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.
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.
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.
In Philippians 2:1-4, Paul discusses the necessity of maintaining relationships in Christ so a robust gospel effort can be achieved by the local church. This gospel effort is first individual, disciples of Christ making disciples.
During the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and only three months away from crucifixion, Jesus is confronted for the final time in His public ministry by the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus’s desire for these religious leaders to believe is an act of His mercy, an attribute of God manifested in Christ. Though not mentioned in this passage, the twelve disciples are witnessing the debate between Jesus and the religious unbelief at Solomon’s portico (John 10:23). It was customary for open theological debates to occur during festivals and for followers to be near their Rabbi. Jesus’s followers were only three years old in Christ or less. Though Jesus is specifically addressing unbelief, He is mindful of those listening to Him and how His words might strengthen them. Just as Peter had to be instructed by Paul (Galatians 2), it is normal for the followers of Jesus to become unsettled at times by circumstances and situations.
We learn in John 10:22-23 that Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication, a national holiday not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was winter, and Jesus walked in the portico where it would have been warmer. Here, Jesus was confronted for the final time in His public ministry by the religious leaders. Only three months away from crucifixion, Jesus boldly proclaimed (John 10:30) that He and His Father are one, and the Jews picked up stones to kill Him (John 10:31).
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).
Jesus being the Good Shepherd is one of the more familiar depictions of Christ. In John 10, Jesus refers to Himself as both the gate and the Good Shepherd. Jesus’s audience would have had the usual understanding of shepherding in mind. Sheep were a common industry in Israel, not only for clothing and food, but also sacrificed in religious worship as part of regular temple activity.
In this chapter, Jesus tells us that it is for judgment He came into this world and that those who think they see will become blind. But what does Jesus mean by judgment?
The Bible makes it crystal clear that fatherhood is the sole property of biological males, starting in Genesis chapter 1-4. God wants men to flourish and grow up into the idea of fatherhood.
In fatherhood, we learn from our errors. When you make a mistake as a father, all that’s left to do is to learn from it and say, “I’m not going to do that again.” Don’t marinate in the emotion of your failure.
This passage is in a great contrast to the coming chapters, especially chapter 10 when Jesus Christ presents Himself as the Good Shepherd. This is the last look at the religious unbelief that takes place during the Feast of the Tabernacles.Jesus is self-identifying as the light of the world, as we studied a few weeks ago. This passage helps us to be aware of gospel opportunities.
God plans good works for us to do in defined moments. He superintends all our moments. He has these on His calendar for you to do even if they are not on your calendar. These works are specifically designed for you to do.Looking through this lens, we can learn from this passage why God allows certain struggles and hardships to enter our lives.
Paul talks a lot about the sons of faith and being the spiritual father of some. What he is describing is the discipleship relationship. The analogy of sonship is common in the New Testament. A son is one who is in Christ and is adopted into the family of God.
The timing of this text is during the end of the week of the Feast of Tabernacle, about a half year before Jesus goes to the cross. Jesus is in a debate with religious unbelief, confronting their own sin. He identifies for them what true belief is and what saving faith looks like in the believer’s life. Jesus presents three tests of genuine saving faith for unbelief to consider: the test of fatherhood, the test of the use of God’s Word in a believer’s life, and the test of the works of God’s children.
John 8:31-59 focuses on the truth of the Word of God. The second test of genuine saving faith and of true discipleship is evidenced in our relationship with and responsibility to the Word of God in our lives.
It is the nature of godly women to nurture and nest in their homes, and this carries over into the church body with eternal significance. Our church appreciates all the care, provision, prayer, and teaching consistently worked by each of our godly ladies. Their willingness to allow God’s faithfulness to be demonstrated through them is a blessing. Their loyalty to the Lord, to their families and homes, and to the purpose of God in Christ Jesus here at Grace Church provides for us godly examples and establishes a spiritual legacy. Ladies, when progress seems fleeting and insignificant, remain faithful -- for God is faithful.
As Jesus continues to teach from the temple during the Feast of Tabernacle, He interacts with religious unbelief. We learn from John 8:30-31 that some have proclaimed faith in Jesus. The life of a true believer will bear forth the fruit of repentance. While some profess faith in Christ, others confess faith in Him. This passage in John helps us discern between profession and confession. Earlier in this book, we read how some professed faith in Jesus as King, trying to forcibly crown Him. However, these people did not confess Him as Savior and Lord. John writes his gospel 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, not just professing but confessing Him as Lord.
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