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John 11


If you are familiar with the Bible, you are probably familiar with this story.  Although familiarity with the Scripture is certainly a good thing, we have to be careful that our familiarity does not lead to carelessness.  In other words, when we read the Bible we need to read carefully – not reading into it what we remember that it said but reading it to see what it actually said.  So, I hope you read this chapter closely.
As the chapter opens, we find that a man named Lazarus was sick.  His two sisters sent for Jesus to come and help.  Since Jesus was about one day’s journey from Bethany when the story started, we know that Lazarus actually died on the day the sisters sent the messenger to Jesus.  Here’s how we know this.  In verse 39, Martha told Jesus that Lazarus had been dead for four days.  So, a little quick math: it took one day for the messenger to get to Jesus; Jesus waited two days before He headed to Bethany; and, it would have taken one day for Him to get there.  There’s your four days.
Why is that important?  Here’s another question to consider.  Since Jesus had already proven He could heal from a distance, why didn’t He do that for Lazarus?  Verse 14 doesn’t say Jesus was glad that Lazarus died.  He said He was glad that this situation would allow Him to demonstrate His power over our biggest enemy: death.
I am going to skip ahead in the story a bit now to verse 35.  This two word verse is the shortest verse in the Bible but it has much significance.  So, why did Jesus cry?  If He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, why did He cry?
To begin with, the Greek word used for wept here is found only here in the Bible.  It refers to a “silent” weeping.  This was not an audible wailing which is what happens in verse 33.  This is a deeply personal, quiet weeping.  But why did He cry?
One reason is His weeping reveals His humanity.  Isaiah 53:3 says Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  He knows what it is like for to weep and grieve.  That means He is more than able to comfort us in our sorrows.
A second reason is His weeping may have been the result of the undeniable effect sin has had on creation.  The wages of sin is death.  Death is the result of sin.  So, as Jesus stood by the tomb that day, He may have been overcome by the devastation that sin had caused in His creation.
A third reason is His weeping may have actually been for Lazarus.  Maybe Jesus was grieving because He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead and Lazarus was going to have to live in this sin infected world for awhile longer. 
Whatever the reason way, Jesus was visibly and physically disturbed by this event.  Nevertheless, He called Lazarus from the tomb and Lazarus came forth.  Jesus proved He is the Resurrection and that He had complete authority and power over our greatest enemy: death. 
Our friends, the Pharisees knew that this miracle was going to be the beginning of the end.  They were either going to have kill Jesus or they were going to lose their place in their culture (verse 48).  Isn’t it interesting that even in light of such a miracle, they were still only concerned about themselves?

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

John 10





I want to approach today a little differently.  I am going to pull out some different sections of this chapter in which Jesus is specifically talking about His role at the Good Shepherd.  I hope that we might learn some things of value here that will be an encouragement in the days ahead.

The first thing is found in verses 3-4.  His sheep know the voice of the Good Shepherd.  In the context of the analogy, this is a beautiful picture of real sheep being so accustomed to the voice of a real shepherd, that they not only recognized the voice of that shepherd but also followed Him.

As I was thinking about this, I was reminded that I have never heard the physical voice of Jesus.  My guess is the vast majority of you haven’t either.  So, we really don’t know the tone or intonation or cadence or sound of Jesus’ voice.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t recognize Jesus’ voice.  Here’s what I mean.

The Bible is a perfect representation of Jesus’ voice.  I am not just talking about the words that appear in red in some of our Bibles.  I am talking about every word in the Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the last Amen in Revelation.  All of that constitutes the voice of Jesus.  All of that is Jesus speaking to us.

That means the only way we can truly recognize the voice of Jesus is to stay in the Word of Jesus.  That’s one of the most important ways that we know Him.  It is one of the most important ways that we are protected from following others who try to add to or take away from the Bible.  It is one of the most important ways that we are protected from false teachers/shepherds.

The second thing I would call your attention to is found in verse 15.  Here we find that the Good Shepherd is willing to lay down His life for the sake of the sheep.  Others might run to escape a perceived danger.  But the Good Shepherd willingly makes the sacrifice for His sheep.

I have often wondered with the power that He possessed, how Jesus went through all that He endured during His arrest, abuse, and crucifixion.  It would have been easy for Him to obliterate all that had a hand in that. He had countless angels just waiting for His word to come swooping in to rescue Him.  Yet, He endured unimaginable, excruciating treatment for the sake of the sheep.  The poor, dumb sheep.

The third thing is found in verses 28-30.  It is what I call the double security.  Jesus promises us eternal life.  But on top of that He promises us protection.  Our salvation is secure because we are in the grasp of Jesus.  Then it is as if the Father’s hand wraps around the Son’s hand in which we are grasped.  And no one, the Bible says, no one can remove us from those two hands – that double security.

I praise God for this.  If my salvation were left up to me, I would have lost it a million times.  There is no way I could keep me saved.  But my salvation is not left up to me.  My salvation began with Jesus, continues with Jesus, and will culminate in Jesus.  Regardless of what happens or doesn’t.  Regardless of what I do or don’t do.  My salvation is secure because that security is not based on me.  It is based solely in Jesus.

Oh what a Savior.  What a glorious Savior.

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

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