Walking In Truth Devotional Update
Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead
There are several points that signify the importance of this miracle. First, it is much longer than the previous miracles. Second, it is the only miracle to take place in Bethany.
We have seven miracles recorded in the first eleven chapters of John: (1) The turning of water into wine (2:1-11); (2) the healing of the nobleman’s son (4:43-54); (3) the healing of the impotent man (5:1-15); (4) the feeding of the multitude (6:1-14); (5) the walking on the water (6:16-21); (6) the cure of the blind man (9:1-41); and, (7) the raising of Lazarus (11:1-45).
The miracles of Jesus were important because they were signs of what He is and what He came to give to those who would believe and obey Him. Jesus demonstrated that He was truly the resurrection and life (John 11:25, 26).
Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick. But Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” v. 4). However, Jesus abode two days still in the same place. Then Jesus decided to go into Judea and told His disciples Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep (v. 7-11). However, they thought Lazarus was merely sleeping and Jesus corrected them saying that he was dead (v. 13-14).
By the time Jesus and His disciples arrived Lazarus had laid in the grave four days (v. 17). So, the question is why did Jesus wait four days to go and raise Lazarus? Jewish people believed that the soul remained in the vicinity and would return and visit the body for two or three days hoping to rejoin the body. On the fourth day, the soul finally faced reality and departs. The fact that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days meant that there could be no possibility of his soul rejoining his body. Therefore, the miracle could not be denied.
Many of the Jews went to Martha and Mary’s home to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house, perhaps needing to stay with the mourners (v. 20).
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee” (v. 21-22). We do not have any idea that Martha expected a resurrection to take place. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, but the Pharisee did. Martha did believe in a future resurrection. Jesus saith unto her, thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
It was at that moment Jesus pronounced the wonderful statement in v. 25: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. believest thou this?”
Jesus did not say I will be the one to raise him in the last day. What He did say is I AM the resurrection and the Life. This is an astonishing claim and declaration by Jesus and joins the other “I AM” statements found in the Gospel of John. Jesus not only gives light to the world, but He is the light. Not only does he help people thru the door to everlasting life He Himself is the door.
Let me take you back to Job and the question posed by him: :”If a man dies shall he live again?” That question has been in the mind of every human being since death was first experience on earth. Every culture, tribe and civilization has seen people speculating about the question of death. The obvious question is: When I die is that the end? Is the whole of my existence summed up between the two points of birth and death as marked on the tombstones of people’s graves or is there something else, is there something more? The answer is yes, there is much more.
Christ’s promise is the declaration of His personal assistance. That is what He meant when He said, I am the resurrection and the life. Jesus will raise Christians to everlasting life. You must understand that the day when your body dies, that is not the day YOU die. That is the day you will become more conscious of reality than you have ever experienced. That is why the apostle Paul could say: “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Phil. 1:23-24).
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, loose him, and let him go” John 10:41-44).
By Guy Roberson
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