AN EYEWITNESS TO JESUS--PART VI
SERMON TITLE: SIGN SIX: A SICK FRIEND
SERMON THEME: BELIEVE AND SEE
AT SOME POINT WE ALL HAVE WONDERED.....
· WHY DOES A GOOD GOD ALLOW BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN?
· WHY DOES GOD WAIT TO ANSWER OUR PRAYERS?
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
· JESUS DOES NOT JUST TELL US WHAT HE DID HE SHOWS US WHAT HE DID, AND WE TEND TO BE WILLFULLY BLIND TO THE EVIDENCE.
24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,
THREE THINGS HAPPEN WHEN GOD DOES NOT DO
AS YOU WANT HIM TO DO.
I) WHILE YOU WAIT GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED.
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
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 IS GLAD FOR THE BAD WHEN THE BAD LEADS TO GOOD.
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive
glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
· WHATEVER JESUS IS DOING IN YOUR LIFE HE IS DOING IT NOT PRIMARILY TO SATISFY YOU, BUT TO GLORIFY GOD.
II) WHILE YOU WAIT YOUR FAITH WILL BE MADE STRONGER.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
· IF YOU REFUSE TO FOLLOW THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, YOU WILL STUMBLE AROUND IN DARKNESS.
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 2 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
· GOD IS MORE INTERESTED IN GROWING YOUR FAITH THAN HE IS IN HEALING YOUR SICKNESS.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
· GOD'S MAIN CONCERN IS NOT WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH, HIS MAIN CONCERN IS DO YOU TRUST HIM IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
· JESUS COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING, BUT HE DID NOT. HE CHOSE INSTEAD TO CONDENSE ETERNITY INTO THE SPAN OF A SINGLE AFTERNOON.
III) WHILE YOU WAIT YOUR WITNESS WILL BE MULTIPLIED.
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
· THE GREATEST WORK THAT GOD WILL EVER DO IN YOUR LIFE IS NOT WHAT HE WILL DO FOR YOU; IT IS WHAT HE WILL DO IN YOU.
46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
· THE EVIDENCE OF WHO JESUS WAS, WAS SO INDISPUTABLE HIS OPPONENTS CALLED A MEETING AND DECIDED JESUS AND LAARUS HAD TO DIE.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
· GOD DID NOT ELIMINATE EVIL. HE PLACED IT ON HIS SON, SO THAT YOU WOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
CONCLUSION: NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU WAIT GOD IS NEVER LATE.
THAT IS WHY HE USED LAZRUS DEATH TO BRING PEOPLE TO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.
31 But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.