North Anderson Baptist Church
Who's Your One - 2020 - The Family Jesus Loved
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Evidently throughout the few years Jesus’ ministry took Him to the area of Jerusalem, He would spend time in Bethany at the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. This special relationship is not completely proved out in Scripture but you see an example of Jesus in their home in Luke 10:38-42,
where Martha is fixing something to eat and getting ready to serve the Lord Jesus her very best but Mary isn’t helping her, she is at the feet of Jesus soaking up all she can from the Master. Jesus uses this as a teaching opportunity. You can see that they are very familiar and seem to be close to one another. It is interesting to me that Lazarus is not even mentioned in this Scripture.

So we have a family that is close to Jesus and the Scripture today shows that even those close to the Lord can experience great tragedy not being exempt from the regular trials and tribulations of the “others.” My thoughts are, “Why should we feel that we have a special relationship with God, through Jesus, and therefore God should shield us from harm.” It doesn’t work that way. We see that clearly in our Scripture for this morning.
1. Jesus’ Delayed Response - v. 1-16

Jesus received a message from Martha and Mary about their brother, Jesus’ friend Lazarus - “the one you love is sick,” and responded to the message by clearly letting those who were with Him hear what He thought: “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified.”

Some scholars think this is the message that Jesus sent back to the sisters as well. If so, then after Lazarus died they finally received the message, they would have been so devastated, not understanding a thing the message meant. So, with that said, I am not sure if this thought was stated just for the disciples or for a message to go back to the sisters too. But, the delayed response lay in the fact that Jesus did not return to Bethany right away but waited two more days.

The message sent to Jesus was in reality a prayer to Him sent up from the broken hearts of Martha and Mary when they saw that their dearly loved brother had fallen ill.

Isn’t that the way we would do it, pray and ask for the Lord Jesus to touch our loved ones when they are sick? I know our family has been doing that for so long now, as Lynda’s father seemed to be getting worse by the day until the day he died, last week. Our prayers, as were the sisters, were sent to God with sincerity and love, pleading to a loving and caring God who knew us and loved us, to heal or to at least help him through the difficulty he was in. I know there is a great difference in a young man like Lazarus and a man who was 93. Most of us have had experiences with calling out to God when our precious loved ones were sick, “unto death.”

So, is God uncaring, unfeeling and just distant to those He loves? No! The answer lies in verses 4 and 12, “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.” Jesus declares that the death of Lazarus will be for the glory of God. If we, who are called by the name of Jesus, believe in Him, then all that happens to us, those He loves, is done for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is in charge and loves us and we have to trust that in all things, He is working for our good.
Jesus’ love for this family was profound. We believe there was a special friendship with these three which tells us that leaders can have special friendships and relationships with people with which they are involved. The Bible Exposition Commentary says, “God’s love is not a pampering love; it is a perfecting love.” What does that mean? God is not obligated to meet every need we have and to make sure we are happy all the time but He desires that we become that man or woman of God, that is strong in the Lord and mature in our faith, and that doesn’t come without some suffering.
When we find ourselves confronted by disease, disappointment, delay, and even death, our only encouragement is the Word of God. We must live by faith and not by sight. Their situation seemed hopeless, yet the sisters knew that Jesus was the Master of every situation. The promise in Psalm 50:15 finds a parallel here: "And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) - New Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 1.
What are we supposed to do? We are to call upon the Lord in our time of trouble, just like Martha and Mary did. That doesn’t mean that God will answer you right then with the answer you want. No, sometimes the answer is “wait” like in the case of the sisters of Lazarus and there might be silence from God for a while. But then, God might answer right away with a “no” or possibly a “yes.” No matter the answer to our prayer, our God desires for us to become a mature disciple through it all.

Having waited for two days Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” The disciples were concerned for Jesus’ welfare because of those who hated Him and wanted Him dead. But, Thomas stood by the Lord and declared that they should all go and that if the Lord died then they too would die with Him!
2. Jesus’ Declared Truth - v. 17-37

The Scripture tells us by the time Jesus got to Bethany Lazarus was in the tomb 4 days. The process of the embalming, you might remember from the Scriptures about Jesus burial, was that they would use spices to help in the burial. They would rub the body down with the spices and then even put them in the folds of the wrapping. Now that all of the preparations had been done and Lazarus had been dead for four days, the Lord Jesus comes into town. Martha comes first to the Lord Jesus and speaks her mind. It is really hard to discern whether she responded out of faith or out of hurt but regardless she stated that if Jesus had been there Lazarus would not have died. And that is a fact. Jesus would not have let Lazarus die if He had been there with him. But that was not the plan. God had another plan and for their sake and the glory of the Lord Jesus chose not to come right away.

Remember, God's plan and His desires are not ours, they are His to glorify Him with our lives, whether we live or we die. As His child He can do with me what He desires to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus. Not realizing that He had to lead her through the whole plan. Does verse 22 mean that she believes that even now, even though he is dead, she believes Jesus can raise Him from the dead? I don’t know and I couldn’t find much about this verse in the commentaries and so it is hard to think that way. The rest of her remarks to Christ doesn’t make me think that. Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again!” With that Martha begins to talk theology from her head and her intellect. She says, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” It is here that Jesus wanted her to know that He was more than she could imagine. Jesus said, “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?”

Jesus gives her the truth! He is the great “I AM” and “the resurrection and the life!” From here He is speaking theology to her and to all of us, it is the truth of the Word of God and this is what we believe as Christians, for He gives us “resurrected life!”

The truth Jesus is letting us in on is this, You believe in Him, you will live even though you die! Now, Jesus says that whoever lives by believing in Him will never die!

What a truth declared by Jesus and what a truth for us to believe. Anyone can believe that and if it is sincere and that is what you truly believe, then you will never die, you will live for eternity with God, even if this old body dies physically.

After Jesus’ conversation with Martha, Mary then comes to Jesus deep with emotion; she finds Jesus and falls at His feet calling out with her heart, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” I see a great difference between Mary’s cry to Jesus and Martha’s statement she gave to Him. As I said, Martha spoke from her mind and it seems that Mary spoke from the heart. Mary bowed at His feet and there is nothing that says Martha did that. But Mary’s heart seems to have just been broken and in seeing that, Jesus also was moved deeply in His spirit and felt her great pain; then He asked where they had laid his body. His heart broke for His friend, “Jesus wept!”
3. Jesus’ Divine Action - v. 38-44

After having met with Mary and going to where Lazarus’ grave was, Jesus told the people to remove the stone! Again we hear from Martha a statement that was based on fact, not faith; “But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there for days.” Had Martha thought that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead she would not have objected to the men removing the stone covering the grave.

Once again Jesus tells everyone there, but particularly Martha, that if they would believe they would see the glory of God. They moved the stone and Jesus then prays by looking up to the Father and prays stating that the prayer is for the benefit of those listening, that they might believe that God sent Him to this world.

Jesus’ divine actions were then seen as He called out, “Lazarus, come out!” Guess what? Lazarus came out of the grave still in the grave clothes and Jesus told them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go!”

Wow! What that must have been like! Seeing the dead Lazarus come out of the grave and be restored alive to his family again was the most improbable miracle Jesus had done up to that time! Lazarus was dead but now he is alive! Did Jesus keep His word? Did the actions of the Lord Jesus bring glory to God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? Sure it did! It also caused His enemies to want to kill Him even more after this.

Did Jesus show the family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus that the dead could rise again and the glory goes to God? Absolutely, they saw it with their own eyes! For His dear friends He did the ultimate miracle, so why would He not do it for you? To be quite honest with you, He has! Remember, He said He is the resurrection and life and if you believe in Him and who He says He is, then God would do that special miracle for you too! He will take a dead man, woman, boy or girl and make them alive for all eternity when they put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sin and in return give them His righteousness which then allows us to be a citizen of heaven. We who have been born again have the right to be classified as sons and daughters of the Great I AM! Jesus says where He is we will be there also!
One last thing. If the Lord did this for the family He loved when Lazarus was dead, why wouldn’t he also help us who love Him when we have sickness and sorry? Doesn’t He care? Doesn’t He love us? Yes, to them all! But what God does He does for His glory and for the best for us. We might not understand what He does but we need to trust His heart while He is working with us and for us.

During days like this, there are lots of questions why God does step in and do something for us. If we allow the Lord to touch our lives with His love and save us then we ought to be able to trust His heart with our lives and those we love, no matter what we see or experience, because He knows what His plans are for us and how He will gain the glory from all that comes our way. Trust Him first with your heart and soul by allowing Him to forgive you of your sin and then surrender to Him as your Master and Lord of your life.
Amen!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com