The Real Jesus
The Real Jesus…
Hears my calls for help
A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” JOHN 11:1-3 NLT
Bravely enters my hostile world
4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days. 7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” 8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”…16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.” JOHN 11:4-8, 16 NLT
Invites me to believe
17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days…
20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” 29 So Mary immediately went to him. JOHN 11:17,20-29 NLT
Hates seeing people die
32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” JOHN 11:32-34 NLT
Sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. JAMES 1:15 ESV
As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? EZEKIEL 33:11 NLT
The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die. PSALM 116:15
Is perfect in every way
35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” JOHN 11:35-36 NLT
Did something that demands a decision
38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.
But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” JOHN 11:38-44 NLT
Prayer Reflection Guide
Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Quiet your body, mind and heart. Next, begin a conversation with him about a place in your life where you need to exercise your belief in Jesus more fully. Ask him some questions like, “Lord, what are the parts of my life where I lack belief in you and what does that look like? What invitation are you making to me to believe in you more fully in these areas? What next steps can I take?” Close your time by thanking him for your time together. Share your prayer experience with a friend or your small group.
Community Group Discussion Guide
- How as a community group can you pray with more faith, knowing that Jesus hears you?
- How does it make you feel to think about the fact that Jesus was willing (as were the disciples) to face danger for the sake of his friends?
- How might this change the way you live out our faith and service to Jesus?
- What are the sins in your life that you need to let Jesus kill so that you can live for him? Share with the group and pray for strength to overcome it.
- How has the resurrection of Lazarus impacted your view of how personal the resurrection of Jesus will be for you as a believer?