Monday, October 3, 2011

Do you want to see the glory of God? - October 3rd, 2011

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 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.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 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. 42 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.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
John 11:38-44

History and Context:
The book of John is the fourth Gospel and it is believed to be the last written. John was one of the inner three of Jesus' disciples and referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved". John seemed to have written his Gospel for those who had already known the story of Jesus. He focuses on the meaning of the events rather than the events themselves. There is also a strong focus on the words and teachings of Jesus, specifically on Jesus' claims about Himself. These claims are best known as the seven "I am" statements. John probably wrote this Gospel in Ephesus somewhere around 70 AD.

The Text:
John chapter 11 tells us the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Jesus is told that his friend Lazarus is very sick so He begins travelling to meet him. By the time He gets here though Lazarus had died and had been dead for four days. The general consensus among the people who knew Jesus was that He could have healed Lazarus if He had gotten there earlier but now it was too late. Even in this passage as Jesus calls for the tombstone to be removed Martha, Lazarus' sister, simply reminds Jesus of the stench because of how long Lazarus had been dead. But Jesus' response was: “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

The Challenge:
When you read further back in the story it seems almost as if Jesus delayed in coming to Lazarus. He purposely allowed Lazarus to die in order to prove a point: that nothing is impossible for Him. So this is the thought I give to you as you begin your day. Remember that nothing is impossible for Him! The challenge is the same challenge that Jesus gave Martha: If you will believe, you will see the glory of God! Simply believe in Him, have faith in Him, no matter how hopeless your situation may seem, no matter how irreversible it may seem, believe in HIm and you will see the glory of God!

The Prayer:
Lord, let me see your glory!

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