Putting God's Word into Practice…

John 11-Why A Loving God Let’s Bad Things Happen

on May 31, 2012

11:1-4.  Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha…the sisters sent a message to Jesus right away about his illness.  But when Jesus heard the message, He said the illness was for “the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  God always has a purpose for our suffering.  His purposes never change–they are to display His glory and the power of Jesus.

11:5-16.  “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”  Jesus demonstrated His love for them in a unique way.  He kept them waiting for Him.  Now Jesus’ disciples were scared about returning to Judea to help Lazarus because the people there were in an uproar over Jesus and were trying to arrest and kill him.  Before they left, Jesus knew that Lazarus had died.  He told the disciples and said, “for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.”  Jesus was not glad that Lazarus had died, but He was glad about the plan because in the end it would strengthen His disciples’ faith.  They all left for Judea together at this news. Thinking they would all be martyred along the way, the disciples followed Christ anyway!

11:17-32 Two responses to Jesus’ arrival.  Martha heard that Jesus was close to town and she went to meet Him, while Mary remained.  Mary went to meet Him after being called to come.  She once again fell at His feet.  Both women called Jesus, “Lord.” And both women displayed their love for Christ through faith and obedience.

11:33-40 Jesus wept.  Jesus was deeply moved in His spirit.  Jesus was greatly troubled.  Ever felt like that?  Jesus sympathizes with us in all things.  He is a God of compassion, love and emotion.  Jesus was never glad over their pain.  He was only glad over the plan to show them the power of God.

11:41-44.  Jesus gave two commands, “Lazarus, come out!”  And he did. Jesus had authority over death!  He then said, “Unbind him, and let him go.”  In essence, take off the things that hold him back from living and the things that remind him that he was dead.  Jesus doesn’t just want to give new life; He wants to make us alive and free!

11:45-57 The Jewish leaders thought by putting Jesus to death it would save their nation from the jealousy and wrath of Rome.  But all of this unfolding plan was first and foremost God’s plan!  He was allowing one man–Jesus–to die to rescue and save all people from the true enemy and oppressor–Satan.

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