I Know, That Even Now

John 11:22

Intro:

Her faith was based on:

  1. His Reputation – Luke 7:36-50 a loving, forgiving Savior that was known for doing the unexpected
  2. Her Relationship – vs. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus
  3. Her Reassurance – vs. 22 Whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

She believed Jesus could do something in spite of…

 

I. The Magnitude of the Crisis

 

A. The Crisis was Plain

Let’s be honest. This was a crisis of tremendous proportions.

The Bible is very clear – Jesus spoke in verse 14 – Lazarus is dead.

Jesus tried to be discreet about it in verse 11, but they didn’t understand what He was saying.

Sometimes, the crisis is so bad that there is no way to put a positive spin on it.

Sometimes, the situation is so bad that there is no way to dampen the seriousness of it.

Lazarus was dead – plain and simple.

 

B. The Crisis was Prolonged

Verse 17 – Jesus found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, but she had just died.

He raised the son of the widow from Nain from the dead during the funeral procession.

But Lazarus had already been in the grave for 4 days!

Bringing someone back to life on the operating table or in the ambulance is difficult enough.

But 4 days after they were buried??

 

C. The Crisis was Public

It seems that many people spend more time trying to hide the crisis than to fix it.

Verse 19 – many of the Jews came to comfort them.

This was not a private, family matter.

The whole city knew about it.

Lazarus was dead, he had been dead for 4 days, and everybody knew it.

 

II. The Mindset of the Crowd

A. Martha’s Mindset

  • 21 “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

B. Mary’s Mindset

  • 32 “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

C. The People’s Mindset

  • 37 “Could not this man…have caused that even this man should not have died?”

It appears to me that they had all had a discussion about what could have prevented Lazarus’ death.

They had all agreed that Jesus had the power to keep it from happening.

They all seemed to have the same mindset – that it was too late to do anything about it.

They all had the mindset that God was somehow limited in His ability to intervene.

In other words – Jesus had the power to prevent a crisis, but couldn’t fix it once it occurred.

Martha believed that EVEN NOW he could do something!

 

III. The Madness of the Command

Notice in verse 39 – Jesus commanded them to remove the stone from the cave.

Martha’s reaction was one of complete disbelief.

Her response was, “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

 

I find it interesting that the God that can raise the dead would ask us to raise the stone.

The command of Jesus was simple command, but it was completely out of the norm.

Before He would fix the problem, he wanted them to UNCOVER the problem.

They had covered up the stink; they had covered up the dead; they had buried the problem.

He wanted them to UNCOVER it.

 

Twice in this story, Jesus expected them to MEET HIM HALFWAY.

Notice vs. 20 – Martha went to meet Jesus, and Mary stayed in the house.

Notice verse 28 – Jesus called for Mary to come to him.

Notice verse 29 and 30 – She had to go meet him where Martha had met him.

Now, in this part of the story, Jesus wanted them to do something before He would do something.

He commanded them to remove the stone.

This was a type and picture of their efforts to hide the problem; to bury the crisis.

Notice Martha’s hesitation, but her willingness to obey His command.

Verse 41 says they took away the stone from the place.

It was then that they saw the “glory of God”. vs. 40