Raised from the Dead
John 11:1-7 (NKJV)
John 11:17-23 (NKJV)
John 11:24 (NKJV)
John 11:25-27 (NKJV)
John 11:35 (NKJV)
John 11:38-44 (NKJV)
My dad, who was also my mentor for a good part of my life often told me to ‘watch for what God was about to do.’ As I’ve said many times, When I was young I was pretty clueless about the power of God and what God was capable of doing. As a result, I often thought my dad said strange things (because I didn’t understand them).
Today, I come across the same issue with people I know. For example, when something happens that seems strange and I am with younger friends and I tell them what God is about to do, they say, “How do you know that?”
I tell them, “I had a vision.”
Immediately I can tell by the look on their face that they don’t believe me. I tell them, “that’s okay.” I know it’s okay that they don’t believe me because when I was their age, I didn’t believe my dad had visions, either.
My kids know what it means. From the time they were old enough to know about miracles, they’ve known God speaks to me, usually by sending me early release ‘movies’. By the time they were young adults they understood that God speaks to me in various ways.
In John Chapter 11, the disciples were ‘a bit’ like my young friends who didn’t understand that God can and does speak to us.
In John 11:1-7 we learn, “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
Every time I read this part of John 11, I am blessed and amazed by what Jesus did. Jesus was and IS the Son of God...He waited TWO MORE DAYS in order for others to seriously see the true power of God! After waiting two days, he casually said, ‘Okay, we can go now’.
By the time Jesus arrived at Lazarus’ home his friend had been dead four days.
WoW...Jesus was about to perform an EPIC miracle!
In John 11:17-23, we read, “So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha believed Jesus. I mean, Martha REALLY believed! Not only did she believe that her brother would not have died if He would have been there, she believed Jesus could still do something about it.
Jesus immediately told her what was about to happen. Even though Martha believed, her faith was blessed that day in many ways. See, Martha did believe Lazarus would rise again and she would see him in heaven.
Martha knew that when we passover into heaven we experience the ultimate new life and resurrection. She knew she would see Lazarus again. She considered that to be one of the greatest miracles of all (as she should have).
John 11:24 says, “Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus took that miracle she spoke about seriously. He knew Martha realized that resurrection in the afterlife was a miracle.
Jesus also wanted to help Martha and us understand the full reality of who He was/is.
In John 11:25-27, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Jesus said, I AM.
After the conversation with Jesus, Martha went to the house to tell Mary to come because Jesus had arrived. The Jews who were also in the house mourning with Mary followed her to the tomb because they thought she went there to weep and mourn.
At the tomb Jesus saw how distraught they all were...He felt their pain. So even though He knew Lazarus would walk out of the tomb, John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept.” Jesus felt their great sorrow and had compassion on them.
And then, Jesus did an unthinkable and unimaginable miracle.
John 11:38-43 says, “Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
Notice once Jesus ordered the stone to be removed, it was Martha who suddenly became practical about it. She thought about the smell of the decayed body. In response, Jesus reminded her of their previous conversation and her belief that she would see the glory of God. Also notice that Jesus spoke openly to God the Father SO the others there would believe.
Then Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave. “And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go” (John 11:44).
Everyone there witnessed the power of Almighty God.
I have to admit that struggled for a good part of my life with the way God speaks to me. When I was young, I didn’t want to be different. I had my first visions when I was a young teenager, and I saw that they came true. I thank God that I had my dad to help me understand them. Later, others who found out I have dreams that come true didn’t understand and they made fun of me. Because of that, I eventually I only told my dad and later, my kids.
It took time for me to be able to fully embrace how God speaks to me. I recently had a dream that was disturbing and painful because someone I know did something (or was going to do something) that hurt me. When that happened, I was really sad and I even hoped the dream was not true. I don’t know why God revealed the truth to me, perhaps in time God will tell me why. For now, I have to believe that God revealed the truth to me for a reason...even though it hurt.
I know...I know in time I will understand it. God always shows me the truth. Until then, I trust that God knows best.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Your Gift
If you have spiritual gifts you do not understand, I encourage you to wait and watch for them to come to fruition. Ask God to to show you either by sending you people you can trust, or by spending time listening to God so He can be your teacher.
Trusting IN God, Deb
Deborah Ireland Douglas Jones