Text: John 11

Focus: John 11: 20-26John 11: 20-26
English: World English Bible - WEB

20 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. 21 Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, yet will he live. 26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

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Thomas Lynch, an undertaker and writer, says, “A good funeral is one that gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.”

In the text Lazarus (the dead) is the center of Jesus’ miracle, however it is Martha’s (the living) encounter with Jesus which teaches the text true meaning.

You see with Jesus the focus was not on the miracle. We read and preach this passage but miss the main purpose of the passage. It’s not about Lazarus it’s about Martha, Mary and all of the people around him

Jesus took the interlude between the time he got to Mary and Martha’s house before raising Lazarus from the dead to address a critical need of Martha’s .

Martha was a believer already in Jesus. However, Jesus needed to reveal something to Mary, Martha and the crowd that was lacking in their belief system.

 “Lord if you had been here my Brother would not have died”

Martha believe that if Jesus had been in Bethany instead of in Perea by the Jordon River Lazarus would have had a chance to live. However, Martha needs to understand that Jesus was not limited by space, distance or time. He did not have to be at Lazarus bedside to heal him. He could have spoken the word when he first heard he was sick and he would be healed.

Martha also made the mistake that many Christian’s make today when it comes to Jesus and sickness. She assumed that if by chance Jesus was there that he would have healed Lazarus.

We have this tendency to misunderstand and think that Jesus is going to heal everybody. Although we want to experience the healing power of the Lord, however it is his sovereign wills that decides who will be healed.

Jesus allowed everything to play out the way he did so he could orchestrate the right circumstances to set his revelation. That’s why even though the bible says “Jesus Loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus, so when he heard that he was sick he stayed two more days in the place he was.

I imagine when the information was given to Jesus about Lazarus they told him Lazarus is in very critical condition. He is at the point of death. What sickness Lazarus had is not mentioned but the concern of his sisters shows it was serious enough to send for the Lord.

Jesus still did not come. Even though Jesus knew how sick Lazarus was he did not come. After Jesus knew Lazarus was dead he did not go to the funeral, he did not go to the burial.

Yet the bible said he loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus! But Jesus had a purpose for his delay. Have Jesus ever put you on hold?   

John 11: 25John 11: 25
English: World English Bible - WEB

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, yet will he live.

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After Jesus told Martha in verse 23 your brother shall rise again, she demonstrates her faith and understanding of the resurrection of the believer to come by saying “I know my brother will rise again at the resurrection in the last day”

Jesus seized the moment to introduce a crucial revelation about him to Martha. Most people focus on verse 43 and 44 as the primary focus of this story… I contend this verse is the main purpose for this event.

Martha understood that God (Jehovah) would raise people from the dead at the resurrection. She understood her Eschatology. But Martha needed to understand who Jesus really is. He says to her, “you believe in the resurrection? “He responds I am the resurrection”!

I could spend a lot of time taking you deeper into that phrase “I AM” but I will simply say Jesus identified himself as God by making this statement.  “I AM” means: the self- existent one.

When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He was claiming to be the source of both. There is no resurrection apart from Jesus, and there is no eternal life apart from Jesus Christ.

First Jesus says “I am the resurrection”—this is the direct answer to Martha’s profession of 24.  Second, Jesus says, “I am the life”. He does not simply say that he gives resurrection and life, but that he is resurrection and life. In him the life of the age to come, after the resurrection, is already present and available.

Jesus is the resurrection in the sense that whoever believes in him, although he dies physically, will live spiritually. Jesus is the life in the sense that whoever lives spiritually—whoever has received the gift of life through belief in Jesus—will never die a spiritual death.

The one who believes, even if he dies physically, will live spiritually. The one who believes, who is alive spiritually, will never die spiritually. So when the believer die we are not dead.

We do not die because Moses records in the book of Genesis that when God created man he breath spirit,

(life) into the physical body of Adam and he became a living soul. Since God breathe a part of his eternal breath that spirit can never cease.

We do not die because Soloman in the book of Ecclesiastes talks about the immortality of the spirit of man.

We do not die because Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5, “ For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

We do not die because the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthian 5 says when we are absent from the body we are eventually present with the Lord.

We do not die because John 3:16John 3:16
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

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say “for God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in him will not perish but have eternal life”

The day our heart respond to the call of God to believe that Jesus is the way of salvation and placed our faith in what the bible says about Jesus, we never die.  At physical death we enter into the presence of the Lord in Spirit, and await that resurrection Martha was talking about.

I Corinthians 15:51-58

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”[a]

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.