Faithlife Sermons

Who Rolled the Stone Away

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John 11:39–40 NASB95
39 Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

in John 11, everyone is confused but Jesus

starts off with a confusing situation
two sisters and a brother whom Jesus loves, need Jesus, because Lazarus (the brother) is deathly sick, but Jesus won’t go heal him
in fact, Jesus says that this illness will not lead to death, but Lazarus does indeed die . . . confusing situation
Jesus tells his disciples it’s time to go to where Lazarus is because Lazarus has fallen asleep.
his disciples, who are confused, respond “good he needs some rest to recover”
why should we go there because they are trying to kill you in that area, let Lazarus rest, and we will stay away
so confused that Jesus has to tell them plainly, Lazarus has died, and he throws out a hint that he will raise Lazarus from the dead. Around verse 15, Jesus says, “I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe”
one of his disciples, Thomas is so confused through it all that he misses the hint, and tells his fellow disciples, let’s go die with Jesus
By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead 4 days
When Mary and Martha hear that Jesus was coming, Martha went to meet him, but Marry remained in the house.
They are both confused and disallusioned by the fact that Jesus did not come earlier to save their brother
it seems that Mary is to angry, disappointed, or both to come out to meet Jesus
it seems Martha wants to be the first to accuse Jesus, to ask the question we would also ask
so Martha comes out to meet Jesus and says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. She is confused by Jesus timing, “why come late?” “why did you let this happen” “why did you wait?”
Jesus plainly tells her that Lazarus will rise again, but Martha assumes that Jesus is talking about the last day
Then Jesus makes a powerful statement, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”,
Martha is so upset and confused that she doesn’t answers if she believes that he is the resurrection, she responds that she believes he is the Christ.
then she leaves and goes to Mary, so confused, sad, and upset that she does not share the claim of Jesus that he is the resurrection, she lies to her sister and tells her that Jesus is calling for her
That is enough to get Mary to rush out to see Jesus, she falls at his feet, but makes the same charge, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”
and she is crying, and those with her are crying and weeping . . . so much crying that that Bible says that Jesus was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
Jesus does not try to explain who he is and what he can do, it seems no one gets it, every one is confused, so he simply ask, “where have you laid him?”
they said, “Lord, come and see”
and that’s when the Bible tells us that Jesus wept.
The Bible does not full explain why Jesus wept, but we can see that Jesus was moved by what was happening
We all need to understand that God is moved by what is going on in our lives
He is not unfeeling, he cares
He does not dismiss what we are going through
He does not ignore what we are facing
Jesus is deeply moved by your pain, by your suffering
and of course the crowd was confused over his crying
some said, “oh how Jesus must have loved him”
others said, “isn’t this the one who opened the eyes of the blind, he could have kept this man from dying” . . . hinting that Jesus is crying because he had not come in time
everyone confused

throughout the whole story, everyone is confused

this disciples, Mary and Martha, and by-standers
their understanding is bad
their assumption are wrong
their complaints are off base
They have no idea that Jesus planned this from the beginning
This parallels many of our lives - We are going through some things that have confused everybody
our friends, family, people who know us well, people who barely know us
and everbody has an opinion - and they are all off base
bad assumptions
bad understanding
and we have all forgotten that God is not surprised by any of it, he had it planned from the beginning
but it is so confusing, because we love God and he loves us, and it seems that God should have stepped in already
God could have kept that from happening
and we want to say, “Lord, if you had been here . . . . “
why did you not use your power . . . you authority . . . . healing . . . . wonder working power . . .
John 11:39 NASB95
39 Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
and in the confusion, Jesus tells them to take away the stone
There are some things dead and buried in your life, and Jesus is telling you to remove the stone
somethings that if God had shown up earlier, you have no doubt things would have been different
had God come when you first called for him, things would be different
but for some confusing reason, Jesus delayed . . . it’s way past time
and that thing died: relationship, dream, vision, ministry, business, goals
so you did the normal thing, and buried it . . . .covered it up, so that it won’t stink up your life
yet you are still in mourning
and Jesus now says, take away the stone
still have hope, still have faith . . . actually more faith
Martha is confused by Jesus order, for she is afraid that the dead body of Lazarus will be stinking
And Jesus says to this confused woman, who has no idea of what God’s plan is . . .
John 11:40 NASB95
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
But the question to you is the same question that Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe?”
I know you are confused, but do you believe
I know you might be mad, but do you believe
I know that you are sad, but do you belive
I know that you don’t like the timing, but do you believe
you’ve been accusing me of not caring, but do you believe
Apparently Martha believed because the Bible says that they took away the stone.
Jesus prayed out loud to try to dispel some of the confusion. this whole scenario was allowed to play out so that the people would believe that God had sent Jesus.
then he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out”
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