I Did Not Think of That

John 11

 

 

I.    Introduction.

A.     There are three perceptions in this verse.

1.       The perception of Christ.

2.       The perception of the disciples.

3.       The perceptions of Mary and Martha.

B.     Christ has the only correct perception.

C.     Why is this chapter in the Bible? 

1.       It is more than just a narrative of another event in the life of Christ.

a.       This chapter is teaching us to look beyond what we can see, or what we can expect.

b.       This chapter is teaching to always leave our affairs to the Lord, and he will also do right and we will always be happy with the result. 

2.       None of the events of this chapter had to take place, but they did as an example to us and for us. 

a.       Christ is the God of the impossible.

b.       Ephesians 3:20 states, Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 

c.       See also the context of Ephesians 3:20. 

 

II.    The perception of Christ.

A.     Verse 4 – When Christ heard of the sickness of Lazarus, he said the sickness was not unto death, but for the glory of God. 

1.       Jesus did not have to hear from Mary and Martha to know that Lazarus was sick. 

2.       Some would say Jesus was wrong about Lazarus’ death, but they forget the death of Lazarus was not permanent. 

3.       Jesus looked beyond the temporary death of Lazarus to raising him from the grave. 

B.     Verse 8-11 – Christ desires his disciples to always walk in the light, never in darkness. 

1.       Jesus wants us all to walk by faith, never by sight. 

C.     Verse 15 – Jesus goes to Mary and Martha that they might believe. 

1.       Mary and Mary already believed, but they did not believe all they could or should. 

2.       I John 5:13 states, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 

3.       There is a greater believing than just believing unto salvation. 

 

III.    The perception of the disciples.

A.     Verse 8 – The disciples thought the reason Christ has not returned to Judea was because he was afraid of the Jews, who threatened to kill him. 

B.     Verse 16 – Thomas decided he would go to the death with Christ, and encouraged others to follow. 

 

IV.    The perception of Mary and Martha.

A.     Martha.

1.       Verse 20 – As soon as Martha knew that Jesus was near, went to him, and did not wait on him to come to her. 

2.       Verse 21, 27 – Martha believed and called Jesus Lord, or master. 

3.       Verse 20-28 – Martha was truly saved, and desired the help of Christ, but the only solution she saw was for Jesus to heal Lazarus of his sickness. 

4.       Verse 25-27 – Martha believed in the resurrection, but placed the resurrection only at the last day, and not a present reality. 

B.     Mary.

1.       Verse 28,29 – As soon as Mary understood that Jesus was near, she went to him, and did not wait on Jesus to come to her. 

2.       Verse 32 – Mary believed Jesus could heal her brother, but did not see any other option. 

 

V.    The lesson for us.

A.     Christ puts obstacles in our path because he wants us to live by faith more, to step out by faith more, to trust him more when it looks like nothing at all is going right.

1.       Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did what God told them to do, without thinking what God could or would do to preserve their lives. 

2.       Daniel did the same thing. 

B.     At IBC, we are facing the very difficult decision of what to do with the building. 

1.       Let us look beyond what we can do to look only at what God can do for us. 

2.       This is his church, not ours.

3.       He will take care of us in a better way than we can take care of ourselves. 

 

VI.    Some random thoughts.  Verse 33 – Jesus groaned.

A.     The word in the Greek indicates that Christ snorted with anger.

1.       People have different opinions about what Christ is angry about.

2.       Some may not think he is angry, but grieving.

3.       Verse 35-36 – Some believe Jesus is weeping because he loved Lazarus so much, but I believe Jesus wept because of the unwilling unbelief of the people. 

B.     It seems to me that Jesus groaned within himself (that is – within his person as being God) because of the unbelief of the people and their sorrow at their present circumstance.

1.       Jesus groaned because all the people could see was what was in front of them.

2.       They could not see nor make application of spiritual truths to their present life.

3.       So it is with us.

4.       I am sure God is often grieved with us because we have no idea of what he is doing.

C.     Verse 39 – Why did Jesus command them to take away the stone?

1.       If Jesus could raise the dead, could he not remove the stone?

a.       Jesus could remove the stone, or he could have brought Lazarus forth through the stone.

b.       Jesus wants the people to do what they can, just as he wants us to do what we can.

c.       What we cannot do, Jesus will do the rest.

2.       Jesus also commanded the people to loose Lazarus from his grave clothes.

a.       Jesus could have removed the grave clothes at the time he brought him back to life, but he did not.

b.       Jesus could have brought Lazarus forth fully clothed, but he did not.

c.       Jesus wants us to do what we can.

d.       What we cannot do, Jesus will do the rest.

3.       Verse 41 – The people obey Christ, even though they do not understand the end result.

a.       This is also a good thing for us to do.

1.)    It is always good to obey God and let him take care of the results.

2.)    God will never do anything wrong or against us or hurtful to us.