One afternoon a man came home from work to find total
mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still
in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food
boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The
door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to
Proceeding to the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A
lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was
wadded against one wall. In the front room, the TV was
loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was
strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the
kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled
on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken
glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was
spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over the toys
and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was
worried she may be ill, or that something serious had
happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom, still
curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.
She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.
He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened
She again smiled and answered, “You know every day
when you come home from work and ask me what in the
world did I do today?”
“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.
She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”
Today we will look at the 7th and final miracle that John
describes in his gospel. We didn’t study every one of
Jesus’ miracles, but we have seen how He uses them to
bring glory to the Father as He performs each one.
Jesus and His Disciples
John does a good job explaining who everyone is.
Martha, Mary and Lazarus were siblings. This is the only
gospel account that mentions Lazarus. None of the other
writers mention him by name. Also, this miracle only
appears in John.
Mary was the one who anoints Jesus with ointment and
wipes His feet with her hair.
Martha is the one who likes to stay busy working/serving
in the house. She was upset when Mary stayed seated
when Jesus visited them. She was working and thought
Mary should be too.
Jesus loved this family. No less than three times in this
passage do we see a comment about Jesus loving
Lazarus and the family.
So Lazarus is sick, very sick, and the sisters send a
message to Jesus to let Him know. They don’t come
right out and ask Him to come, but it’s clear from their
response later that they wanted Him to come and heal
Jesus tells His disciples in v.4 that this sickness is not
going to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that
the Son of God may be glorified by it.
Purpose – This miracle is for the glory of God,
so people would believe in Jesus.
This word believe is going to come up again multiple
times as we work our way through the text.
Jesus tells His disciples that Lazarus has fallen asleep.
What He means is that Lazarus has died. He uses this
because He knows what is about to happen. He has
already told the disciples this story isn’t going to end in
death, but with God receiving the glory.
They don’t understand that Jesus means death, so He
comes right out and says, Lazarus is dead.
Then He gives another purpose for this miracle
So that they may believe in Him.
He tells them, I’m glad for your sake that I was not
there, so that you may believe.
Jesus and Martha
Martha is upset with Jesus because He didn’t come right
away and her brother has passed away.
She tells Him, if you had been here he wouldn’t have
Then she and Jesus get into a discussion about the
He tells her he will rise again and she automatically
assumes He is consoling her like everyone else has been
doing. But that isn’t what Jesus had in mind.
Jesus had other plans. Plans for a miracle
Plans to help people believe He is who He says He is
Plans to bring glory to the Father
Plans to show the amazing power of the Father
That brings us to the focal verse of the entire chapter.
V.25 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the
life; he who believes in Me will never die. Do you believe
Jesus is the Resurrection and Life
Martha mentioned the hope that all believers have that
the dead will be raised in the last days and receive their
glorified bodies and be united with Christ.
But Jesus had come 4 days after Lazarus had been
placed in the tomb in order to show that He was, in fact,
the resurrection and the life.
Spoiler Alert…Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead!
What does it mean that Jesus is the resurrection?
Not only is Jesus going to raise Lazarus from the dead,
He Himself is going to conquer death and the grave and
be seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
He is the resurrection.
No one else has the power to raise someone from the
And He is the life.
Lazarus was dead, had even started decomposing, and
Jesus brought him back to life.
Not only that, but all who believe in Him will have eternal
No one else has the power to give eternal life.
That’s the main point of all of this is that Jesus is the only
one who can bring eternal life.
Everyone faces physical death, that is certain, but those
who belong to Christ have the comfort in knowing that
they will be forever together with God in heaven because
of His amazing mercy and grace.
Jesus and Mary
Mary went out to meet Jesus and the Jews that were at
her house followed her. They assumed she was going to
the tomb where Lazarus was.
Instead she met Jesus and told Him the same thing
Martha had. If you had only been here, my brother
would not have died. She fell at the feet of Jesus weeping
Here we see the emotions of Jesus
He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled
And He wept over the death of His friend.
Now, you may be thinking, why is Jesus weeping over his
friend when He knows He is about to raise him from the
dead. I see it as His way of relating to Mary.
He loved the family. Imagine Him standing stone faced as
Mary is weeping as His feet over her brother who has just
died days earlier. Jesus was fully God, but He was also
fully human. Full of the same emotions that we feel.
He loved that family, He loved Lazarus.
Of course He wept with his sister.
Jesus raises Lazarus
Here in this next section we see the final purpose of the
miracle – v. 42 so that the people may believe that
God sent Him.
Two things stand out here.
First in v.40 Jesus reminds Martha to believe so she can
see the glory of the Lord. He’s preparing her for the
miracle that she wasn’t expecting.
Second in v.42 Jesus prays giving thanks to the Father
He also prays His purpose out loud.
This whole miracle is to display the power of God so that
people understand and believe that Jesus is the Son of
God. So they understand that God sent Him and it was
all part of God’s larger plan for the redemption of
Like I said earlier, it’s all about believing that Jesus is
who He says He is.
And one final thought,
This miracle really sets the stage for Jesus to rise from
the dead. He told them He was the resurrection.
Not only is He able to raise men from the dead, He will
rise again on the third day!!
The resurrection is one of the most non negotiable parts
of the gospel.
Paul writes to the church at Corinth that without the
resurrection our preaching is in vain and our faith is in
vain. More than that if Christ was not raised our faith is
futile and we are still in our sins.
But praise be to God that Jesus was raised on the third
day and that He is seated at the right hand of the Father!
We serve a living God.
How can we apply the text to our life this week?
Do you believe that God can do anything He wants?
He has the power to raise His Son from the dead!
He has the power to handle anything in your life.
There is nothing too big for Him to handle.
Will you pray with the same faith as Martha described
“even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God
will give you”
God can do what seems impossible to us
There’s nothing impossible with Him.
Do you believe?