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.
In John 10, Jesus refers to Himself twice as the door/gate as well as the Good Shepherd twice. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees (John 9:40), the religious leaders and spiritual shepherds of the Jewish people. These men, spiritually blind and deaf to the truth of Jesus (John 10:6), are causing division (John 10:19).
John writes his gospel three decades after the other gospel writers with the purpose of proving that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, so that we might believe, and in believing, that we might have life through His name. It is interesting to note that John 1-11 covers almost three years, while John 12-21 covers three days. A chapter of assessment, John 7:1-14 is specifically an assessment of the situation. Jesus is at the end of His Galilean ministry and has reached the zenith of His popularity. In Galilee, not even Jesus’s biological brothers are believing in Him (John 7:5), and the fury against Christ in Jerusalem is increasing as the head Jews seek to kill Him (John 7:1). Knowing His death will be the following year in Jerusalem, Jesus proceeds with the wisdom of God to perfectly observe the Mosaic feasts as the sinless Son of God.
John places a discourse of teaching before or after each of the miracles he writes about. A chief discourse is found in John 6:22-71 after the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus' walking on the water. In this passage, Jesus is at the end of His Galilean ministry. Having fed the 5,000, He and His disciples are along the shores of the Sea of Galilee near Jesus’s hometown. Those who have been fed and healed have found their way to the other side of the lake, marveling that Jesus is there too, knowing He had not set out in the boat with His disciples the evening before.
Psalm 84 describes a person longing for God's dwelling place and points us toward the home we were created for.
Last week, we studied the believer's reality of possessing great spiritual treasure (2 Corinthians 4:7). The rest of our passage describes further realities that believers are assumed to enjoy.
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.
Last week, we discussed our personal approach and perspective in suffering. Now we will consider our prize, a glory that is beyond our comprehension.
On days of remembrance, the reality is especially poignant that our freedom is never free. In the history of this country, God has not primarily used religious or political leaders to safeguard liberty; He uses the sacrifices of men and women in the armed forces to secure our freedom.
Spiritual liberty, too, was bought at a high price. Jesus Christ paid his life for our eternal freedom.
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