is futile. Our sins are not solved. We cannot have living hope. We are pitied more than unbelievers. Without resurrection, we don’t have to be Christians. Therefore, the resurrection faith is the core faith to solve our sin and death problems. Our last enemy is not sin, but death. Unless we defeat death, we are all losers no matter what. On the last day, the only final victors will be only those who have resurrection faith. They are also victors in current days. They are above all problems even above death. Nothing is a matter to them. To them, sickness cannot end in death but end in God’s glory. That’s why Jesus tried to plant resurrection faith in them. 


II. The world under the power of death (7-24, 28-38a)


             Verses 7-24 and 28-38a tell us about the world without resurrection faith. Even though Jesus was far away from Bethany, Jesus knew what was going on in Lazarus’ house. Jesus knew that Lazarus had been dead. Now, it was the right time for Jesus to plant resurrection faith. Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” What was the response of the disciples? Look at verse 8. "But Rabbi, a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?" The disciples were reminded of the incident a short while ago in the temple. When Jesus claimed that he and God are one, the Jews tried to stone Jesus. So Jesus and the disciples slipped away to the other side of the Jordan River. Now Jesus wanted to go back. The disciples thought of the murderous Jews who were about to throw stones at them. They said to each other, “No way!” The fear of death paralyzed them. How did Jesus counsel them? Look at verses 9-10. “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.” The light of the world is Jesus. While they walk with Jesus, they don’t need to worry about death. It is because the light of life shine on them. Now Jesus told them that Lazarus had fallen asleep. Then the disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” The fear of death kept them from understanding. So Jesus spoke plainly that Lazarus was dead. Contrary to common people’ view over death, Jesus regarded death as sleep. This implies that there is resurrection of the dead. As sleepers get up in the morning, the dead will rise again someday. The only difference is that the dead have long sleep under the ground. Meanwhile, they take off their earthly body for the imperishable, powerful, glorious and spiritual resurrection body. Have you ever seen a corpse in a viewing? Death in Jesus is indeed peaceful sleep. I could see deep and peaceful sleep from Dr. Samuel Lee’s dead body. In Jesus, death is not any more the object of fear but a door to the kingdom of God.


             Jesus knew the disciples’ spiritual problem. They were under the power of death. They needed resurrection faith. So it was very good for Jesus to plant faith in them. Look at verse 15. And for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe." But Thomas did not accept Jesus’ words and said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” He seems brave, but in fact, he was full of fear. The disciples were not different from the unbelievers in view of death. It was because they did not know who Jesus was. They knew that Jesus was the Christ. But they did not know what the Christ meant fully. They knew that the Christ could heal the sick and drive out demons. But they did not know that the Christ could raise even the dead.


             How was the spiritual condition of Martha? On the fourth day of Lazarus’ death, Jesus arrived there. Lazarus had already been buried. But still there were many funeral guests in the house. They did their best to comfort Martha and Mary. But nothing could comfort them. What they could do was to weep for them. When Jesus arrived at the village, Martha came out to meet Jesus, but Mary did not out of sorrow. What did Martha say to Jesus? Look at verses 21-22. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Martha was complaining to Jesus about his delay. She expressed her sorrow. But now because Jesus was there, she could have little bit hope that Jesus could do something. There is a big difference between with Jesus and without Jesus. When Jesus is with us, there is always great hope in us. Even in desperate situations, there is great hope in us. It is because Jesus himself is our living hope. When Jesus came, the desperate situation started to change. They began to hear the words of hope. They began to hear the word of faith. What words of hope did Jesus give to her? Look at verse 23. “Your brother will rise again.” Wow! Martha had never expected such hope. She expected only some comforting words from Jesus. She wished that her brother would have been raised again. But she knew that such thing could never happen right now. Her hope was dead. This is the reality of the world without resurrection faith. But in Jesus, hope is always alive. Even though Lazarus was dead, in Jesus there is still hope. Jesus always says, “Your brother will rise again.” Jesus is the Lord of hope. What was Martha’s answer? Look at verse 24. “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” She did not accept Jesus’ words practically. It was because she doubted that Jesus could raise her brother. She had a kind of resurrection faith, but it could not solve her practical problem. She was still sorrowful. 


             How was Mary? She fell at Jesus’ feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Her sorrow was worse than Martha’s. She was weeping. Funny thing is that she was weeping in front of the resurrection. She was like Mary Magdalene who was weeping in front of the risen Christ. Her sorrow was caused by her spiritual ignorance. When she wept, the Jews also wept. Then Jesus wept too. Mary and the Jews wept because of sorrow, but Jesus wept because of their spiritual ignorance. Look at verses 36-37. The Jews said, "See how he loved him! Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” They doubted Jesus’ love. They doubted Jesus’ power. The world without resurrection faith is full of sorrow and death.  


III. Christ, the Resurrection (25-27, 38b-44)


             Because of Martha’s vague faith, Jesus teaches us very precious truth about himself and resurrection. Look at verses 25-26. Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” This was the content of faith that Jesus wanted to plant in his disciples. This is the content of faith that Jesus wants us to have. Here, Jesus teaches us who he is. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Jesus himself is the resurrection. Jesus himself is the eternal life. Resurrection and life are one. In resurrection there is eternal life and in eternal life, there is no death. Therefore Jesus who is the life itself is the resurrection itself. Here the life is eternal life which only the creator God has. Because Jesus is the resurrection itself, Jesus can raise us. Because Jesus is source of eternal life, he can give us eternal life. Even if we die, Jesus can raise us. If we live and believe, we shall never die. Since Adam disobeyed God, the whole creation was under the power of death. Due to sin, men lost many critical things. One of the most critical things was eternal life. We lost eternal life. But the good news is that Jesus is the resurrection and the life for us. Through resurrection faith, the eternal life is given to us.  


             Look at verses 25-26 again. Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” What was Martha’s answer? “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” It was her personal confession of faith. Jesus was satisfied with her answer. This shows that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. Both the Christ and the Son of God are Jesus’ identities. Many people misunderstand about the Son of God. Monkey’s son is a monkey. Human son is a human. Then how about God’s Son? He is God. That’s why Jesus said that he and God are one. Jesus is the incarnate God. Jesus is a perfect man and perfect God. When she came to know who Jesus was, she had faith in Jesus. Her inner sorrow disappeared. Her hope got alive. She could believe the words of Jesus, “Your brother will rise again.” She could believe that Jesus could raise her brother right now.


             In order to prove that he is the resurrection and the life, Jesus took everyone to the tomb. The tomb was a cave with a stone covering the entrance. Jesus commanded them to take away the stone. Martha knew Jesus’ intention and said, “But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days” (39b). When Martha focused on the words of Jesus, she had faith. But when she focused on the situations, she lost her faith. Our faith does not come from situations. Our faith comes from the words of Jesus. When we fix our thoughts on Jesus only, we can have great faith.


             Look at verse 39a again. “Take away the stone.” Jesus could have moved the stone by himself, but he asked them to do it. There is something we have to do and there is something that only Jesus can do. We have to show our basic faith to Jesus. We cannot make Lazarus alive. It is Jesus’ job. Our job is to remove the stone. Removing the stone is the expression of our faith. Even though the smell was very bad and the body got badly decayed, they had to remove the stone by faith. Jesus does not care about the smell. Jesus does not care about how many days Lazarus was in the tomb. Jesus cares about our faith in him. Unless we remove the stones of unbelief in our hearts first, Jesus does not do anything.


             Martha lost her faith when she smelled the bad odor. Then Jesus rebuked her. Look at verse 40. “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Jesus wanted her to have faith in him. She had to believe that Jesus was mighty enough to raise Lazarus. We can see God through faith only. 


             They repented of their unbelief and removed the stone. Then Jesus started to work. Look at verses 41-42. “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. But I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” Jesus started his work through prayer. Through prayer Jesus depended on the power of God. Jesus gave thanks to God for hearing his prayer always. Jesus prayed for the people’s faith. After prayer, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The voice of Jesus covered the tomb. The voice of Jesus broke the chain of death. The voice of Jesus brought Lazarus out of the tomb. This fulfilled John 5:25, “I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” Some of us might be like the dead Lazarus. Spiritually and mentally we are sick. We commit sexual immorality. We are addicted to pornography, games, drugs and alcohols. We are inside tombs and emit bad odors. It looks impossible for us to get out of our own tombs. But not so to Jesus. Jesus, the resurrection and the life can call us out. Today, Jesus calls in loud voice, “Moses, come out.” Through this conference, we may hear the word of Jesus and come out of our own tomb.      


             In the whole passage, Jesus repeatedly uses one verb, “believe.”  Jesus uses it 6 times (15, 25,26,40,42) and Martha uses it 1 time (27). We can see that the purpose of the miracle was to plant faith in the people. Jesus had intention to plant faith. Look at verses 14-15 again, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” Planting faith was even Jesus’ prayer topic.  Look at verses 41-42 again. “…I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” Here Jesus mentions the ultimate content of faith. It is to believe that Jesus was sent by God. In other words, it is to believe that Jesus is THE CHRIST and THE SON of GOD. Because Jesus is THE CHRIST, Jesus is the resurrection and eternal life. Because Jesus is the SON of GOD, he can do all things. Because Jesus is the SON of GOD, he is able to raise us. All the blessings come through faith in Jesus. Jesus says, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” Through faith in Jesus, we participate in Jesus’ resurrection. Through faith in Jesus we receive eternal life. Jesus really wants us to believe that he is the resurrection and the life. Then from today we can overcome death and live forever in his life.

No. Subject Author Date Views
25 2010 SBC Closing Message (Philippians 3:1-11) by M. Joseph Sohn [8] file Joseph 2010.08.25 23262
24 THE OUTLINE OF THE WHOLE SCRIPTURES by Nehemiah Kim (Gwangju I,IV) - 05/10/10 [2] file admin 2010.05.16 23531
23 2010 New Year Conference 2nd Day Message (Acts 2:42-47) by M. Joseph Sohn [2] Joseph 2010.01.02 23268
22 2009 ESBC Closing Message by M. Dr. John Jun: Make Disciples of All Nations [2] admin 2009.08.31 24745
21 2009 ESBC Main Message VI by Shep. Bruno Aussant: The Word of the Lord Grew in Power [2] admin 2009.08.31 24871
20 2009 ESBC Main Message V by Shep. Georgi Kumanichliev: The Risen Christ Gives Great Commission [1] admin 2009.08.31 19602
19 2009 ESBC Main Message IV by Shep. Joachim Dietzel: Jesus Said, It is Finished admin 2009.08.31 12924
18 2009 ESBC Main Message III by Shep. Titus Keller: But Seek His Kingdom [1] admin 2009.08.31 12985
17 2009 ESBC Main Message II by Shep. Abraham Kaier: Your Sins are Forgiven [2] admin 2009.08.31 15095
16 2009 ESBC Main Message I by Shep. Eberhard Groß: Jesus, the Spring of Living Water admin 2009.08.31 13267
15 2009 ESBC Opening Message by Shep. Dr. Samuel H Lee: The Hope of God [2] admin 2009.08.31 12418
14 2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Exodus 19:1-6) by M.Matthew Kim [2] kimmatthew 2009.08.03 14332
13 2009 SBC 3rd Day Message(Acts 19:1-22) by sh. Jason Perry [2] file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 12888
12 2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(Mt 28:) by 2nd Gen M. John Park Jr. [2] file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 13065
11 2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(John 19:16b-42) by M.Barnabas Moon file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 12748
10 2009 SBC 2nd Day morning devotion Message(John 4:1-14) by Dr. Jun Hee Lee file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 13019
9 2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Mark 2:1-17) by M.Martin Ahn file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 14415
8 2009 EBC 3rd Day Message(John 21:1-25) by Dozie Uzoma [1] file admin 2009.06.30 12592
7 2009 EBC 2nd Day Message(Ezekiel 37:1-14) by Abraham Moses Kim file admin 2009.06.30 13389
» 2009 EBC 2nd Day Message1(John 11:1-44) by M.Moses Kim file admin 2009.06.30 12617