A Controversial Deed
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)
- 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
- Why does Jesus linger for two days after hearing the news about Lazarus? (11.4-6)
- How is Jesus agenda different even from Lazarus' other family and friends? What is their primary concern? What is Jesus'?
- 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).
- What do you think Jesus means by this?
- What does it mean for their immediate plans?
- What does it also imply more long-term for Jesus?
- 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.
- (Note the difference in the way Jesus responds to the disciples (11.15), his opponents (10.26) and Martha (11.40).
- How does Jesus raising Lazarus lead to his own death (11.45-57)?
- 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?
- 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.
- Much in our contemporary world can be discouraging and even depressing, how is this passage an encouragement?
- 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?
- 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?