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Living Beyond the Horizon Part II

That You May Believe: Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Developed through Delay

II. Importance of Delay Two identical statements from two different faith perspectives. Martha asked from a perspective of logical faith. Dealing with grief by rehearsing the information she knew to be true, but struggled to embrace. Now Mary, meets Jesus and makes the same statement… “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus’ response to Mary’s statement is breathtaking. John does not give us the words of Jesus here, but explains his compassion in verse 33,
John 11:33 ESV
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
The word translated “ was deeply moved” comes from a word that describes a horse snorting. In this context, it implies that our Lord let out an involuntary gasp. Like the wind was knocked out of him. One Bible scholar translates this phrase, “gave way to such distress of spirit that made his body tremble”. The point is, that our Lord was so caught up in the grief and emotion of both sisters that he involuntarily gasped. He felt their sorrow with everything that he had. Verse 33 ends by telling us that Jesus was greatly troubled. The sorrow and pain of Mary and Martha were taken to heart by Jesus. This sorrow was expressed in verses 34-35,
John 11:34–35 ESV
And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.
Jesus wept. The word used here means that tears ran down Jesus’ face. We have a great God and Savior who loves us, who stays away, who allows us to go through sorrow, and then he comes and enters into our sorrows. Our Lord enters into the very sorrow that He could have prevented.... in such a way that he gasps, his whole body shudders, and he begins to weep. This is the perspective that Christ wants us to have. If you are hurting, Jesus wants you to know that He weeps with you. Jesus Christ.... God in the Flesh… our great High Priest and Eternal Father shares in our sorrows.
I want to read you a paragraph from a book I read… and I want to ask you to imagine thjat you are the parent in this story...
“When my wife and I were young parents and our oldest child was in the first grade, we bought her a winter coat. We had intentionally bought a size too large, but it was a marvelous blue fluffy coat with gold buttons down the front. The day after we bought it, a most unusual thing happened in California. It rained. It was a perfect day to wear her coat. I never will forget how she looked as she went out the door—dressed in red boots, a blue coat with gold buttons, a little white knit hat, yellow yarn around her pigtails, and a red umbrella. We were so proud of her. It did not matter that her coat was a little long at the sleeves and at the hem. She was so happy and excited as she walked out the door and down the driveway. Barbara and I stood behind the foggy windowpanes, watching her go.Then two little friends came down the street. Although I could not hear their words, I saw one of them point at her hair, and I knew what she was saying: “Your hair looks dumb!” Then she pointed at the hem of her coat, and my temperature went up because I knew just what she was saying about it. Then those little gals just walked off down the street. Holly, with her head hanging, walked slowly off to school. I wanted to come through that door and set those little girls straight! Do you know why I did not? My daughter would not grow to her potential if I always stepped in whenever she experienced difficulties with her friends. It would stunt her personal development. As a parent, I tempered my intervention in her life so she would become a whole person.” (Boice)
God developed that very technique.... sometimes God delays… so that we can develop. Why does God let us go through trials and troubles? Why does God allow us to suffer? Why does God delay? Why does Jesus wait? Ultimately, as Christians we have to come to the understanding that God is not passive..... But that His delays are for our ultimate development.
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