John 11 marks the turn of Jesus’s public ministry to His private ministry. Jesus states that the purpose for the death and resurrection of Lazarus is the glory of God so that the Son of God may be glorified (John 11:4). The response to this miracle by the Jews and the religious leaders is the focus of the remainder of this chapter. Though some Jews believe in Jesus because of this miracle (John 11:45), many who were eyewitnesses to the death and resurrection of Lazarus do not believe in Him (John 11:46). We see unbelief acknowledge the miracle but resist submitting to the lordship of Christ.
Many scholars have called the raising of Lazarus, Jesus’s seventh sign and last public sign, the climax of Jesus’s ministry and the greatest of His public signs. In this chapter, John is preparing the reader for the cornerstone of our faith in Jesus Christ, which is the resurrection of the dead. We cannot have Christianity without the resurrection, and there cannot be resurrection without Jesus having authority over death.
Today we will examine 3 interactions that Jesus had once he arrived in Bethany in John 11:17-37.
For approximately 90 days between the events of John chapters 10 and 12, Jesus ministers in the Perean area. John 10 contains Jesus' last public invitation for the Jews to believe in Him, and John 11 contains Jesus' most powerful self-proclamation and most dramatic miracle.
Luke 24:33-49 happened about half a day after Jesus rose from the tomb. Jesus had already appeared to some disciples after His death and burial in the tomb. All the disciples were in a living room, eating dinner behind a locked door, fearing for their lives. They believed the Jewish leaders may seek to kill them as well.
The disciples were discussing reports that Jesus had risen from the dead. The witnesses explained their stories of seeing Him risen. Was this really Jesus? Was it a ghost? The ones who had not seen Jesus may have wondered why Jesus appeared to others but not to them?
The disciples were tired from the recent events of His death. They were grieving and confused about what to do next. Some of you today may be in this same position of anguish and uncertainty. Just as Jesus calmed the hearts of His disciples in this passage, He does the same today.
John 20:11-18 tells of Mary Magdalene encountering the risen Jesus. In this account, we see Jesus' consoling love that is simple and profound.
At Christmas time, it is fitting to turn our minds to prophetic truths concerning Jesus the Messiah. The books of the prophets are usually the first to come to mind, and the literal fulfillment of the circumstantial facts they predicted hundreds of years prior to Jesus’ coming is nothing short of miraculous. Another prophetic witness is found in the Messianic Psalms. In total, twenty-five different psalms (one out of six) include at least one Messianic prophecy. Messianic psalms are quoted in eleven New Testament books.
These psalms are prophetic in a special way: in the words and feelings of the Psalmist were found the very words and feelings of the Messiah. (See Hebrews 2:12.) The Psalmist knew that the coming Messiah would “fill out” the emotional and physical suffering he was experiencing by experiencing them in a way he never could. The pain he spoke of figuratively, the Messiah would know literally.
Christians minister and serve because of Christ is resurrected and assures us of our own.
There is profundity in simplicity. Our world is complicated, but God's plan to lead us back to Himself is simple. Human ways to God only lead to destruction.
Philippians 3:10 expresses the Apostle Paul's desire to "know Him [Christ] and the power of His resurrection." In the Bible, the word "to know" usually means to share one's life. We share life with those who are closest to us, spouses, family, and close friends. We share in Christ's life when we know Him as our Savior.
The second chapter of John's Gospel shows the beginning of Jesus' public ministry – His first miracle, His first appearance at the Temple, His first Passover and His first cleansing of the Temple. The central verse of this section is John 2:17. All these events were the Messianic fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. We can study this passage to ask, "What is the activity and fruit of a life consumed with properly worshiping the Lord?"
Many hymns tell how the truth of the resurrection affects our life today. "I serve a risen Savior," wrote Alfred Ackley in "He Lives!" Charles Wesley underscored the reality that because Christ has risen, we will also rise, in his hymn "Come, Let Us With Our Lord Arise." Those who know Christ live because of Him, and our glory is His.
By contrast, those who choose to live without God often describe the fleeting nature of human life. English poet Thomas Gray wrote the line, "The paths of glory lead but to the grave." Our glory is short-lived without Christ. God's glory is eternal, and He has wonderfully planned to share it through Jesus Christ.
Pastor Kent Hobi
Do you ever wonder if all the things we believe as Christians will ever come true? Generations of God’s people come and go, and we still groan under the task of becoming who we are in Christ. Will our faith ever be sight?
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