Lazarus, Come Forth
comes to us from, well, kind of from the state of Texas, but he’s been doing a lot of traveling lately. He recently transitioned from full-time work and now he’s doing meetings and things of that nature. We appreciate him. Some of us heard him for the first time last night. We’ll we’ll not include me in that us, but some of us here today,
maybe for the first time heard him and a great lesson, great encouraging lesson, especially toward preachers. He is co-director of the Jenkins Institute, committed to the encouragement of preachers. And he did have a book. He showed us yesterday, or I showed you yesterday of his, about losing a spouse. And so he has that, and I believe he’s also involved in some blogs and some other,
other things that help promote the gospel and encourage preachers and Christians generally speaking. But as you see from the program, he will come give us a less rent lesson about Lazarus, come forth, brother Jenkins. Thank you very much, brother, Brian. It is a real joy to be here. This has been a great blessing in my life yesterday and looking forward to this day and I’ll be leaving early,
early in the morning to fly back to Texas, to do some speaking on Thursday and Friday and Saturday and Sunday in Texas. But I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be here with you. I’ve seen some old friends, people. I went to school with good to see my old friend, Bruce Dardy this morning. And I got to see David Myers yesterday.
We were in school together and met some new folks that I’ve never met before. And this has been a great, great blessing to get to know some of you. It’s been a joy to meet most of the students, I think, and, and speak with them briefly and want you to know that you’ll be in our prayers as you continue this week.
And as you continue your great work for the Lord in the school, the work that you are doing now, growing up in the state of Alabama, there were some in a, in a preacher’s family, there were some names that were household names in our family names like Gus Nichols and Franklin cap in VP black and Thomas B. Warren and guy in woods and George Bailey and Hugo McCord and names that some of you older folks will be familiar with.
And another name that was very, it was a household word in our family was the name Marshall Keeble. And I had the privilege growing up of either meeting all of these men that we’ve just mentioned to our, our hearing them preach. And they, they were great preachers of the gospel. They were the kind of men that you would want to listen to over and over and over again.
And you wouldn’t want them to quit. I remember hearing a story about brother KIBO. One time that he had made the point in conclusion and a lady sitting near the front said, brother, KIBO, don’t conclude. And you want it. That’s what you wanted to say about these preachers. You didn’t want them to quit. And brother Keeble of course was a great,
great man of God. And I remember vividly hearing stories that my father told about brother KIBO visiting in his home when he was a boy and having a meal with him and talking with his father who was an elder brother Keeble said about our account in John chapter 11, there were two really significant statements that brother Keeble made about what we’re studying today in John chapter 11.
And I don’t want to get them wrong. So I’m going to look at some notes here in, in the translation, the, the king James version, which were the keyboard used in John 11, verse 39, Jesus said, take ye away. The stone, Martha, the sister of him who was dead, Seth unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh for,
he has been dead four days. Brother Keeble said that the reason Martha said he stinketh was so that everybody would know that Lazarus was shown enough dead. There was no doubt in anybody’s mind, brother KIBO wanted everybody to know that in the previous verses verses that were mentioned earlier, Jesus said that his friend Lazarus had fallen asleep and some of the disciples were questioning Christ about this.
And, and they, they assume that Lazarus was taking a nap. And Jesus explained that he meant that his friend Lazarus had died, had died. He said, Lazarus is dead reminded of Joshua chapter two. I believe it is. So Joshua chapter one verses one and two after Moses had died and God was speaking to Joshua and he was turning over the mantle from Moses to Joshua.
God said, Moses, my servant is dead. Those are hard words to hear sometimes. And some of you who are here today have heard those words about a friend of yours or a relative in some of us have heard that about our spouse, the closest person that we have in our life. The second statement that brother Keeble made about this event was concerning the actual resurrection,
the physical resurrection of Lazarus himself. John believed in the resurrection. He believed that Jesus was the resurrection and the life. He believed that Jesus was the one who would bring about the resurrection. And when I resurrected Lord approach, the tomb of his friend Lazarus, John tells us that he was deeply moved within. Those are wonderful words that we’ll come back to that in a few moments,
but Jesus instructed that the stone be rolled away. And Martha briefly argued with Jesus about this. Jesus reminded her that this was being done so that everyone present could see the glory of God. And by the way, it’s my conviction that, that all of the resurrections that we’re studying this week, all of the resurrections that will be mentioned, there are two primary reasons that resurrections are mentioned in the new Testament.
Number one, so that all people will know of the sovereignty and the of God, we believe with all of our heart, that God has control of everything in this world. And particularly he has control over death and a resurrection proves beyond any shadow of a doubt and perhaps more than any other factor in scripture, that God is sovereign and that he has power over life and he has power over death.
But secondly, the resurrections also are a tremendous reminder of the prophecy of scripture and the promises of God that Sunday all will come forth from the grave that we will be raised to. And we’ll come back to that in a moment again, but Jesus reminded her that this was being done so that everyone present could see the glory of God. After praying to the father,
Jesus shouted into the tomb Lazarus come forth. Brother KIBO said that the reason that Jesus called Lazarus by name was if Jesus would have said come forth. Every person in every grave in the world would have come forward. What a powerful belief in the authority and the power of our God. And the question that we should ask ourselves today is do we have that kind of faith,
the kind of faith that says we believe what the scriptures teach? The resurrection of Lazarus was a worldwide announcement in proclamation of the prophecy concerning resurrection in general, and a divine promise that someday we also will come forth from the grave and oh, what a glorious day that will be the resurrection of Lazarus teaches us that God is all powerful and they have authority over death.
In the first letter of the felonious, the apostle Paul wrote it, writing to the Fessel. Ionians gives us a vivid picture of what it might look like or what it might sell. Like on that day, when just as Jesus called for Lazarus to come forth, he will call for all of us to come forth in the middle of this discussion. In first Thessalonians chapter four,
Paul says for the Lord himself will descend from heaven, with a shout, with a trumpet of God, with a voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God. And the dead will rise. First, the dead in Christ will rise. First. I have a friend who talks about this verse. Then he calls this the loudest verse in the Bible,
what a glorious day that will be. And the fact that he says the dead in Christ will rise. First is a clear implication that everybody is going to rise everybody in the grave, not just the Saint, but also the sinner, not just the fateful, but also the unfaithful, not just those who are, who are living pure live for God,
but those who are wicked. And it is a clear indication that we need to remember wherever we are in our life, wherever we are in our faith. That Sunday, when we pass that we will come forth from the grave and we better be ready for that day. Jesus loved his friend Lazarus. He loved him and he loved his sisters, Mary and Martha,
no doubt. Jesus spent countless hours in their home. When you have loved to have been in some of those meetings, they’re the conversations between Jesus and his close friends, Lazarus and Mary and Martha. Wouldn’t. You love to hear what Jesus talked to them about. I can only imagine that Jesus talked to them about the power of God and the love of God and the compassion that we have for others.
We all know that the shortest verse in all the Bible is found in this context, John 1135, Jesus wept, but another disciple whom Jesus loved and arguably the closest friend that Jesus ever had while he was on earth explained the meaning of John 1135 or 2035 in the next verse. When it says the Jews said behold, how he loved him, preachers,
I want to ask you a question today. What moves you? What causes you to have feeling and empathy and sympathy for others? What is it that causes you to want to reach out to people with the message of Jesus Christ? Jesus was moved because his friend Lazarus had died. The apostle Paul was a man who had a burning desire to proclaim the gospel.
We talked about last night in Romans chapter one, verses 15 and 16 in the acts chapter 20 verse 24. When he’s talking to the elder of the Ephesians church on the island of my Litas, he’s been discussing about his, his struggles in life. He talked about being in chains and being in prison, but in acts 20 verse 24, the text says none of these things moved to me.
Let me tell you what moved Paul Romans chapter nine verses one and two. Paul said my heart is grieved deeply for the, because of the fact that I have family members in kinsmen and friends who are lost without the gospel of Christ in Paul’s. I believe Paul said in Romans chapter nine, verses two and three, that I could wish myself that I would be a curse for the salvation of these people.
I can’t imagine in my wildest imagination making a statement like that, I believe that Paul was saying, if I thought that my being eternally lost could bring about the salvation of my family, I would be willing to do that. Can you imagine making that kind of statement, that the law of the lost people in his life, the lost people in the world move the apostle Paul Paul was moved.
When he thought about the proclamation of the gospel, he said to Timothy, I solemnly charge you in the presence of God. Paul was moved. When he talked about the fact that he wanted to go to Rome and it was on fire to proclaim the gospel. Paul had a holy heartburn for God and holy heartburn for the gospel of Jesus Christ. What moves you in your life?
Mary and Martha believed in the power of God. No doubt. Their time with Jesus encouraged them to believe that God was a God who was all powerful, that he was a God who can do anything. Do you believe that today, preacher, do you believe in your teaching, in your preaching that there’s nothing that God cannot do, that you believe so much in the power of God that you could say with Jesus,
that with him, all things are possible. Do you believe in the strength and the authority and the power of God? We taught our children when they were young, a song that went, something like this, my God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do. Do you believe in that kind of the power of God?
And when we think about our preaching and our teaching, we need to ask ourselves who is the one who’s responsible for bringing about to the salvation of lost souls? Is it about us or is it about our belief in the power of God? Is it about our ability and our education and our ingenuity and our creativity? Or is it about the power of God?
My friend, brother, George Bailey. Who many of you would remember? Well said that one time he went into a doctor’s office and there was a sign hanging up on the doctor’s office wall. And the sign said, the success of this visit depends on who you allow to be. The doctor, my friends, the success of our preaching and teaching depends upon who we allow to be the one who has authority and power.
And if we want to be like Jesus, and if we want to be like a man, like the apostle Paul, we will believe in the power and the authority of Jesus, Mary and Martha believed in the power of God. John informs us at a very interesting statement that John makes in this chapter that both Mary and Martha said almost the exact words at different times.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him. I believe she left. She didn’t just leave the house, but she left town. She went to the next village to meet him. John 11 verse 30 tells us, Martha then said Jesus to her, to him. Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
That’s John 1122. Martha said, Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died. John informs us after this, that Martha and Jesus had a conversation. And that Martha went back into the village and got married and brought her out and said, the master wants to see you. He’s calling for you. When Mary learned this,
the text says that she immediately left the house and went to Jesus. When she saw him, she fell her knees. And in John 11 verse 32, she said, Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died. The same thing that Martha had said 10 verses previous to this, the responses of Mary and Martha at different times,
no doubt thinking the same thing. The response to Christ when they saw him, I believe was a sign of their tremendous faith in the power of God, a sign of their faith in Jesus Christ, a faith that was so strong that they believed that Jesus could have kept Lazarus from dying if he would have chosen to do so that we believe in the power of God.
Two times in this passage, in this powerful passage, John highlights the humanity of Jesus by telling us that he was moved. We’ve already mentioned previously that he says he was moved to tears. John 11, verse 35. He was moved to tears because the Jews recognized how much he cared about his friend Lazarus. It also shows us the tremendous heart that our savior had for people.
He was moved when he saw Martha and Mary and others weeping. The second time John tells us that Jesus was deeply moved within his, when he was approaching the tomb, as he got near to the team, remember Jesus was delayed. He waited a couple of days before he went, after he heard that Lazarus was sick. And the reason that he waited is because he said he wanted to make sure that everyone understood that this was to the glory of God.
And we better make sure brothers in our preaching and our teaching that in our work, we are here to glorify God. That is all about pointing people to Jesus Christ. It’s all about pointing people to God and to his glory. It’s not about our glory. It’s not about our accolades. It’s not about what people say about us, but it’s always about what people say about him.
Surely Jesus, isn’t deeply moved to tears because he thought his friend might not come forth in the grave. That’s not what moved Jesus. He knew that that was going to happen. He had already told some of his disciples again, that the reason that this was being delayed was so that God would be glorified John 11 verse four, and that he might,
they might come to a greater faith. John 11 verse 15, Jesus was moved by the reaction of others. And perhaps because of his knowledge concerning what he was about to accomplish for the glory of God, he was moved by the reaction of other people. Can I ask you today? Are you moved by the reaction that people have when it’s concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Does it move you to think about the fact that the gospel that is being taught is not just a message, but it is a message of hope. It is a life changing message. It is a life giving message that it brings people into a better relationship with God. What are some of the lessons that we can learn from this magnificent miracle that Jesus performed that will help us in our faith today?
I want to mention just three. As we close today, number one, that while we are deeply moved, when we experienced the death of someone we love, or when we see someone we love grieving death is a vivid reminder that Jesus is the resurrection in the life. Every single death reminds us that there will be a resurrection. It reminds us that Jesus is the resurrection and the life in the passage.
In first Thessalonians, chapter four, as you know, the apostle Paul says that I don’t want you to grieve like other people who have no hope. Now keep in mind. Paul does not say here that we should not grieve. He understands that we’re going to have sorrow in our hearts and in our lives. When we lose people who are very dear to us,
he doesn’t say don’t grieve, but he says your grief is different because many people don’t understand the fact that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Many people don’t understand that someday that all who were in the graves will hear his voice voice. And just as Lazarus came forth, all will come forth. Many people don’t understand that. And so Paul says,
because you are children of the most high God, because you have faith in God, because you understand the power and the sovereignty of God and the promise of the resurrection. You don’t have to grieve like other people who have no hope two and a half years ago, I stood at the grave of my sweet wife of 38 years, almost 40 years. And I watched as they lowered the casket down to the ground,
just as many of you have done and I wept bitterly, but I remembered something a little bit later on that because Jesus is the resurrection and the life. We will see our loved ones. Again, there is hope beyond the grave. David said in the 23rd Psalm, as we walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I believe there could be two different implications in that text that David gives us.
One may be. David is talking about the fact that as we face our own death, the fact is if Jesus does not come back first, we will all die. All of us will die. Every person who is alive and someday we will walk through the valley of the shadow of death. But there’s also the possibility that David is talking about. As we walked toward the valley of the shadow of death,
with someone that we love as we go down into the valley of the shadow of death with them, it is a reminder of the fact that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. The second lesson that we need to remember from the event of the life of Jesus is that we will all do well when we show love and concern and compassion for those who are grieving.
Paul reminded us in Romans chapter 12, verse 15, that we’re to rejoice with those who rejoice and we’re to weep with those who weep. I had a preacher friend years ago who was presenting a lesson at a preacher’s forum. And he was making the point that he believed that his primary work was preaching. And he said, I don’t do much visitation.
And I don’t do much hospital work. And, and I don’t. And I was thinking, I’m not sure you understand what Paul men in second Timothy four, when he said fulfill your ministry. But then he said, I don’t do funerals. Then I thought in your preacher and you don’t do funerals. But my initial thought was, I know one funeral that you’re going to do someday.
Listen, we have the blessing of walking with people through the valley of the shadow of death. And we need to show compassion and concern and love for everyone. Paul expounds on that beautiful thought in the statement in second Corinthians chapter one, and that is the final lesson that we need to learn. That Jesus cares deeply for us. When we endure pain and heartache in our own life,
Jesus cares deeply for us in this passage. In second Corinthians, one, Paul says blessed, be the God and father of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort who comforts us in our afflictions. Did you hear that he comforts us in our afflictions with so that with any affliction, with the comfort, with which we are comforted,
we can comfort others. And so one of the reasons that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead was so that we could see how he cared deeply for other people and how he showed his concern and how he brought comfort to the lives of those people who were closest to Lazarus. And we have experienced many of us that kind of comfort in our own lives. And that comfort is given to us by our father in heaven so that we can comfort others who are going through some of the same things.
If we are children of the most high God, these promises offer to us great hope, they offer to us a great blessing. They offered to us great reminders, and it is a hope that will keep us going a hope that will cause us to keep walking for God. Even during the most difficult days of our life. It is a hope that will remind us that even in our struggles,
that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. It is a hope that will create within us a strong desire to spend eternity with God, as well as with those who’ve gone on before us. I’m reminded of the words. So the beautiful him does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye to the dearest on earth, to me and my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks,
is that ought to, to him the CC, oh yes, he cares. I know he cares his heart is touch with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights are dreary. I know my savior cares and whatever you are dealing with in your life right now, as a preacher of the gospel, as a child of God, whatever pain and heartache,
whatever struggles you’re facing, whatever difficult is you have in your marriage or in your family or in your work for God or in your relationships with those people who you work with on a daily basis, perhaps your elders or others, whatever financial struggles you have, whatever problems you’re facing, whatever health issues and health concerns. I hope that you never forget that Jesus deeply cares for you.
And oftentimes he shows us that care and that concern through our loved ones, through people who, who are close to him and through people who are close to us, the resurrection of Lazarus is a forever reminder of the fact that Jesus cares of the fact that someday we will be raised again, of the fact that he is the resurrection and the life and the fact that our God is sovereign and that he is all powerful.
And that there’s nothing too big for him. And so we would close with Peter by saying cast all your cares upon him for, he cares for you. Let us pray, father, we thank you so much that you gave us this beautiful reminder through your servant, John, that Jesus is the resurrection and the life that you have all authority and all power that you are sovereign in our life.
We’re thankful for the reminder that there’s nothing that is too big for you. We’re thankful for the reminder that someday we all will be raised and we will be able to spend eternity in glory with you. And with those who have gone on before us, we’re thankful for the reminder father that, that you are in control and that you have all power help us,
never forget father, that you love us deeply and that you care about every heartache and every pain and every sorrow help us to grow in our faith, help us to love you more and love others more. And father help us to understand that, that you are so kind and compassionate to us so that we can show that same compassion to others, father.
We long for that time, when Jesus comes again in the clouds, we long for that time, when all who are in the graves will hear your voice and they will come forth. We’d long for that day that we will see you and that we will see our savior and that we’ll see those who have gone on before us in the name of Jesus,
our precious savior, we pray. Amen. Excellent.