"When you experience disappointments in your life, how do you respond?
Do you respond by blaming yourself or someone else?
Well, often we face disappointments where we don’t know how to respond, and we find ourselves hindered in our walk with the Lord.
Israel had fled the giant Goliath in great fear, but David calmly stood there and said, “who is the uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God (1Sam.17:26).
You know the rest of the story.
Israel prevailed that day.
The difference was one of perspective.
Israel saw everything from ground level.
David saw everything from a divine perspective.
Our perspective makes all the difference.
We see the ground level perspective of Mary and Martha, and the divine perspective of Jesus.
That’s what I want to talk about today in this message, “Looking Beyond Our Disappointments."
!! A. the sickness of lazarus (11:1-3)
The Background (v.1-2).
Lazarus, the beloved friend of Jesus and brother of Mary and Martha, lies sick in Bethany.
Jesus had said.
*“The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”"
*At this time, Jesus was being rejected by almost everywhere.
Apparently He was an unwelcome guest in most homes.
He was walking about preaching and proclaiming that He was One with God, the Son of God Himself .
He was thought to be “mad” and devil-possessed (Mark 3:20-21; Luke 4:25).
His own family was even having difficulty with Him at this time.
However, there was one family who always opened its home to Jesus when He was in and around Jerusalem—the family of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, who were brother and sisters.
*Do you open your home to Jesus? *They lived in Bethany, a suburb about two miles outside Jerusalem.
Their closeness to Jesus is the reason the sister’s felt so free to interrupt His evangelistic tour with the request to help their sick brother.
Jesus’ great love for this family should be noted throughout this passage.
!!!! a) Mary and Martha.
!!!!! (1) *Mary Loved To Sit At Jesus’ Feet And Hear His Word (Luke 10:39, 42)*
!!!!!! (a) Scripture records only one sentence spoken by Mary of Bethany (John 11:32), and even that wasn’t original: her sister Martha had already said the same thing (11:21)!
But what Mary may have lacked in outspokenness, she more than made up for in devotion to Jesus.
All three portraits of her in the Gospels show her at the Lord’s feet:
(i) As noted earlier, Mary sat at His feet, listening (Luke 10:38–42).
(ii) When Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus’ death, Mary fell at His feet, completely broken over the tragedy (John 11:32).
(iii) During a Passover meal just before Jesus’ death, Mary poured fragrant oil on His head and feet, and wiped His feet with her hair (Matt.
26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; John 12:1–8).
Mary had been influenced by an incident that had taken place earlier in Luke’s gospel (7:36-50).
!!!!!! (b) On Each Of These Occasions, Mary Was Criticized By Others.
(i) But apparently she didn’t notice or didn’t care.
Mary seemed to be a woman who made choices based on a COMMITMENT TO JESUS THAT WENT TO THE CORE OF HER BEING.
In return, Jesus defended her actions, giving her freedom to be His disciple.
!!!!!! (c) Mary demonstrates that preaching sermons or leading movements are not the only ways to follow Jesus.
One can also show devotion by listening to the Lord’s voice and worshiping at His feet.
!!!!! (2) *Martha Welcomed Jesus Into Her House (Luke 10:38).
!!!!!! (a) However, she was distracted with much serving, worried and troubled about many things (Luke10:38,40-41)
!!!!!! (b) Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus as well (Luke 19:6)
!!!!!! (c) We Need To Welcome Jesus Our House (John 1:12; Revelation 3:20; Col.3:16; 1Thess.2:13).
!!!!!! (d) Martha again is serving Jesus, but this time she did not forget what the Lord had told her earlier in Luke’s gospel.
Here attitude had changed.
!!!! b) Lazarus (God has helped)—the brother of Mary & Martha
!!!!! (1) John (11:43) tells about his death and resurrection at the command of Jesus.
!!!!! (2) He Mentioned in John 12 after the resurrection miracle (John 12:1-2).
Because of the publicity surrounding this event, the chief priest plotted to kill Lazarus *“because on account of Lazarus many believed in Jesus” (John 12:9–11).*
!!!!! (3) LAZARUS HAD BECOME A STAR WITNESS FOR JESUS.
I find that amazing because I find nothing in the Gospels outstanding about Lazarus.
Nothing is recorded about him saying anything, or perhaps doing anything worth recording.
Yet he ended up being one of the star witnesses for Jesus.
!!!!! (4) It’s Not In What Lazarus Did For Jesus, But What Jesus Did For Lazarus.
!!!!!! (a) *Lazarus Was Dead, Just As We Were Dead In Our Sins (Eph.2:1-10)*
!!!!!! (b) *Jesus commanded Lazarus to “come forth” as we were (John 5:25-26)*
!!!!!! (c) *Jesus Commanded Them To Loose Him And Let Him Go (Col.3:1-17)*.
!!!!!! (d) *Lazarus’ Life Is Emblematic Of New Life In Christ*: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
(i) Every believer’s life has been so changed that the only way it can be accounted for is the power of Christ (Romans 1:16; Acts 3:1-16).
(ii) If we have new life and are fellowshipping with Christ, we are great arguments for the Gospel of Jesus (2 Cor.3:2)
!!!!!! (e) *All Believers Have Risen To Walk In The Newness Of Life:* "that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Romans 6:4-6)
!!! 2. The Beckoning (v.3)
!!!! a) The sisters notify Jesus of this sickness.
!!!!! (1) *Note:* the sister’s make no request, or make any demand of Him, or ask Him to do anything.
They simply make Him aware of their need, and know that because He loves and cares He will respond appropriately.
!!!!!! (a) So often in our prayers we demand that the Lord would heal the sick.
!!!!!! (b) Yes, we are to call upon Him when we are sick (James 5:13-15).
However, we know that sometimes it is not God’s will to heal a person.
!!!!!! (c) God’s Sovereignty and purposes always play a part in our lives (John 9:3)
!!!!!! (d) *“He whom You love”*—“you love” means, /“to love as a friend”.
/Lazarus is loved by the Savior.
Paul said, “He loved me” (Gal.
John called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved.
Peter declared that Jesus loves us.
And by the way, He loves you and He loves me.
Anyone who is a child of God is one whom Jesus loves.
!!!!! (2) The sisters either could have assumed, because of the Lord’s ability and His *love *for Lazarus, that He would immediately respond to their *word *about Lazarus’ illness and come.
!! B. the summary and purposes concerning lazarus and his sickness(11:4-16).
Jesus uses this sad event to overview the purpose for his earthly ministry.
The First Purpose Of Lazarus’ Sickness Was To Glorify God (v.4).
!!!! a) Jesus permits this to happen because god will get the glory In It.
!!!!! (1) We need to learn that /we/ are not the center of the universe—nor is our home, our church, our town.
The headquarters of everything are in heaven, and everything is running for /His/ glory.
Nothing will come into our lives without His permission, and if He permits it, it is going to be for His glory.
!!!! b) Lazarus’ sickness was not /for/ death.
!!!!! (1) He was to die /for/ the glory of God and Christ.
He was sick, and he was to die so that the works of God could be demonstrated.
Lazarus died so that...
!!!!!! (a) *God could be glorified...*
(i) By showing His desire for man to have life
(ii) By proving His power to give life
(iii) By showing His approval of Christ by which He proved that He really did love the world enough to send His Son to save the world