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Judged for Wrong Judgements

John 10:34-39 

They refused to believe that Jesus was God. So He pointed them back to Psalm 82:1-2 where the unjust rulers of Israel are described as 'failed gods' - "God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the 'gods': How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?" The scene shows God as the presiding judge rebuking the unjust rulers. In Psalm 82:6-7, God says, "You are 'gods'; you are all sons of the Most High.

For and Against Jesus

John 10:40-42 

When Jesus told the truth about His Divinity, religious power-holders became angry. They were unable to kill Him or even arrest Him, but they had heard the message and understood. There was nothing more Jesus needed to do; so He went back to where His ministry began by the River Jordan, where He was baptised. His opponents were content that He was no longer challenging their authority: and we might assume that they hoped He would go away into obscurity, as Messianic pretenders had in the past.

Relational Ministry

John 11:1-3 

Jesus loves people: that is His nature. This little family in Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem, became well known to the Apostle John as Jesus and His disciples would visit them from time to time (Luke 10:38-42, John 12:1-3). Two sisters and their brother lived together, apparently without elderly parents or spouses. They were a self-contained unit who looked after one another.

Divine Delay

John 11:4-6 

Jesus had just received the message that His friend, Lazarus, was seriously unwell. Instead of showing anxiety, as we might have done, He simply responds that God would be glorified. The end of the story would not be his death, but that all would see that Jesus really was God's Son. He was not at all callous or indifferent to the suffering of Lazarus, or the anxiety Martha and Mary were experiencing, but He knew it was important not to answer their call immediately.

Protection and Danger

John 11:7-10

Jesus was more than two day's journey from Jerusalem, where envious religious leaders had previously tried to stone him. Yet many people were hungry for His ministry. So they had walked out to the baptism site at the River Jordan where Jesus was teaching. Two days previously He received a message saying that His friend, Lazarus, was very ill. However, He seemed in no hurry to help him even though we deduce from the narrative that Lazarus probably died about that time.

The Confusion of Fear

John 11:11-16

Although Jesus knew His friend Lazarus was very ill, He deliberately waited for two days before going to see him. Lazarus was dead; Jesus said he had ‘fallen asleep’ (in the same way we might gently refer to death in English).

Reacting Differently

John 11:17-22

Lazarus, the much loved brother of Mary and Martha, had been dead for four days. Although they had sent a message saying that Lazarus was very unwell, Jesus did not come. Soon after, the sick man died. Then, after Jesus had intentionally delayed His journey by two days, the disciples accompanied the Lord to the little village of Bethany outside Jerusalem. The funeral had taken place, the tomb had been sealed and now the devastated sisters were mourning their loss.

Who Raises The Dead?

John 11:23-27

Martha's brother had been dead for four days. When she met Jesus after the funeral, she expressed her confusion that He had not come sooner to heal Lazarus; however, she also believed a miracle was still possible. So Jesus probed her understanding of life after death by telling her that Lazarus would rise again. Martha said she believed that God's people will be raised to life on the Last Day: but she had not grasped that Jesus could raise the dead. So Jesus told her plainly that resurrection power was in His hand, for all those who put their trust in Him.

The Hope Which Comes From Jesus' Call

John 11:28-31

Lazarus' death was such a shock to His two sisters; so too was Jesus' apparent indifference to their call for help. When Jesus did come, four days after the funeral, Martha confronted Him with her grief and frustration. But Mary refused to come out of the house. It seems that she felt so let down by Jesus, rejected by Him when the family was in their greatest need.

Tears Of Love

John 11:32-36

It was a sad day. Jesus accompanied Mary and Martha to the tomb of their brother, Lazarus. Both the sisters had told the Lord that Lazarus would have still been alive if He had arrived on time. His response to each was different, reflecting their personalities and how they would best receive the truth. Martha was ready for a discussion on the resurrection; Mary was not. So His only request was to see where Lazarus had been laid.