A Controversial Deed

May 26, 2013 by: Jay Pound| Series: The Real Jesus: Do You Believe?
Scripture: John 11:1–11:57

A Controversial Deed

John 11

Pastor Jay Pound - May 26, 2013

 

A Profoundly incarnational moment

  • The Disciples: For Glory Not Grief
    • This is happening for God's glory so that the Son of God may be glorified through it (11.4)
    • This is happening so that people will believe (11.15, 42)
  • Martha: The Present not the Future
    • Martha was looking to the future for hope (11.24)
    • Jesus told Martha that in him, the God's future had already begun (11.25-26)
  • Mary: The Power of God over the Power of Death
    • As a human being, Jesus mourns the loss of a friend (11.35)
    • As the good and loving God, Jesus is indignant at the corruption and pain caused by sin and death (11.33, 38)
  • Conclusion:
    • Human beings are hopelessly overmatched by sin, evil and our fallen world
    • Sin, evil and our fallen world are hopelessly overmatched by our God
    • Challenge: Our God raises the dead
    • Encouragement: Our God raises the dead

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Why does Jesus linger for two days after hearing the news about Lazarus? (11.4-6)
    1. How is Jesus agenda different even from Lazarus' other family and friends? What is their primary concern? What is Jesus'?
  2. When the disciples voice their concern over returning to Judea, where Jesus was so recently threatened with violence (10.31, 39), Jesus gives a cryptic response (11.-10).
    1. What do you think Jesus means by this?
    2. What does it mean for their immediate plans?
    3. What does it also imply more long-term for Jesus?
  3. Compare/Contrast Martha's statement and faith in 11.17-27 with the responses of the disciples (11.7-16) and Jesus' Jewish opponents in 10.24-42.
    1. (Note the difference in the way Jesus responds to the disciples (11.15), his opponents (10.26) and Martha (11.40).
  4. How does Jesus raising Lazarus lead to his own death (11.45-57)?
  5. Raising Lazarus is certainly a significant argument for Jesus' power and divinity. But how is this also an equally powerful sign that God's Kingdom has in some way come?
  6. This passage is a reminder that the gospel remains the only hope for the humanity, that the work of God in Jesus remains the only answer to death.
    1. Much in our contemporary world can be discouraging and even depressing, how is this passage an encouragement?
    2. It is easy to feel that Christians in our culture are under attack or on the defensive, what does this passage suggest about that perception?
  7. How does this passage help us strike a balance between the extremes of doing nothing about problems in our world and thinking we can solve them all?

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