Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Jesus Raises Lazarus”
August 27, 2017
John 11:1-7; 17-44
When you find yourself in difficult circumstances look for the glory of God. Always remember that God is at work, and relishes the opportunity of turning apparent tragedy into triumph.
Just because the answer doesn’t come immediately doesn’t mean God wasn’t listening. The Lord’s timetable is often different from ours.
Disease and death result from the corruption of sin (the original curse). Jesus came to destroy the power of sin and death.
The grace and glory of God is witnessed by our response to adversity.
Jesus is the Friend who sometimes delays (John 11:1-7).
Lazarus was sick – Bad things happen to good people. Mary and Martha were devoted followers of Christ, but their brother was terminally ill. Lazarus was loved by the Lord (denotes a close relationship), but now he is critically ill.
The important question, when things go wrong, is not what, but why? Yes, Lazarus was sick, but his sickness would ultimately result in the glory of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Lazarus’ circumstance provide an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power over the grave.
God’s timing is always perfect. Faith doesn’t ask the Lord to remove you from the situation, but to walk you through it …
Sometimes, God’s delaying an answer is for our spiritual progression. God always answers your prayers, but not always with a yes. Sometimes God says no, or not now.
Jesus is the Friend who is our life (John 11:17-27).
Practical Application … How do you comfort someone who has lost a loved one? A Christian? A non-Christian?
Martha’s assertion demonstrated her faith in Jesus: if you had been here… ”, and “even now…”
Mary and Martha would have been witnesses of the power of God, and no doubt aware of the previous resurrection miracles (the daughter of Jairus, and the widow’s son). The past was meant to prepare them for the present. What did you learn in the past that prepared you for the present?
Mary believed in the future (last days) resurrection. Jesus, however, had a more immediate event in mind.
The source of the resurrection – “I am the resurrection and the life”
A personal relationship with Jesus requires commitment to Who He is and what He has done (“believes in me”).
Read Romans 10:9-10 and discuss the importance of the resurrection to salvation.
“will live” speaks of the future resurrection, while “never die” assures Martha that death is nothing more than a momentary interruption of life (See: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57).
Also – John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE …”
Jesus is the Friend who grieves the curse of death (John 11:28-37).
Like Martha, Mary asserted her faith in Christ … If you had been here he would not have died … but stopped short of the “even now” faith of Martha
Question – Should faith in the future resurrection alleviate the emotional pain of losing a loved one? NO! It should, however, mitigate the depth and duration of the pain. WHY? How was Job able to say, “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
DISCUSS: Why did Jesus weep? (1) Sympathy for Mary and Martha -0r- (2) the disbelief of the crowds
Jesus is the Friend who resurrects the dead (John 11:38-44).
Sin and death had done their perfect work … Lazarus had died and the corruption process had begun
“four days” stood as absolute proof that Lazarus was dead; this was not a resuscitation, but a resurrection.
The whole scenario was designed to show the power of God through Christ and increase the faith of those who chose to believe.
Lazarus is the prototype of the future rapture/resurrection of the saints. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). He is also a picture of spiritual resurrection (Ephesians 2:1 & 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Theological Theme: the Son of God has power over every aspect of death (physical, spiritual and emotional).
Christological/Christ Connection: Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection from the dead and glorified life.
Missional Application: To witness the glory of God by our response to sickness and death.