JOHN 11.1-4 JESUS SAID, “THIS SICKNESS IS NOT UNTO DEATH, BUT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD”

19May

John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

 This is another section of Scripture which we find to be so familiar to us, but as in all Bible Study we need to look deeper than the surface of what is going on here.  Lazarus is a man that Jesus loves, as He does all of His children, the ones who have trusted Him as Savior.  But he also loves the sisters Mary and Martha, yet he allows them to go through trouble because ultimately He will be glorified in the end.  That is why the Bible says we exist.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. One man put it this way, we exist to glorify God and praise Him forever.  How do we do this?  By first of all reverencing God and keeping His commandments.  Second we do this by becoming more like Him every day.  Romans 8:28-29, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  God is bringing us back to the place we were at in the Garden of Eden before man’s fall and our sinfulness dragged us down.  The only way God can do this is by allowing us to go through trials that make us more like Him.  So, have you looked at your situation and said that this is not something that is ultimately bad, but through it God is going to be glorified because I am trusting in Him and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)

 Death is the great horror which sin has produced (Rom. 5:12; James 1:15). Physical death is the divine object lesson of what sin does in the spiritual realm. As physical death ends life and separates people, so spiritual death is the separation of people from God and the loss of life which is in God (John 1:4). Jesus has come so that people may live full lives (10:10).

This chapter with Lazarus being raised is the demonstration of John 10:10

Rejecting Jesus means that one will not see life (3:36) and that his final destiny is “the second death,” the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15).

1 ¶ Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus (name means one whom God Helps) of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

This Bethany ("house of the suffering) is about two miles (11:18) east of Jerusalem on the southeast slope of Olivet and is now called El Azariyeh, from the name Lazarus. Lit. Place of Lazarus

When John wrote, it was as Jesus had foretold (Matt. 26:13), for the fame of Mary of Bethany rested on the incident of the anointing of Jesus.

Luke 10:38-42, where Martha was distressed because Mary was not helping her prepare the meal.

Lu 10:38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick."

It is true the Martha and Mary do not specifically ask Jesus to do anything, but the word “look” or “behold” is not used lightly (see John 1:29, 36, 47; 3:26; 5:14; 7:26; 11:36; 12:19; 16:29; 18:21; 19:4, 14, 26, 27). They expect Jesus to drop everything and come to Bethany to heal him.

 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." John 1:14

The words recorded in verse 4 are not spoken solely for the benefit of those who overhear this conversation between Jesus and the messenger, but as a message for this messenger to take back to Martha and Mary. Notice our Lord’s words to Martha later in this same account:

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, replied, “Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, because he has been buried four days.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see the glory of God?” V11:39-40

Verse 4 is our Lord’s response to Martha and Mary, sent back by the same messenger who brought word to Him of Lazarus’ grave condition.

This crisis has a divinely intended purpose—to bring glory to God the Father through the glorification of the Son of God. If we grant that the words of verse 40 are also sent to the women by the messenger, Jesus also encourages them to have faith, so that they too will see God glorified in all these things.

I am convinced that this is not what the women “hear” the messenger say when he returns without Jesus. I believe they “hear” (i.e., understand) the messenger say, “Jesus told me to tell you that Lazarus will not die.” The problem is that by the time the messenger returns to the women, Lazarus may already have died. Can you imagine their bewilderment if this is the case? They have already suffered the torment of Lazarus’ death and burial. Then, the messenger returns with word from Jesus which appears to assure them that Lazarus won’t die! Their faith in Jesus is really put to the test.

In this Gospel, God's "glory" is usually a reference to His self-revelation rather than the praise that comes to Him (cf. 1:14-18; 5:23; 12:28; 17:4).401 Ironically this miracle displayed Jesus' identity as God's Son, but it also led to His death that was the ultimate manifestation of His identity and glory.

  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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