As a Pastor, I usually get this question. What is the worst thing about being a Pastor? My response was that People expect you to always have a perfect answer to ANY questions, not just an answer, but a perfect one. But, as a Pastor, your job gets more complicated when you realise that you are somehow a press secretary of Jesus. I think the most difficult job would be the press secretary of Jesus. If you read the Bible, Jesus is a very famous guy; we’ve been looking at the miracles of Jesus according to John: Up until now, Jesus has turned water into wine; He has healed the sick; He has healed a man paralyzed for 38 years; He has fed 5000 men; He has walked on water; healed a man born blind; He has made the Pharisees and the teachers of the religious laws look really bad. Jesus is very famous. Some people love Him; some want to make Him their King; some hate Him; some don’t actually care; some want to kill Him…Jesus is really famous. Everywhere He goes, crowd follows Him. BUT then we get to John 11 – The death of Lazarus. It is a very straight forward story, but complex.
John 11:1-16 – Question: What do you do when Jesus doesn’t come when you expect him to come? What do you do when Jesus gets your message, but “ignores” you? How do you deal with a God who says he loves you but does not answer your Prayer?
The essence of the Gospel of John is to discuss theological truth. The Gospel of John is the most theological out of all the 4 Gospels. This miracle takes up a whole chapter, it’s a long chapter. We will have to break it into 4 sections in order to get the best out of this chapter. I would not go through the entire chapter in one sermon. Going through the entire chapter, 57 verses in one sermon will be unfair to the chapter, unfair to the story and most importantly, it will be unfair to you. This miracle here is the last public miracle Jesus ever performed (John 11:54 explains that). This story here is the climax of John’s reasons for this book. John’s reason for writing the book of John is to prove the Divinity of Jesus, and John uses series of miracles to prove that. This one here is the climax. It is the most important. John 20 says this “30And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. There is an apologetic side of it (that you might believe Jesus is the Christ, the son of God) and an evangelistic side (and in believing you might receive eternal life)
John 11:1-16. Lazarus is a given name and surname. It is derived from the Hebrew (Eleazar) which literally means “The one who God helps”. How would the press secretary of Jesus explains Jesus’ action?
John 11: 3 – Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” (Philia)
John 11: 5 – Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (Agape)
John 11: 6 – So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
There are times when Jesus’ actions makes perfect sense, and there are times when His actions makes absolutely zero sense. This right here is one of those times. At what point in your life – or, even better, in what areas of your life right now – have you asked Jesus for deliverance … and He has delayed? In what aspects of your life have you faced trouble, or struggle … and you’ve asked Jesus to deliver you from it … and he hasn’t done it – He has instead delayed? How do you still stay in love with God when He chooses to wait? It is easy to say you love God when you can feel His presence. It is easy to say that I love God when He has done exactly what I asked Him to do. However, God loves Martha, Mary and Lazarus, so He decided to stay two more days.
4 Lessons to learn from “When Jesus Waits”