Friday, March 29, 2019

2019.03.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 11:17-32

Questions for Littles: Who “came” in John 11:17? What did He find? How long had Lazarus been in the tomb? What city was Bethany near (John 11:18)? How far? Who had joined the women around Mary and Martha (John 11:19)? For what purpose? What did Martha hear (John 11:20)? What did she do? Where was Mary? What does Martha say to Jesus in John 11:21? What does she say that she knows in John 11:22? What does this imply that God would do to Lazarus now, if Jesus asked? What does Jesus tell her will happen in John 11:23? When does Martha say that she knows that this will happen in John 11:24? What does Jesus say about Himself in John 11:25? What does He say about those who believe into Him? What additional information does Jesus provide in John 11:26? What question does He ask? What does she answer that she believes about Him in John 11:27?  Whom does she go get in John 11:28? How soon does Mary come (John 11:29)? Where was Jesus (John 11:30)? Who saw Mary get up to go to Jesus (John 11:31)? Where did they think she was going? To do what? What does Mary do, when she arrives at Jesus (John 11:32)? What does she say to Him?
In the Gospel reading this week, Martha “claims for herself the better thing”—going immediately to be with Jesus. She does not seem to remember even her also-grieving sister. She expresses excellent faith in Christ.

She knows that if He was there that Lazarus would not have died. On the one hand, this sounds unbelieving with regard to Jesus’s power, since He does not need to be nearby in order to save someone. But it is also very similar to what Jesus Himself implied in John 11:15. This is faith not only in His power but in His love.

Also, she knows that Lazarus will not stay dead even now. True, it sounds like she is missing the fact that Jesus is God. But that might actually be part of her confession in John 11:27 since he who is son of man is man, and He who is Son of God is God, and since she uses language that refers to Christ as existing before His life on earth. She grieves as someone who has true hope. At the very least, she knows that her brother will rise again at the last day.

More importantly, she knows that whatever Jesus says or promises about Himself is absolutely true. Her answer in verse 27 is not symmetrical to Jesus’s statement and question in John 11:25-26. That would have been for her to answer, “Yes, I believe that You are the resurrection. Yes, I believe that You are the life. Yes, I believe that You raise the dead. Yes, I believe that those who trust in You will never die.” Instead, her answer is that she believes that He is the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.

This is what the Lord Jesus is doing here: not just revealing specific powers or abilities or characteristics—but that His purpose is to reveal Himself, to display Himself to us that we might believe about Him all of the things that He ever says or shows us about Himself!
What are some things that Jesus has revealed about Himself in the Bible? Do you believe Him?
Suggested songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH280 “Wondrous King”

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