Garden City Christian Union Church

True Love Waited

Scripture Reading; Genesis 1:1-10

I have come to appreciate John's style as he lays out basic doctrines about Christ by giving a narrative that demonstrates Jesus using life examples to teach that doctrine and then John gives us an application of that truth at the end.

  • We have seen select miracles and teachings

  • John 2, Jesus turns water into wine.

  • Here He simply demonstrates His power over nature and as a sign that He is to be heard as a Prophet of God.

  • John 5, The man who was lame for 38 years.

  • Jesus healed him to show His power and authority and after the healing went into a discourse on that very topic.

  • John 6, The feeding of the 5,000.

  • Contrasting physical life with eternal life and showing how He can miraculously meet the smaller need of physical life and in turn that He can provide the need of eternal life.

  • John 9, The man born blind.

  • Healing than man born blind gave Him a platform to speak of the blindness of those who thought that had God all figured out yet were blinded by their tradition.

  • And again to tell them of the fulfillment of Ezekiel 34 that He had come to replace them because they were worthless shepherds.

  • As we look at John 11 today we will see Jesus ' greatest miracle thus far as He demonstrate an even greater power

  • We will see the importance of this power, to raise the dead, as His own death is approaching, probably in only about two weeks.

  • With this said, I want to read you another of John's narratives of Jesus in its entirety and then we will look at John's application.


John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

  • Again the Creator using His creation for His glory.

  • This is also for the betterment of the creation as a whole as Jesus shows us His power we see Him for who He is.

John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

  • Why did He wait two more days?

  • Jesus loved them. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick He waited two more days?

  • I wonder how many times He has waited two more days because He loves me?

  • How many trials I have endured because He loves me and wants me to see His power when I need it the most?

  • When it is undeniably Him that has saved me.

John 11:8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”

9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”

  • Walking in the day? Jesus refers to doing what is apparently right in the face of that which is not.

  • God's will is for Jesus to do this, doing God's will is to walk in the light.

  • Therefore it is safer to walk into danger knowing that it is God's will for you to be there than it is to take the apparently safer way that is not.

John 11:12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

  • Somewhere Martha has gotten a good dose of theology.

  • Certainly Jesus has been teaching more than we are told of in the Gospels.

  • John 21:25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

John 11:28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

  • Disappointment in our circumstances is tied to a lack of knowledge of God's plan.

  • Jesus had a plan that would make Lazarus a name that is known through all of history.

  • If this had not happened then we would know nothing of him.

  • Jesus also had a plan to show the people His power for the benefit of all.

  • Something far greater was about to be revealed that could have had Lazarus not died.

John 11:33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

  • So much has happened here and as I look at it I believe that there is another element to the story.

  • We see Jesus' emotion as well. His care for His sheep.

  • John 11:35 is the verse that every child knows. It is the easiest to memorize because it is only two words, “Jesus wept.”

  • Many say that He was grieving with family. I don't thinks so.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

  • I believe that as He groaned within Himself it had more to do with the unbelief of these people who had seen Him do so many miracles and the best they could come up with for faith was, “If He had been here he would not have died.” Vs 21, 32, 37

  • And so as He endures their hardness of heart He provides yet another miracle greater than all of the rest and He prays before hand saying, “And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” John 11:42

  • And so what is the result of all of this?

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

  • And here it is. They had begun to regard their place in life as that which was most important.

  • Jesus had demonstrated His power and authority when he healed the man who was lame for 38 years in John 5

  • He had demonstrated His power to supply life and challenged them to look to the life that does not perish as that which is most important in John 6.

  • He has told them that they need to see that they cannot see because they are blinded by tradition in order that they might see as He clearly demonstrates to them who He is and why He has come.

  • And He fulfills the prophecies of Ezekiel 34 in removing them from leadership of His people and taking on the role of the Good Shepherd, giving His sheep eternal life and providing and caring for them in John 9-10.

  • Now He takes it a step further and raises a man who has been dead for four days with a mere command, “Lazarus, Come forth!”

  • In Him was life.... John 1:4

  • Yet their hearts are hard!

  • Luke 16

  • These Priests and Pharisees admit the reality of His miracles!

  • And yet they are more concerned with the threat to their own way of life.

John 11:49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.

55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.




In all of his Jesus demonstrated His power.

  • Just as we saw the power of His Word in our Scripture reading from Genesis 1 to speak things into existence.

  • Here we saw His power to raise a rotting corps from the dead.

  • His power to forgive sins and give eternal life to those who trust in Him.

  • And yet we see those who would have not of that but could only see Him as a threat to their own power.

  • I groan within myself as I think of those who will hear this message and continue hardhearted to their end.

  • I see Jesus weep as He witnesses the hardheartedness of man.

  • And yet I see God's plan worked out even through those who would act willfully against God only to bring His will to pass as Jesus is eventually put to death through their plotting.

  • Acts 4:24 they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25“who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:

Why did the nations rage,

And the people plot vain things?

26The kings of the earth took their stand,

And the rulers were gathered together

Against the Lord and against His Christ.’

27“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28“to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

What do you say about this man Jesus?

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