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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

11/16/10- John 11:17-37 Undercover Lord

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

(Church in Bethany (modern Al-Eizariya- named after Lazarus- The fresco commemorates Jesus saying "I am the resurrection and the life")

Thoughts:  Those who put their hope in God have their hopes fulfilled in God's Son- Jesus.  Jesus had not fully revealed his power and person until now. So Martha answered that she had hopes that Lord would raise her brother at the end of time.  This was a great hope.  But real Hope was right their in her midst.  Jesus indicated that the power of the resurrection and the power to give life resides in Him.  This would be a ludicrous statement except that Jesus proved it true by his actions.  He was not like an ordinary preacher/teacher who just talked about the resurrection, He fulfilled the hopes of the resurrection in Himself.  There is a show called "Undercover Boss" about CEOs who disguise themselves and take on a menial job in their company only to reveal themselves at the end of the show usually with reward and recognition.  At the end of his ministry Jesus revealed his power fully.  He revealed also who He really was- the compassionate One who weeps for those who are hurting- and the powerful One who is "The Resurrection and the Life." 

Prayer: Lord, you are the resurrection and the life.  May I grow in my knowledge of you and the power of life and hope that you give. 

John Calvin abridged: Martha went out to meet Jesus, probably in fear for his safety since she knew the Jews had threatened to stone him previously.  Mary, when told of Jesus, left her home.  The Jews thought she was going to the tomb to aggravate her grief (many people, already disordered from grief, seek to excite their grief even more in their actions).  Martha called him "Master" and Mary fell at his feet- which was an honor given to kings.  They had great respect and faith in Jesus in this house. Christ groaned and wept with them- showing his sympathy.  He shows he is as much affected by our distress that he feels it in his own person.  Human feelings can be sinful in their emotions when they 1) are exceeding and not moderated from excess;  2) The feelings do not arise from a lawful or just cause- often because we are overly devoted to the world. Christ was not weeping at their unbelief (as some say), but Christ was focused on what was about to happen. He approached as a champion about to conquer death.

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