JOHN 11-12: The raising of Lazarus from the dead was the match that set things ablaze! John, the writer of this book, wants us to understand this. He also wants us to grapple with the question, “Am I looking for my solution or God’s solution?” Because the people in Jesus’ day could not understand, they had their own solutions to what would have kept Lazarus alive:
Mary & Martha solution: If you had been here, our bother would not have died. (vs 11: 21, 32)
Disciples solution: If he sleeps, he will get better. (v 11:12)
Some others solution: Could not He that opened the eyes of the blind not keep Lazarus from dying (v 11:37)
“When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”” (John 11:4, NIV)
“So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”” (John 11:14-15, NIV)
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”” (John 11:25-26, NIV)
“So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”” (John 11:41-42, NIV)
Jesus was making a name for Himself and the leaders of the Sanhedrin (the jewish ruling council) was uncomfortable (jealous?)
The Sanhedrin’s solution: Thinking a dangerous magician was in there midst (Jesus), and if everyone begins to believe, the Romans will take fully over… “It is better for one man to die…” Caiaphis, the High priest: prophesied that year that Jesus would died for the nation and for the scattered children of God (11:49-53)
Thomas’, a disciple of Jesus, solution – Which was no solution, but just thinking about his own skin: Let us Go and die! (11:16)
In Chapter 12 of the gospel of John, Lazarus reclines at a meal in honor of Jesus (wow! What a God story Lazarus could tell!)
His sister, Mary, had a solution: show honor by showering Jesus with worship (pouring expensive perfume on Him)
Judas’ solution: Money from the sale of the perfume could have been given to the poor… (actually to his pockets because Judas was a thief)
““Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”” (John 12:7-8, NIV)
What are your solutions for life? The people in Jesus’ day believed because of the last great miracle. Some, took action against Jesus trying to kill Him. Some just walked away.
OUR PASSAGE leaves us with the questions:
My solution or God’s Solution?
Do I merely Agreement with His teachings? Does my faith go further in Belief that He can heal the sick? Do I only Celebration at His last miracle, so my faith fades as I wait for His next miracle in my life? Or, do understand that Jesus wants me (and you) to be Devoted to the One who will die in my (your) place?
Paul, the apostle, proclaims: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV)
Many people had their solutions for Jesus (just like many people have their opinions these days). In a mere week’s time, they would either fall away or they will holler “crucify Him” or they would actually put the nails to His hands. Beware when we don’t get our way… or will we be devoted to God’s solution, Jesus!
Below are some scripture passages for your reading through Holy Week. Read them with eyes, ears and heart wide open. Next Sunday, we celebrate THE solution: life from death!
GOING THROUGH HOLY WEEK
Sunday: Chapter 12:20-50
Monday: Chapter 13-14
Tuesday: Chapter 15
Wednesday: Chapter 16
Thursday: Chapter 17
Friday: Chapter 18
Saturday: Chapter 19
Sunday: Chapter 20