You're Late-Sermon at Hesston MB today

Opening: I hate being late.  Raise your hands if you can relate.  Most recent example: airport in Atlanta-arrived at gate 5 minutes before departure while plane was still sitting at the gate. Why do we hate being late? It affects our schedule or plan, It is inconvenient to us or others, and it means we are not in control. Today’s Scripture from John 11:17-37 reveals an example of when everyone is accusing Jesus of being late.

Background-

  • Jesus loved Mary, Martha, & Lazarus(11:5)
  • He stayed two more days-why?-God’s glory (11:4)
(Vs. 17-27) Jesus is the Resurrection and Life

  • Vs. 17-19-Setting of story-Bethany, Jesus is four days late, many have gathered to comfort Martha and Mary
  • Vs. 20-When Martha heard. . . she went out to meet Jesus & Mary stayed at home
  • Martha’s personality
    • Distracted by the preparations and busy-Luke 10:38-42
    • Martha served-John 12:2
    • The point is not to compare two sisters. Don’t be a Martha, be like Mary but it’s about Jesus! He loved and cared for each one despite personality quirks.
    • Vs. 21-22-Martha’s response-If you had been here, my brother would not have died
      • She believed that Jesus was Healer, but it was too late for her brother.
      • I know God will give you what you ask. Do we pray with this faith and expectancy?
  • Vs. 23-Jesus Response
    • Your brother will rise.
  • Vs. 24-Martha-I know he will rise at the last day. She understood the resurrection of the future
    • Martha recited the standard Old Testament view of the resurrection, not practicing the promises Jesus had taught so often. Surely she knew about the resurrection of the widow’s son and Jairus’s daughter, but somehow she never made the connection that the Lord could do the same for her brother.[1]
  • Vs. 25-26-Jesus-I am the Resurrection and the Life
    • I AM-previous sermon- Jesus responds with His identity as fully God, I AM-not just what He does but who He is.
    • But Jesus tried to center their attention on the present: wherever He is, God’s resurrection power is available now[2]--Ephesians 1:19-20
  • Notice Jesus is not the fixer or renovator.  He is resurrection.  He makes what is dead, alive.
    • Ephesians 2: 1, 4-6
    • Are you facing a dead relationship, job, situation (sin,addiction,stronghold)? Look to and Believe in Jesus the Resurrection who can take dead things and make them alive.
    • Believe-you will live and not die. Martha, do you believe?
  • Vs. 27-Martha-Yes, Lord-You are the Messiah, Son of God
    • Martha did not hesitate to affirm her faith. She used three different titles for Jesus: Lord, Christ (Messiah), and Son of God.”[3]
(Vs. 28-37) Jesus is Compassionate

  • Vs. 28-31-Martha goes to get Mary.  Mary rose quickly and went to Jesus and met him. Before we look at her response, let’s look at the personality of Mary.
  • Mary’s personality
    • Sitting at the Lord’s feet, chosen what is better-Luke 10:38-42
    • Using perfume & her hair washed Jesus’ feet-John 12:3
    • Vs. 32-Mary-She fell at Jesus’ feet & said If you had been here, my brother would not have died.
      • What do you notice? Remember Jesus loved them both.
  • Vs. 33-Jesus-“deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (to snort with anger); to have indignation on,  groan.[4]  & to stir or agitate (roil water):—trouble.
    • Why was Jesus angry? A better explanation is that Jesus was angry at the tyranny of Satan who had brought sorrow and death to people through sin (cf. 8:44; Heb. 2:14–15). Also Jesus was troubled-This disturbance was because of His conflict with sin, death, and Satan.[5]
  • Vs. 34-Jesus speaks-where have you laid him?
  • Vs. 35-Jesus wept. Jesus has compassion for you and me. When life is not it is intended, it grieves Him. He is saddened by the affect sin has on our world, relationships, bodies, and life itself.
    • Our Lord’s weeping reveals the humanity of the Saviour. He has entered into all of our experiences and knows how we feel. [6]
    • But as the incarnate God, Jesus’ tears in front of Larzarus’s tomb are of a different order. This is Jesus feeling the weight of the fall—the violation and disintegration of the way things were meant to be. His holy tears are those of the Creator grieving over the forfeiture of beauty through the intrusion of sin and death. Once again, in the incarnate Lord, we see the heart of the Lamb who would loffer his life to overcome our sin and death. (ESV Gospel Transformation Bible notes pg. 1429)
  • Are you facing a difficulty with your health, in your family or friendships, or with the direction of our world? Know that Jesus is with you and weeps for you and cares for you. Also, know firmly that Jesus loves you!
  • Vs. 36-Jews response-Jesus loved Lazarus
  • Vs. 37-Some responded-Could not the man who opened the eyes of the blind man have healed Lazarus?


[1] Gangel, K. O. (2000). John (Vol. 4, p. 216). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 336). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[3] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 336). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[4] Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
[5] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 314). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[6] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 337). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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