Scripture:

John 11:41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

Observations:

This chapter is full of examples of how to live our lives and how Jesus lived his life. Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die. He also knew that He would raise him from the dead. This was a purposeful narrative of events in the way that Lazarus was raised from the dead. 1. Jesus prayed to his father. 2. God hears and answers prayers Jesus looked to the heavens and specifically thanked his father for listening and answering his prayers. Even saying “I knew that you always hear me”. He knew this but he said this for our benefit. 3. Some people will simply never believe. Jesus had just raised someone from the dead. Read that last part again… “from the dead’. Not healed an illness, not sent spirits out of a possessed body but raised someone that had been dead for four days! Skeptics could say a doctor healed a person or it was the medicine. They could say that the possessed people weren’t really possessed. They can come up with all kinds of rationale to try to explain miracles but they can’t deny this dude was dead for four days. Only our heavenly Father has power over life and death and Jesus used this situation to glorify God.

Applications:

Jesus gives us the example of gratitude in prayer. His first words were, “Father, I thank you.” This story of Lazarus was to glorify God. Jesus did not walk around afterwards saying “look what I did!” Rather he went near the wilderness to be with his disciples. We need to use Jesus’ example. We need to be thankful. We need to be in God’s will and ask Him to use us for His glory. God answers prayer. The answer may not be “yes” or “no” or what we want to hear but God answers our prayers if we are in God’s will. We can’t get frustrated when things don’t go our way. Jesus was frustrated and even angered during this story. The chapter points out a couple of times he was “deeply moved” and was troubled. Jesus knew that even after this extraordinary miracle, there were non-believers. There were people that were more concerned about what Jesus was not doing, why he was doing it and even the timing of when he performed miracles. We can get caught up in this as well. We can worry more about rules, norms and appearances and not be as concerned about the miracles that God is performing in our lives and the lives of others. We can get more concerned about the little things and miss the big picture. God, thru Jesus, raised someone from the dead and yet people still did not believe. That amazes me but also scares me. We are a cynical society today as well. What miracles does God perform today that we just blow off as something other than God’s amazing power?

Prayer:

Father, thank you. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for answered prayers. Never let me forget that you hear me when I speak to you. Help use me to glorify you.

-Paul Palmer