I urge you to invest the time to thoroughly read and understand this message. It is a very personal communication to you from the Creator of all things. It may require as much time as it takes to watch half of a reality TV show, or about the same amount of time as needed to read one newspaper or magazine article. If you choose to invest the time, the message will change your life forever.
In order to yield the full measure of power from this teaching, you will be required to engage your imagination and visualize what you are about to read. The use of the theater of your mind will be necessary.
Imagine that you found yourself in the physical presence of GOD! Take a moment. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself standing in the presence of God in the body of a 30 year old man. Suppose that you were so blessed that you had been chosen to walk and talk and eat and sleep with Jesus. Imagine yourself following God in the person of Jesus as He taught you daily about all things. What if you were with the King of Love and Grace and Faith and Life and Peace and Mercy and Joy and Happiness every day.
It actually happened. Not just to the twelve of whom you have so frequently heard, but to many more. In fact, there were at the end of His three years of ministry literally thousands following Jesus through the streets daily. Three of those people were very special to Him. They were His very close personal friends. Martha, Mary and Lazarus. They were brother and sisters who had followed Jesus through all of His earthly walk. Mary had spent a years wages to buy a bottle of perfume to pour on Jesus’ hair and feet. Few knew our Lord and Savior better.
The three friends of Jesus had seen it all. They had witnessed with their very eyes: Jesus feed a crowd of five thousand men not including women and children with five loaves and two fishes and have twelve baskets of remnants left over. They had seen Jesus lay hands on the sick and heal all nature of diseases including; blindness, paralysis, leprosy, deafness and Leukemia. They had seen Jesus return a dead girl to life. They had seen Jesus free a man so possessed of demons that the demons called themselves “legion” because there were so many dwelling inside of the man. They knew that Jesus had walked across the sea of Galilee to enter a boat with His disciples then cause the boat to “immediately” be on the opposite shore. They saw Jesus walk right through an angry mob determined to throw Him off of a cliff. They knew that Peter and John and James had gone to the mount of transfiguration and had seen Jesus with Elijah and Abraham and Moses and that from that Mountain God himself had proclaimed Jesus to be His Son in whom He was well pleased. They knew who Jesus was.
The report you are about to read, happened at the very end of Jesus’ ministry. Imagine yourself being there as an observer to watch the proceedings.
“Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that same Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto him saying, Lord, behold he whom thou loves is sick”.
Get the picture now, Jesus is going about his ministry work and a messenger comes to Him from His friends Mary and Martha to report to Him that His friend Lazarus is sick. It is important to carefully understand the message that Jesus sends back to the sisters. He was very specific and precise.
” When Jesus heard, He ( God in the flesh, The Son of God ) said, “THIS SICKNESS IS NOT….UNTO DEATH. BUT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, THAT THE SON OF GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED THEREBY.”
Are you there? Jesus has just sent a message back to the worried sisters that according to HIM, JESUS…and He removed all doubt as to His identity and Deity, by declaring again Himself to be THE SON OF GOD. Got it? You just sent a message to your personal friend Jesus about your brothers illness and He sent you back a message signed…THE SON OF GOD, answering your message without equivocation, stating clearly that “THIS ILLNESS WILL NOT END IN DEATH.” Do you think Jesus knew for a fact that the brother would not die? He is about to explain, that of course He knew, and He is about to demonstrate Knowledge that only God could possibly possess.
If you have been using your imagination and pretending that you were one of Lazarus’ loved ones, what would your reaction be? Would you be happy and have a victory party? After all, it looked like old Laz was about to kick. Now his CREATOR had sent a personal message back to you declaring emphatically that contrary to all appearances, he would not die and that because Laz lived, that He Jesus would be Glorified, because He Jesus had prophesied accurately Laz’s complete recovery.
What if in your daily walk with Jesus, He had said to you (insert your name) you are about to see the glory of God in your life regarding your present issue?
Be aware also, that Jesus was sending this message to the 12 who were also present. They also had seen and heard all that Jesus had said and done. In fact, they were taking meticulous notes.
Naturally, at this point; Jesus was not the least bit concerned about His friends. After all, He had just foretold of Lazarus’ complete healing and His being glorified by it.
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he (Lazarus) was sick, He abode two days in the place where He was.” Jesus did not rush to the bedside of Lazarus. Why should He? He stayed and did the work that God has assigned Him to do.
“Then after that saith he to his disciples, let us go into Judea again.” Bethany was in the area of Judea. The week before, the people of Judea had tried to kill Jesus. ” His disciples say unto Him Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou tither again?” The ever faithful disciples like us were concerned about there own necks. The conversation probably went more like this…”Jesus are you nuts? They will kill us all!”
Are you amazed? Here the disciples like His friends knew that Jesus was God in the flesh. They had seen all of the miracles. Yet even in His presence they were afraid. How could this be? Is that your thinking? It is even worse. They are walking in absolute unbelief. They are questioning His sanity. They are asking Jesus if He is aware of the dangers they are facing. Of course we would never be guilty of this type of thing.
“Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day he stumbeleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But, if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.” Jesus now is speaking of His guidance system being perfect. He is declaring that He walks in the light of God, led of The Holy Spirit. To prove this, Jesus now makes an amazing declarative prophecy.
“These things said He; and after that, He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep”. Then said the disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spoke of his death; but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the extent ye may believe, nevertheless, let us go to him.”
Jesus clearly had no way of knowing that Lazarus was dead. No messenger had come to Him to tell him about Lazarus. Only the Holy Spirit could have revealed to Him the death of His friend. Jesus tells His disciples that He is glad that He and they were not there, so that when they see with their flesh eyes what He has seen with Spiritual eyes, they will know that He is led of the Spirit. The disciples still do not understand. Pay attention to the response of Thomas.
“Then said Thomas, which is called Did’y-mus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us go that we may die with him.”
“Then when Jesus came, He found that he (Lazarus) had lain in the grave for four days already.” How do you think the disciples reacted? “Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem ( where Jesus had been), about fifteen furlongs off; ( less than 2miles). And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.” These were the professional mourners that were traditional at this time. When one was sick they would come to the home and wail and gnash their teeth until after the funeral.
“Then Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him; but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother would had not died. ( Jesus you killed my brother by not coming to heal him). But I know, that even now, whatsoever you ask of God, God will give thee. Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again at the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus saith unto her, ” I AM THE RESURRECTION, AND THE LIFE HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE; AND WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE, BELIEVETH THOU THIS?” Jesus who is the Resurrection and the life had sent Martha a message that her brother would not die. She and her sister and the mourners had made a conscious decision not to believe Him. They had literally unbelieved Lazarus to death.
Now to cover up, Martha as we frequently do, begins a series of lies. Here is the first.
“She saith unto Him, Yes, Lord; I believe that thou art the Christ the Son of God, which should come into the world.” Lie number one. ” And when she had so said, she went her way and called Mary her sister secretly, saying; the Master is come and calleth for thee.” lie number two.
As soon as she (Mary) heard, she arose quickly and came unto Him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was at that place where Martha met Him. The Jews,which were with her in the house and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she arose hastily and went out, followeth her saying, she goeth unto the grave to weep there.” The professional mourners were not about to miss an opportunity to earn their keep. ” Then when Mary was come where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto Him, Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died.” Precisely the same words as Martha spoke. The sisters and their mourner friends are accusing Jesus of murder by lack of interest. They are stating their exact agreed upon belief. They had agreed with each other that regardless of the message sent to them by THE SON OF GOD, that if He did not come to Lazarus; that Lazarus would die.
Ipso facto, they got what they spoke and believed without doubt. Having unbelieved their brother to death, they have decided to transfer guilt to the one whom they claim to believe is THE SON OF GOD.
You are about to be rewarded for hanging in there and following this amazing report to it’s climactic conclusion…
” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her ( His dear friend who had anointed His feet with expensive perfume at one time acknowledging his deity) , HE GROANED IN THE SPIRIT AND WAS TROUBLED.” I know that my unbelief has also caused Him to groan in the Spirit and be troubled. ” And said, where have you laid him? They said unto Him, Lord come and see, …
Can you imagine how hurt Jesus was that his own disciples did not believe him. Then His dear friends had not only refused to believe Him, and unbelieved their brother His dear friend to death, they then accused Jesus of the murder. WOULD YOU WEEP?
“Then said the Jews, see how He loved him. ( They still did not understand) And some of them said, Could not this man who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?”
“JESUS THEREFORE AGAIN GROANING IN HIMSELF cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay in front of it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead said unto Him Lord, by this time he stinketh; for he hath been dead four days.” ( Jesus had to have been astonished at the unbelief level. This Martha who had seen Jesus raise the dead before is describing natural decay to the CREATOR. She is concerned about the stink of her dead brother who is about to be raised.)
Here is the big payoff for you reader…” Jesus saith unto her, SAID I NOT UNTO THEE THAT IF THOU WOULDEST BELIEVE, THAT THOU SHOULDEST SEE THE GLORY OF GOD?”
Let us review the message that Jesus sent back to Martha and Mary…”THIS SICKNESS IS NOT UNTO DEATH, BUT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, THAT THE SON OF GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED THEREBY.”
Has Jesus promised us that if we believe that we will see the glory of God?
The rest of the story is that Jesus commands Lazarus to come out of the grave and Lazarus is restored to life. Then follows perhaps the most interesting scripture of them all…” Then many of the Jews which came to Mary and had seen the things which Jesus did, BELIEVED ON HIM. ” You can study this teaching in the 11th chapter of the book of John.
Have you ever felt that your life has been wasted upon those around you? That your sacrifices for those you love have gone unnoticed. Have you ever felt that the ones closest to you don’t even understand your heart and what you give to them? Imagine how Jesus feels when those that He has clearly demonstrated his love for, refuse to believe Him.
What if you died for your friends and they refused to believe in you? What if you gave them a treasure and they refused to accept it? How would you react. Would you weep?
DO YOU NEED TO SEE THE GLORY OF GOD? WILL YOU MAKE A DECISION TO ACCEPT THE WORDS OF JESUS AS TRUE, AND MAKE A DECISION TO LIVE ONE MOMENT AT A TIME, WITH JOYFUL EXPECTATION OF THE THINGS THAT YOU CAN NOT SEE?
Will you make a decision that the things that you don’t see are more real than the things that you do see.
The point of all of this is that there was no need for Jesus to have to raise Lazarus from the dead. Will you believe Jesus before you are raised from the dead? Here are a few promises from Jesus to make a decision to believe:
“Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater than these shall he do because I go to my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” (John14:12-14)
“Hitherto you have asked nothing in My name, but ask that you may receive that your joy may be full” ( John 16:24)
“Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you”. (Matthew 7:7)
“I beheld satan as lightning fall from heaven, Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions ( not reptiles and arachnids, but the strongest powers of satan) and over ALL of the powers of the evil one and nothing shall by anymeans hurt thee.” ( Luke 10:18and 19)
“If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?” (Matthew 7:11)
“I am come that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)
“Have faith in God, For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and cast into the sea; and does not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore, I say unto you what things soever you desire when you pray believe that ye receive and you shall have them” ( Mark 11:22-24)
The people who made Jesus weep, could only see with their natural eyes. We can choose to see with our natural or our spiritual eyes. Their unbelief made Jesus “groan in His spirit”.
How about you?