Title: A Divine Perspective
Text: John 11:38-44
Introduction: This passage of scripture truly affirms John’s purpose of writing this gospel to portray Christ as the Son of God. It shows his deity in order to spark believing faith in his readers. Our story today is a familiar story about a man name Lazarus (the one God helps) who was the brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany. This family was dear to our Lord and Savior. The bible tells He frequently visited their home. One day, Lazarus was a sick and his sister’s sent word to Jesus that “he whom you love is sick”. There is nothing that can be more upsetting than to hear someone that you love and care about is not doing well. Can you imagine how are Lord was feeling? Heb 4:14 tells us “For do not have a high priest that is not touched by the feelings our infirmities”. It is good to know that whatever you go through, Jesus feels our pain. He is a compassionate God. Unlike man however, He is willing and able to do something about it. Even though his friend is sick, Jesus had a different perspective about his sickness. In v. 4, He says that “his sickness is not unto to death but to for the glory of God and the Son may be glorified”. He had a different viewpoint about Lazarus’s situation. He had a divine perspective. We don’t see what God sees. On our level it may seem sometimes that God doesn’t care. You may be looking at your situation and see a loss. But God is seeing victory. You might be looking at yourself down and out. But God is looking to bring you out! Our story today challenges us to see what God sees in our life and for this church. You have to have a divine perspective. God will get glory out of your bad situation if you just believe and wait on Him.
Jesus hears his friend is sick but does not respond how we think a person would in that type of situation would respond. Some of us would panic and be sadden and rush to see what was going on. But Jesus does not response that way at all. The text says in v. 6 that when He heard the message and He stayed were he was 2 more days. The bible does not say why He did this. The only thing that we can gather from His behavior is that God knows best. He knows all the details. He always waits for the right moment to move. Unlike us, He never moves prematurely. The old folks say, He may not come when you want to but He is always on time. There is always a divine moment for him to act. He saved you at the right time. He came thru for you at the right time. We just have to wait on the Lord trusting and believing. Amen. Waiting builds our faith and character.
After remaining two days, Jesus then tells the disciples lets go back thru Jerusalem, the place where they just tried to kill me. There is nothing God would go through to help his children. The fact of the matter He went to cross, the ultimate death to give you the ultimate victory. Amen. So Jesus traveled 2 miles back to get to Bethany. When He gets there He finds out that Lazarus had already died and had been buried 4days. As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming she ran out the house leaving her sister there and came to meet Jesus. She says to Jesus, “Lord if you would have been here my brother would not have died. But I know that if you ask God anything He will do if for you”. Martha teaches us here that even in the time of trouble we still have to know that Jesus is Lord. Jesus replies to her, your brother will rise again. She says she know that he will rise on the day of resurrection. But He answers here with the 5th “I am” statement of this gospel. He tells her “I am the resurrection and the life. Anybody who believes in me alive or dead will have everlasting life. Do you believe?” She says to him Yes Lord! I believe. This is good news. Even though things in your life may be dead; your job, your marriage, your outlook for your children, you have to say “Yes Lord, I believe”! Because He is the resurrection and the Life! He can restore anything that is dead. That is why since you know Jesus you could change your perspective in tough situations!
After his encounter with Martha, her sister Mary goes out to meet Jesus accompanied by the Jews who were there to comfort the family in their time of distress. When Mary sees Jesus, she fall to His feet and says Lord, if you would have been there my brother would not have died. Mary shows us that worshipping the Lord has priority over your feelings. Worship helps you get through times of pain. When you worship you can experience joy in midst of sorrow. When Jesus saw her weeping it troubled him and he gave a sorrowful moan. Then He asked, “where have you laid Lazarus?” When they showed him where Lazarus was the text says that He wept. And people saw how much He loved Lazarus. But their will be always some people who don’t believe God really cares for you because of your current state. Look at verse 37. If he could heal the blind how come he did not save him? If he could help that person why couldn’t he help you before you got in this mess? But don’t let the enemy distract you. You have to have a divine perspective. When life situations get rough, know that when Jesus shows up, He is going to fix it! Know that in your misery Jesus will reveal his majesty if you believe!!
Now Jesus is here at the place where Lazarus dead body is laying. Before he came, those people had no hope because Lazarus was now dead. They look at his death as final. That was man’s perspective. But we as believers have to look at our crisis from a heavenly view point. We have to look at our crisis as an event that God’s glory will be revealed no matter how bad it looks and how long it takes. You have to have a vision that looks past what you are going through in light of cross of Calvary. You have to know that when God shows up, things will be all right! Hab 2:3 “For the vision/revelation is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come….” Your vision of having your life restored will come but you have to have a divine perspective. (Sermon)
Jesus gets to the tomb which is a cave that holds up to 8 people. The tomb was covered up a by stone. Jesus spirit is trouble again but this time by the unbelief of those around him and is now ready to move into action. When you have a divine perspective your actions towards adverse situations are different. We can learn the perspective that we are supposed to have in the time of crisis through Jesus’ action.
I. When you have a divine perspective, you have to prepare for the desired outcome. v.39
You have to prepare for the best. You have to act with the expectation that things will turn out in your favor. Look how Jesus prepared for his desired outcome. The text says that Jesus requested that they to take away the stone. In other words, take away the thing that is going to hinder Lazarus from coming out. My brothers and my sisters, Jesus is says to us today, take away the obstacles that are holding you back. Take away the fear that is holding you back. Take away the people, places and things that are holding you back. Take it away!
But while you are preparing for the best don’t be surprised that you will get some reluctance. Look at what Martha says “why bother, he has been dead four days.” Why bother your situation is hopeless. Why bother people are not going to change. Why bother going back to school? Why bother? However, when you get that reluctance, you have to remind people what your God is able to do. Look how Jesus answers Martha. He says “did I not say that if you believe you would see the glory of God”. You have to remind people that God is going to get the glory and you will see his splendor, his majesty and his truth displayed in your life! But the problem is that people don’t prepare for a move God in their life. They don’t have divine expectation and wonder why God is not moving. You have to prepare for the divine. How? By praise and worship expressing your faith that God is working on your behalf! Amen. They took away the stone and Jesus does something else. He prays. The text says in vv. 41-42 that He lifted up his eyes and said “Father, I thank you that you heard me”.
II. When you have a divine perspective you pray perpetually meaning continually.
I know that Jesus prayed continually because of the verb tense in the text. It says I thank you because you have heard me (past tense). He had prayed already. He was just giving thanks for what was about to happen. When you have a divine perspective you can thank God in advance. Not only do you pray perpetually, but your prayers are also for other people. Look at verse 42b. He prays “that they may believe.” When you have divine perspective is not only about you. You are to intercede for others so they can experience the glory of the Lord. But the problem is people don’t pray perpetually and wonder why God is not speaking and answering prayer. Your perpetual prayer allows you to know the mind of the God and how to exercise His will in your life.
III. Results: A Production of God’s power
After you prepared and prayed, the result of having a divine perspective God’s power is produced. Look how God’s power is demonstrated through Jesus. The text says with a loud voice, he cried out, Lazarus come forth. He cried out loud to be heard. He cried out loud to express His authority. It was power cry that pierced hearts. It had the power to raise the dead. It was personal and direct. Lazarus came forth immediately, obediently, just as he was, visibly and unquestionable. Jesus’ love restored him back to life. Jesus was true to his word, He is the resurrection and the life. And that God was getting the glory!
Lazarus comes out of the tomb in his grave clothes which were wrapped tight around the dead restricting any movement. There are some of us today that the Lord called from a dead experience but yet you are still bound in grave clothes. You are still restricted in your life. You are alive but you have the remnants of some dead stuff on you. You have some old habits that need to break. You have old thoughts that still keep you bound. But the Lord wants you free because He who the son sets free is free indeed. The Lord sees that you are still bound but does not want you to stay that way. He sees Lazarus is still in the grave clothes and tells them to loose him and let him go. You have to be loose from the stuff that is keeping you bound so you can be all that God wanted you to be. He brought you back from death and does not want you to still look like death! So he tells the people to let him loose. There are people that the Lord will assign to you to help you get loose and free. They are people who are there with you, who pray for you and praise with you.
Close: Having a divine perspective gives you hope and assurance that God will restore your life from any crisis for His glory. Therefore, you have to prepare for you desired outcome and you have to be in perpetual prayer. And then the power will come to give you your life back, to give your dreams back, to give you your hope back, to give your joy back, …your vision back.. Jesus is saying come forth. Get loose and let him go! God is saying let him go! Let her go!