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The Gift of Being Known

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. JOHN 1:14 NIV  

The Death of Lazarus (from John 11:1-44) 

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. JOHN 11:1-5 ESV

Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.” JOHN 11:14-15 ESV

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. JOHN 11:17 ESV

Jesus said to her, “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?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” JOHN 11:25-27 ESV

Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  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. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.   JOHN 11:32-35 ESV

Christmas is a reminder that:   

God knows my real life

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him… HEBREWS 5:7-10 ESV

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. HEBREWS 4:14-16 ESV

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 PETER 5:7 NIV

So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. JOHN 11:36-38 ESV

I am never left alone in life

And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me. JOHN 1:41-42 ESV 

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  ROMANS 8:26-27 ESV

…but I said this on account of the people standing around, (why?) that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out…  JOHN 11:42-44 ESV

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him.  JOHN 11:45 ESV

God knows what to give me in this life 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. JAMES 1:17 ESV

My Notes

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can become calm in your thoughts and heart.  When you are ready, invite God to guide your time. Think about the truth that God knows and understands all your thoughts, feelings and weaknesses and that he wants to meet your needs. Ask yourself, “How does this fact make me feel? What issue do I need to discuss with God regarding receiving his help?” Pour out your heart to him about your thoughts and feelings regarding the issue. Cast whatever anxieties you have on him because he loves you. Ask God, “What is your perspective on the situation and what can I do to partner with you in meeting this need? What specific action do you want me to take this week to cooperate with you in addressing this concern?” Thank him for listening and for what he is going to do. Share this experience with someone you trust and ask them to pray for you in taking action. 

Discussion Questions

  1. What have you been learning about yourself, God or others in your personal Bible reading time? What stood out to you this week?
  2. Read John 1:14. What does it mean to you that God became a man to better know you and be known by you? 
  3. Read Hebrews 4:14-16. If God already knows and intimately understands our weaknesses, why do you think it is still difficult to share our real life with him and others? 
  4. Read 1 Peter 5:7. What worries and cares are you carrying this week and what can we do to help you release them to God? 
  5. Read Matthew 28:18-20. When in your life have you needed to know that you are never alone, and what can you do when those feelings creep in? 
  6. Read James 1:17. What gifts has God given you this year, and what makes them so valuable to you?