Love for the Lost Sinners

 

Luke 15:1-32

1.     The Shepherd leaving 99 sheep to find the one that went astray. Luke 15:4-6

2.     The woman who searches for the lost coin and rejoices when it is found. Luke 15:8-9

Luke 15:10  “Likewise I say to you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

3.     The Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32 Note that:

 

Luke 15:20, 21, 23b, 24

 

20  "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

21  "And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

23b-verse 24 “let us eat and be merry;

24  ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

Contrasted with the Pharisees (the separated ones) who held sinners in contempt and looked down on them. In order to fully understand this burden for lost souls, we need to know what / who it is to which they are lost. This burden for the lost is highlighted when considering eternal life in Christ compared to the second death – Hell. For that reason Jesus speaks to an alleged sign of God’s approval – worldly wealth.

 

Jesus wants to restore what the Pharisees chose to ignore:

Example: Sadie Mae Glutz of the Manson family – a demon-possessed murderer, fornicator guilty of gross sexual perversion and a drug addict.

The  saved, born-again daughter of Almighty God, Susan Denise Atkins – truly a lost lamb that Jesus found & transformed into His holy saint.

 

The Reality of Hell

Luke 16:19-31

This story (not identified by Jesus as a parable) gives us an insight into hell unlike anywhere else in Scripture.

19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.

20  "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,

21  "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22  "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

23  "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24  "Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’

25  "But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

26  ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27  "Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,

28  ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

29  "Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’

30  "And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

31  "But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’"

 
Sh’oul

Strong’s 07585 sheoul sheh-ole’ or lav sh@ol sheh-ole’

AV-grave 31, hell 31, pit 3; 65

1) sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit

1a) the underworld, Sheol-the OT designation for the abode of the dead

1b1) place of no return, 1b2) without praise of God , 1b3) wicked sent there for punishment, 1b4) righteous not abandoned to it , 1b5) of the place of exile (fig), 1b6) of extreme degradation in sin

Hades is Greek and was a pagan concept of a nether world. There was no other word similar in meaning to the Hebrew Sheoul.

Sample Scripture: Isaiah 5:14  “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoices, shall descend into it.”

Speaking of Satan: Isaiah 14:15  Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the Pit.

 

This does not mean the physical grave!

     Genesis 35:20  And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.

     Spoken of Josiah, righteous king of Judah.

2 Chronicles 34:28  Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace,…”

a.      06913 qeber keh’-ber   AV-grave 35, sepulchre 25, buryingplace 6; 67 1) grave, sepulchre, tomb

b. 06605 pathach paw-thakh’

AV-open 107, loose 13, grave 7, wide 3, engrave 2, put off 2, out 2,

appear 1, drawn 1, break forth 1, set forth 1, misc 4; 144

1)to open 1a) (Qal) to open 1b) (Niphal) to be opened, be let

loose, be thrown open   1c) (Piel) 1c1) to free 1c2) to loosen

1c3) to open, open oneself 1d) (Hithpael) to loose oneself

 

2 Peter 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5020 tartarow tartaroo tar-tar-o’-o from Tartaros (the deepest abyss of Hell); AV-cast down to hell 1; 1  the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna of the Jews

to thrust down to Tartarus, to hold captive in Tartarus

Gehenna (Hinnom) – Lake of Fire

Gehenna  (originally Ge bene Hinnom; i.e., "the valley of the sons of Hinnom"), a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to Molech #2Ch 28:3 33:6 #Jer 7:31 19:2-6 This valley afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction. In this sense it is used by our Lord in #Mt 5:22,29,30 10:28 18:9 23:15,33 #Mr 9:43,45,47 Lu 12:5 In these passages, and also in #Jas 3:6 the word is uniformly rendered "hell, " the Revised Version placing "Gehenna" in the margin.

 

Sheoul will go into the Lake of Fire when Jesus returns

Revelation 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

 

2 Peter 3:7, 10

7  “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

 

10  “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

 

Rev 22:14-15 " Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

The Jews believe there are three gates of hell:

1.     Jerusalem

Isa 31:9 “9  He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, And his princes shall be afraid of the banner," Says the LORD, Whose fire is in Zion And whose furnace is in Jerusalem.”

2.     The floor of the sea

Jonah 2:2 “And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” KJV

3.     The desert Num 16:31-33

“Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them,  and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the congregation.” NKJV

 

 

 

The Resurrection and the Life
(John 11:1-53)

Introduction

 

Liberal scholars make much of this fact, citing the absence of this miracle in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) as evidence that there really was no such miracle at all. Shepard summarizes the orthodox position when he writes, “There is no real ground for questioning the literal exactness of the evangelical record. The objection raised, that this miracle is not mentioned by the synoptic gospels, is offset by the fact that neither did John mention the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Matt. 9:22,26) nor that of the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 7:11-17). The fact is, John gives special emphasis in his gospel to the ministry of Jerusalem and Judea, while the Synoptics emphasize more the Galilean ministry. Furthermore, the dramatic vividness of details, the remarkable delineation of personalities, and the numerous minute touches in the historic record, leave no room for doubt, that an eye witness wrote it. He made use of it to show forth the divine personality of the Saviour. This sign is tied up indissolubly with the whole argument of the fourth gospel. He who questions it will also doubt the divinity of Jesus and His resurrection from the dead.” J. W. Shepard, The Christ of the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939), p. 432.

 

John 11:1-7

11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. NKJV

 

Verse 2 is called a “prolepsis” – a rhetorical figure consisting in the anticipation of a future event. From the Synoptics Christians of John’s day already knew about Martha & Mary from Luke 10:38-42. Therefore John’s reference in John 11:2  to Mary’s anointing of Jesus in John 12:2 is clearly understandable.

 

From the last verses of John chapter 10, we would conclude that Jesus was in Perea, approximately 20 miles from the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus when word reached the Master that Lazarus was gravely ill (John 11:3). As we piece together the details of the account it would seem that even at the time word reached the Savior Lazarus had already passed away. In the urgent message sent to the Master, there was evident a confidence and faith in Him as both Savior and Friend. He was simply informed of the situation. No suggestion was made as to the course of action He should take. They knew Jesus would do what was best. (Much different attitude than some of us have in our prayers).

 

 

What Jesus actually did was a complete surprise, for we would have expected Him to heal (or raise) Lazarus from a distance (cp. Matthew 8:5-13). At the very least, we would have expected Him to immediately go to Bethany. But instead He purposed to stay where He was for two days (verse 6). The disciples would hardly question the decision of Jesus, assuming it a matter of common sense. Bethany was only two miles from Jerusalem (verse 13), and the Jews had already attempted to put Jesus to death there (John 8:59; 10:39). However concern for personal safety was not the issue at all to Jesus. The reason for our Lord’s delay was due to the divine purpose for Lazarus’ death.

 

“But when Jesus heard it, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified in it.’” (John 11:4).

 

The immediate outcome of God’s will for Lazarus was for him to die (verse 14), but the ultimate goal was for him to live (verse 23). It is for this reason that the Master spoke of his temporary condition of death as sleep, for he would soon be awakened.

 

God’s purpose in the death of Lazarus was to glorify His Son (verse 4). Although there were other times that Jesus raised men from the dead, this was done after Lazarus had been dead for four days. While others had been raised from death in more out of the way places (cf. Matthew 9:22-26; Luke 7:11-17), this took place at the very heart of Judea, only two miles from Jerusalem. This was the high-water mark of the miracles of our Lord. In the raising of Lazarus, Jesus was shown to be the ‘resurrection and the life’ (verse 25). No greater evidence of His person can be found in all of the Gospel accounts.

 

How can man’s death be for the glory of God?

 

     First of all, death reveals God to be holy and just, a God Who cannot overlook sin, but Who must punish sin. He is a God Who deals decisively with sin. Centuries ago God told Adam concerning the forbidden fruit,

    “But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not

     eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die”.

     (Genesis 2:17).

 

 

Paul wrote, ‘The wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Contrary to popular opinion, death does not make God look bad. It shows how offensive sin is in God’s sight. It reveals God’s holiness and justice in dealing with it so severely. The fact that every man will die reveals that God is absolutely consistent and unwavering in His judgment on sin.

 

     Second, death brings glory to God in that it is the ‘last enemy’ over which our Lord Jesus Christ will prevail, and in so doing He will manifest Himself as Lord of all (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

 

     Third, I would suggest that death is designed to bring glory to God through the victorious testimony of His saints in the face of death. The world dreads and avoids every suggestion of it. Psalm 116:15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. The Christian does not delight in it, for it is an ugly reminder of sin, but he does not dread it. Instead, he considers it a defeated enemy. Death to the Christian is a necessary step in entering into the presence of the living God (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; Philippians 1:19-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8). Matt 16:25  “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

     a reference to the choice Paul probably had:

2        2Cor 12:2 "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven."

b. Acts 14:19-20 “Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead." 

c. Phil 1:22b-24But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you."

Those who stand solidly on the truth of the sovereignty of God sometimes tend to depreciate the love of God. Those who emphasize the Love of God tend to de-emphasize His Holiness and uncompromising Righteousness.

 

John 11:7-14

7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." 8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?" 9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." 12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. NKJV

 

The real concern of the disciples was not distress over the death of Lazarus (for they did not yet comprehend that he had died (verse 13), but over the possibility, better yet, the probability, of their own if they went with Jesus into Judea. After the two days had passed, Jesus announced to His disciples that they were going to Judea. To them, this was suicide (verse 8). At this point of fear for the future over what seemed certain death, Jesus laid down another principle for Christians of any generation concerning danger in the service of the Master:

 

“Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him’” (John 11:9-10).

 

Jesus had already been shown to be the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5). If the light of the world is in us (as He surely is when we are engaged in His service), then there is no danger of harm or injury outside of God’s will. Men only stumble in the absence of the light. The disciples need not fear physical harm for the light of the world is with them. The principle then boils down to this: “THERE IS NO PERIL IN THE PERFORMANCE OF GOD-GIVEN DUTY, ONLY IN ITS NEGLECT.”

 

Our Lord Jesus went on to explain to His disciples that Lazarus was physically dead, and that this death was, in part, for the strengthening of their own faith. John 11:15-16

15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him." 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." NKJV

 

The disciples did not fully comprehend what our Lord had said, but as Thomas expressed as their spokesman, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (John 11:16). Whenever we hear the name of the Apostle Thomas, we think of his doubting the Resurrection of our Lord. We should remember his words here as well. Thomas, speaking for the Apostles, clearly indicates that They would rather die with Him than live without Him. These men were not so much afraid to die for the Savior as they were uncertain as to how they could live for Him. The fact that Thomas served as spokesman may indicate that Peter was not present with them at the time.

 

John 11:17-37

 

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

 

28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you." 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there." 32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." 33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!" 37 And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?"  NKJV

 

(1) Comfort in the presence of Jesus. More than any other factor, it was the absence of Jesus at the time of the death of Lazarus which plagued Mary and Martha. No doubt, the thought expressed by both sisters to our Lord had been repeated to each other often during the absence of the Master: “Lord, if only you had been here …” (John 11:21,32).

 

The mere presence of Jesus was sufficient to calm the troubled hearts of these two who grieved over the death of their brother, Lazarus. It was in His physical presence that He manifested His deep concern and sympathy over the suffering of those who are His own. Jesus wept (verse 35) and was deeply moved in His spirit (verses 33, 38). When our Lord was deeply moved with the pains and sorrows of His children, it was not merely as man, but as God. Compassion is a divine attribute, more so than a human one. God is deeply touched with our sufferings. It was not the ugliness of sin which brought our Lord to tears, nor was it the awareness of His coming death or the hypocrisy of those who stood by, rather Jesus was deeply moved by the sorrow of those He loved (cf. verse 33).

 

(2Cor 7:10 on Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow)

 

This brings us to the basis of comfort in the presence of death, and that is the promise of our Lord when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life;  

For us, this promise is forever guaranteed when our Lord Himself rose triumphant from the grave. If death & the grave could not hold Jesus, neither can it stand between Him and us. Our hope of life beyond the grave is grounded on His promise, and His promise is certain because of His power over death and the grave (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12ff.).

 Comfort in the person of our Lord. Mary and Martha found comfort not only in His presence, and in His promise, but in His person. The promise of our Lord to Mary and Martha was rooted in His person. Jesus said to them, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25a). Perhaps the confession of faith expressed by Martha is even greater than that of Peter, for even at this hour of great trial and testing, she could make this affirmation of faith in the person of Christ: “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world” (John 11:27).

 

“The four days had been sad and trying ones for the bereaved sisters. They had probably fasted the day of burial and had eaten nothing since (as was customary) but an occasional egg or some lentils. The funeral procession had probably been very depressing with its dirge of music and the friends in mourning, who ‘wept as those who had no hope.’ These were followed in the procession by the two sisters, neighbors, and relatives. At the tomb the men had chanted the ninetieth Psalm and circled the bier seven times. How they wished for their great Friend, Jesus, in those weary dragging hours, and cast many an anxious look down the Jericho road. In their desolate home they sat on the floor heavily veiled, with unsandalled feet, surrounded by the mourning friends, with their rent clothes and dust-covered heads.” J. W. Shepard, The Christ of the Gospels, p. 436. The Jews believed that the spirit of the dead stayed near the corpse for three days and departed in the 4th day.

 

John 11:38-44

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"

 

According to the Talmud, it was forbidden to open a grave after the stone was placed upon it. Besides other dangers, they were apprehensive of legal impurity by contact with the dead. Hence they avoided coming nearer a grave than six feet.” Brown, The Four Gospels, p. 419. 

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go." NKJV

 

The loud voice of Jesus at the grave of Lazarus is in contrast to the whisperings and mutterings of the magical healers (cf. Isaiah 8:19  And when they shall say to you, Seek to the mediums and to wizards who peep and mutter; should not a people seek to their God, than for the living to the dead?). Also, we should take note that if Jesus had not specified Lazarus as the one who should come forth, every corpse within the sound of His voice should have come forth from their graves. No one ever died in Jesus’ presence. If there was a dead man that Jesus comes upon, that dead man will rise. Rev 1:17-18

"I am the First and the Last.  I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” NKJV

 

The most amazing feature of this miracle is its brevity and simplicity. Nowhere is there to be found any of the embellishments of other spurious writings from this age. Jesus simply ordered the stone to be removed, and with a loud voice, ordered Lazarus to come forth. Even after four days in the tomb, when all hope of recovery was gone, Lazarus came forth.

 

This miracle was performed as a sign. Our Lord’s prayer was primarily for the benefit of those who stood by. What was important was the response of men to the miracle which had taken place.

 

Culmination in the Condemnation of Christ to Death
(11:45-53)

For some, yes many, of the Jews, this miracle compelled them to acknowledge Jesus to be their Messiah, just as Martha had previously affirmed (verse 45, cf. vs. 27). The raising of Lazarus was a sign that, to them, could not be ignored. As a result, many came to faith in Christ.

 

To those who chose to disbelieve, this miracle was not a matter which could be ignored either. When word quickly reached the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem (verse 46), they called a meeting of the Sanhedrin to decide what should be done. They had to acknowledge it was a miracle. They even granted that it was a sign (verse 47). But they stubbornly refused to come to the conclusion this sign demanded. Although they refused to believe, the masses seemed to be turning to Him as Messiah.

 

John 11:45-53

 

45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation." 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish." 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death." NKJV

 

If there was ever any doubt as to the real reason why the Jewish leaders refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, verse 48 spells it out in the clearest terms: “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Money and power, these were what the Jewish leaders refused to cast at the feet of Jesus. His kingdom was not the kind for which they had hoped. They desired their own position in the present regime far more than what He seemed to offer them. They, as do all who are part of ‘the establishment,’ want the status quo. They had power, influence, prestige. More than this, they had wealth. If Jesus were heralded as Israel’s king, the Romans might view this as treason. The Jewish leaders would be held accountable, and the whole establishment would be snatched from their hands. This was too high a price for them to pay.

 

What all of the Sanhedrin council members had been secretly thinking was now boldly expressed by Caiaphas, the Sadducee who was the high priest: “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish” (John 11:49b, 50).

But by virtue of his official position as high priest, his words were meant to convey a much deeper meaning. They were really a prophesy of the sacrificial death of Christ for the sins of the world (verses 51,52). Even as the Old Testament prophets had foretold, God was going to send His Messiah so that through His substitutionary death, men might be reconciled to Himself.

Conclusion

Historical Interpretation

Historically, so far as John’s gospel is concerned, the raising of Lazarus is the high point of our Lord’s self-disclosure to men. This is without a doubt the greatest miracle of His ministry. Humanly speaking, there was no hope of recovery, and yet at the point of absolute helplessness and hopelessness, Jesus gave life to the dead. The spiritual parallel is obvious, for all men are ‘dead in their trespasses and sins’ (Ephesians 2:1-3). When we reach the point of utter despair and self-distrust we find that what we can never do to merit eternal life God has provided as a free gift (Romans 3:20-25; Ephesians 2:8-10). Remember this the next time you pray for an unsaved friend or relative. Your answer to prayer will be evident externally by the unsaved person’s life getting darker and worse before the light of  dawn. Jesus’ salvation.

Rev 22:16  “I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Explain Venus arising in the 4th watch around 4pm lighting up the middle east as though daylight. When the morning star goes down, the darkness is increased greatly before the dawn.)

 

As this miracle is the high point of Jesus self-revelation as the Messiah, the Son of God, so it is also the high water mark of human resistance and rejection of the person of Christ. In the face of the most irrefutable evidence the Jewish leaders chose to set aside the evidence for the sake of expedience and to sentence Jesus to death. Once again, the rejection of men was not based upon a lack of evidence, but upon moral decay and willful rejection of the truth. Our Lord was not taken by surprise, for He said in the gospel of Luke, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31)

.

This miracle also anticipated the coming death of the Lord Jesus and guaranteed the fact that He would rise from the dead, as He informed His disciples (cf. Matthew 16:21; 20:18-19). If Jesus had power over death and the grave, then surely death could not hold Him in the grave.

 

THREE EXAMPLES OF JESUS’ RAISING THE DEAD

 

SON OF THE WIDOW OF NAIN Luke 7:11-16

 

RULER OF THE SYNAGOGUE’S DAUGHTER . Mark 5:35-43

 

LAZARUS RAISED FROM THE DEAD  JOHN 11: 21-45

 

Four other Situations where the dead were raised miraculously:

 

1 Kings 17:20        Elijah

2 Kings 4:32          Elisha

Acts 9: 37-40         Peter

Acts 20: 9-12         Paul

 

 

 (Only other Scipture references to raising the dead – Elijah once 2Kings 17:22-23

Elisha once 2Kings 4:32-36 and once restoring to life 2Kings 8:10-14 similar to Jesus restoring the son of the Ruler of the Synagogue: Mark 5:35-43 Elisha had prayed for a double portion of God’s Spirit – 2Kings 2:9 which God answered.)

 

JESUS is anointed for His death three times

1st Anointing by Mary:

John 11:1-2

11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

 

John 12:1-8

12:1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, 5 Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

 

2nd Anointing

 

Matt 26:6-16

6 And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. 8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? 9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor." 10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."

also

Mark 14:1-9

14:1 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. 2 But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people."

 

3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized her sharply. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her." NKJV 

Another separate Anointing in tears and oil.  Luke 7:36-50

 

36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, "This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner." 40 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he said, "Teacher, say it." 41 There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have rightly judged."

44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." 48 And He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50 Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." NKJV

 

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