INTRODUCTION: This week we come to the last of our lessons on
healing. I have enjoyed learning more about healing. However, I
am grateful that next week we begin the study of a book of the
Bible: 1 Corinthians. I love to get back "on track" by studying a
book rather than studying a topic. For our last study about
healing we look at what is probably Jesus' most famous "healing."
Let's dive in!
I. THE PROBLEM
A. Turn with me to John 11:1-6. Read. Is v.
6 out of place?
You know these "tests" which give you a list of items, (for
example, bananas, apples, pineapples and broccoli), and ask
you which one does not belong in the list? Is verse 6 like
1. If you think
v. 6 is out of place, why? (We have a
list of all the reasons why Jesus would come. He loved
Lazarus and the sisters. They asked Jesus to come. One
of the sisters, Mary, has been especially kind to Jesus.
Jesus says in v. 4 that Lazarus will not die. So delay
seems totally inconsistent.)
2. Why did the
sisters send for Jesus? Did they send for
Him because they believed He would come and cure their
3. Would you
have delayed if you were the friend of
4. If you did
not know the end of the story, would you
understand the delay?
B. Read vv.7-10, 16. Do we now have a reason
for Jesus to
1. If you thought
that going to help Lazarus might kill
you (compare John 8:59), would you delay? (No. I would
not go. Delay would simply show that you could not make
up your mind!)
2. Why is Jesus
talking about daylight? Was He waiting
for light to travel?
a. Look at the context. In response to the disciples
reminding Jesus of the danger that He might be
stoned if He returned to the Greater Jerusalem
suburbs, Jesus talks about sunlight. What does
this have to do with the disciples' warning?
(1) If they are throwing stones at you during
the daylight, you are less likely to stumble
over one of those stones?
(2) Does this mean that those who obey God (who
walk in the light) will not die?
(3) What does Jesus mean by "this world's
light?" Not heaven's light, but this world's
(In John 9:4 Jesus says, "As long as it is
day, we must do the
work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can
work." (NIV) We see that Jesus means that while He has life
here He must continue to do the will of the Father. The fact
that daylight is measured suggests that Jesus believed that
until "His time" had come He could not be killed. A secondary
meaning is that Jesus is the light of the world (John 9:5) and
while He (the light) was present, He needed to continue to
(a) Consider the person who says that he
is going to wait until he is old or dying
to give up his heart to Jesus. Is Jesus'
comment about walking by day give us any
advice on that kind of attitude? (Jesus
suggests that this person (who is waiting
for the night) will stumble!)
C. Read John 11:17-21. Why did Martha
say to Jesus (v.21)
that if He had come Lazarus would not have died?
1. Was she unhappy
that Jesus had not honored her request
that He come?
2. Was she chiding
Jesus? Was she suggesting that Jesus
could have come and saved her brother if Jesus had wanted
to come? (I would have meant it as a complaint. She knew
about all of the miracles done for others -- people that
Jesus did not know. Here Jesus refuses to do a miracle
for His friends.)
3. Notice that
later on in v. 32 Mary says the exact same
thing to Jesus: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother
would not have died."
4. Why did Mary
stay home (v.20) when Martha went out to
meet Jesus? (It could be that she did not know that Jesus
was present, but I think she was upset that Lazarus had
died and Jesus had refused to answer their request that
a. Do you know anyone who has been upset with God
because a loved one died?
b. Let's jump ahead and read vv.28-29. Why did
Jesus ask for Mary? Why did she jump up right away
if she was upset with Him?
(1) What lesson do you find in this? (That
Jesus continues to seek us even if we are not
happy with Him. Notice that when Mary heard
that Jesus was asking for her that she came
quickly. Perhaps the mere knowledge Jesus was
asking for her helped to turn her attitude
II. THE PROMISE
A. Let's go back now and read v. 21 again and
the rest of the
dialogue between Jesus and Martha in vv. 22-27.
1. When Martha
says in v. 21 to Jesus, "Even now," you
can do something. What do you think she had in mind for
Him to do?
a. If you say that she had raising Lazarus to life
in mind, how do you explain v. 24 where Martha
talks about "the resurrection at the last day?"
b. Is it necessary for Martha to have anything in
mind? (No. I think this shows great faith on her
part. Jesus has just apparently let her down. She
has no idea what to do, but she affirms that Jesus
will know what to do and that God will do whatever
He asks. We need a faith like that of Martha!)
2. Do you find
Jesus making any promises in these verses?
What promises do you find? (Jesus gives (vv. 25-26) two
a. That whoever believes in Him will live even
though the person dies; and,
b. This life after death will never again result in
3. What do these
promises have to do with the current
problem? Why would Jesus say this now? (Jesus says His
status as "the resurrection and the life" has something
to do with curing the sadness of the sisters.)
B. Read John 11:32-37. If Jesus knew
that He was going to
raise Lazarus to life, why was He sad and crying? (He could
not have been crying about the loss of Lazarus. He showed
that He loved Mary and Martha. He showed that He cared about
the human condition.)
1. Did He really care since He delayed coming?
C. Consider the two attitudes that we see.
In v.21 Martha says
to Jesus if you had been here this would not have happened.
In v.32 Mary says to Jesus if you had been here this would not
have happened. We then see this a third time in v.37 where
complete strangers are asking how Jesus could have let this
happen. The strangers say if He can heal a blind man He could
have healed Lazarus. On the other hand we have Jesus weeping
over the situation.
1. Why does the
Holy Spirit (through John) keep harping
on this theme that Jesus could have prevented this
tragedy if He wanted? That issue is presented three
times to the reader!
2. Why does John
want to show us that Jesus cried about
the situation? (The Holy Spirit knows that in every
tragedy we are going to ask God, "Why? You could have
prevented this! Why didn't you?")
a. What is the answer to the thundering question,
"Why did God allow this? (The first answer is "God
cares about us. He is (v.33) "deeply moved in
spirit and troubled." The second answer is (vv.
25-26) that He will eventually make everything
right. The third and best answer is Martha's. In
v.22 she essentially says I cannot explain why this
happened. I trust whatever you decide Jesus because
"God will give you whatever you ask.")
III. THE PROOF
A. Read John 11:38-44. Why does John
tell us (v.39) that
Lazarus had been dead four days? (This is a no fooling around
miracle of bringing a dead and decomposing guy back to life!)
B. Why is this miracle of "healing" in the Bible?
C. How does this story rank in importance among
stories in the Bible? (This is THE healing story. Anyone can
say "I am life. Believe on me and you will live." The proof
that Jesus can do what He says is right here. If he raised
Lazarus to life, He can raise you and He can raise me.)
D. Friend, this story has it all. Things go
wrong in life.
Illogical things happen. Those dear to us die. Sometimes it is
easy to believe that God does not care about us and has not
helped us. But this story shows us that God cries with us.
He sympathizes with us. He has a master plan both now and
forever. He has the power to give us life. Praise God He is
a great God!
E. Read Revelation 21:1-7 in closing. He has the power. He
will do it. Come Lord Jesus!
IV. NEXT WEEK: New quarter, new study! 1 Corinthians: "The Gospel
Invades Corinth." Study!