Jesus' Ministry to His Disciples.

Last week, we studied Jesus' human love for the family of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. This week, we will look at how He ministered to His 12 disciples during this crisis.

The Reason for Jesus' Delay

John 11:4 gives the divine perspective on Jesus' delay. There are multiple ways the Lord answers prayers, but the purpose is always to grow our faith. If we must wait, we learn to wait on Jesus and trust Him in the meantime. Our faith in Him is stretched and strengthened.

Jesus' Determination

Jesus does not rebuke His disciples' response in John 11:8. In a crisis, God simply expects us to go when He says to go.

God determines our days. We must take advantage of what we're given. John 9:4 and Ephesians 2:10 teach that God has predetermined good works for us to do. He equips each believer with a spiritual gifting so that we can build each other up in the body of Christ.

Jesus Deepens Our Faith

Jesus deepens His disciples' faith so we can move into Gospel progress. John 11:11 connects to 11:25. Jesus makes statements about Himself in both verses. There is always more for us to learn about Jesus. (See Philippians 3:8-10.)

Thomas' Deep Level of Commitment

In John 11:16, Thomas demonstrates a deep commitment though he does not comprehend all that Jesus is teaching the twelve. It has been said that "loyalty does not require optimism." The disciples are willing to die with Jesus if that's what it means to follow Him.

The Gospel knows no dormancy. God always advances the cause of His Son, and He uses us to do so. We can't say we truly know the Gospel if we're not prayerfully seeking its advancement.

"What we witness here in the text is a raw devotion and courage the disciples will follow Jesus wherever he decides to go, a vivid expression of living as a disciple of Christ who knows what it means to take up his cross, deny himself, and follow Him."

"This courage was shot through with courage and incomprehension, yet they still remained devoted." — D.A. Carson

Application Points

  • We each are allotted a certain number of days to live. How would God have you spend your time?
  • No matter where you are in your growth, Jesus still intends to use you for Gospel progress today tomorrow and the day after that.

Quotes to Ponder

"Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus Christ is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection. It was the resurrection which transformed Peter’s fear into courage and James’ doubt into faith.... It was the resurrection which changed Saul the Pharisee into Paul the apostle and turned his persecuting into preaching." — John Stott

"It's hard to remember that Jesus didn't come to make us safe, but to make us disciples, citizens of God's new age, a kingdom of surprise."