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Monday, November 15, 2010

11/15/10 John 11:1-16 Fearless Jesus

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 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.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

(Lazarus and Jesus, Carl Bloch 1834-90)

Thoughts: Jesus was fearless.  Of course, some would say that his fearlessness eventually ended up with his being killed on the cross.  But the fearlessness of Jesus relies on the strong power of God- who raised Lazarus and raised Jesus.  We should never look at the cross without peering through the lens of the resurrection.  That would almost be like looking at Lazarus' sickness and death without remembering God was glorified through the sickness and death by Lazarus's resurrection!  Jesus' fearlessness is even contagious to doubting Thomas who was willing to go to his death with Jesus at this point. Jesus was much more focused on doing the work of God than trying to avoid his enemies. 

Prayer: Give me courage, in a fearful age, Lord. Give me courage to rely on you- my ultimate hope.

Joihn Calvin abridged: There were others that Christ raised from the dead, but this was the first time he raised someone that had been a stinking corpse.  This might be said to be the last and concluding miracle of Christ for the time of his death was near.  From Christ's love they had a basis for a confident hope in assistance.  Jesus said that the sickness was not unto death to ease their anxiety.  Here Jesus shows that the glory that is due God is also due the Son.  So those who think they worship God but blaspheme Christ are mistaken in their worship of God (Jn. 5:23).  The disciples feigned fear for their Master, but were really concerned for their own safety.  Those who dread their cross shrink from the performance of their duty, and seek to find an excuse for their indolence, thinking they are not robbing God of the obedience that is due Him. Christ boldly goes into Judea relying on God's protection, for God's light shines on us directing our steps.

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