In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about the raising of Lazarus from the dead, Jesus miracle at Bethany. Here are some excerpts:

Who was Lazarus?

Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary. Which one was the oldest sibling, we don’t know. What we do know is that while Lazarus was not one of the twelve disciples, he was a dear friend of Jesus. As were his sisters.

When Jesus arrived and found that Lazarus had already been dead for four days, and when He saw grief and heartache and sorrow engulfing Martha and Mary and those mourning with them, “He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (11:33). It is difficult to know exactly what the original Greek words mean in this context, but they suggest that Jesus was moved with profound sorrow by the death of His friend, along with the grief felt by Martha and Mary, and that, at another level, He felt anger over the ravages of sickness and death caused by the sin-virus that infects every person and taints everything in this world…

Jesus Miracle at Bethany

I want you to see, though, that the story doesn’t end with the tears of Jesus, any more than with Lazarus still dead and in the tomb. In Act IV of the story (11:38-44), Jesus goes to the tomb where the body of Lazarus has been laid. Lazarus has already been dead four days and, the fragrance of the spices with which he was buried notwithstanding, there is little doubt that by now the smell emanating from the tomb would not be pleasant… Jesus asks to have the stone removed from the entrance to the tomb, but Martha, ever the practical one, protests. After Jesus reminds her that her faith will be rewarded by seeing the glory of God, she acquiesces.

The Miracle at Bethany

The stone is removed, after which Jesus prays. He does not pray to ask the Father to give Him the power to bring Lazarus back to life. Jesus already has the power. He knows what He is going to do. And He knows how it will turn out. He knows that when He calls Lazarus by name, Lazarus will come out. The prayer of Jesus is a prayer of thanksgiving to God the Father and a witness to the special relationship between the Father and the Son. Then, Jesus speaks directly to Lazarus, calling to him in a phone megale – a loud (mega) voice – to come out of the tomb. Out he comes, wrapped from head to toe in his burial cloths, back from the dead, alive again through the miracle-working power of Jesus…

An Even Greater Miracle to Come

The raising of Lazarus was a miracle. No question about it. But his rising from the dead was not the same as the resurrection of Jesus. Lazarus rose to die again. Jesus rose to live forever. Lazarus was raised with the same mortal body which had already died once. Jesus rose with a glorified, immortal resurrection body that will never die.

Jesus miracle at Bethany. Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear and see this sermon in its entirety.

November 21, 2021

John 11; selected verses

Dr. Neil Smith

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