April 21/John 11

In this chapter we are going to see two of our fiercest enemies; death and unbelief. Jesus will handle death with a few words from his mouth. Unbelief is a tough rascal to defeat. In fact unbelief has dogged Jesus his whole ministry. Even in his home town his miracles were limited because of their unbelief(Matt 13:58). I can understand why that one guy said to Jesus, “Lord I believe but help me overcome my unbelief.”(Mark 9:24) I think that is a great prayer to pray.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) — 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Verses 1-3 > Mary and Martha start out with strong faith by going to Jesus first when they had a problem. This should be our practice; Jesus first. Also note that the prayer that got Jesus’ attention was not long and drawn out but got right to the point > “Lord your dear friend is very sick.” I wonder would someone describe me as a dear friend of Jesus? Just a thought.

Verses 4-6 > Jesus never panics and he never seems to be in hurry. John was quick to point out that he loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Just because his answer seems delayed when I pray it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me. So hang in there when you pray because Jesus will do things at the right time so that the glory will go to him and the Father!

Verses 7-10 > God has given each of us a certain amount of time and nothing is going to cut it short. We will have the days that he has ordained for us. We only have so many so lets not waste them. Find out what God wants you to accomplish and do it.

Jesus is the light of the world. If we are living for Jesus we are able to see how he wants us to live this life because his word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.(Psalm 119:105). If we are not living for Jesus by not obeying his word, spiritually we have no light. We do not know how he wants us to live this life. Consequently when we die we will stumble on into an eternity of hell because we walked in spiritual darkness.

Verse 11 > If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you need not fear death. Jesus likens it to sleep. Sleep certainly isn’t anything to be feared in fact most people look forward to a good nights sleep. It is as easy for Jesus to raise someone from the dead as it is for us to wake someone from sleep.

Verses 12-15 > Now we see the reason for the delay. (See verse 42) With Lazarus dead and Jesus raising him back to life this would cement the disciples faith in him. So what seemed like a bad deal was going to turn into a good deal. This story was recorded for us to cement our faith in Jesus and to teach us that what looks like a bad deal will not be a bad deal because Jesus is working on our behalf! We must live totally fixed on Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28 (NLT) — 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Verse 16 > You have to admire Thomas he was willing to go back with Jesus to a place where things might not end well.

I remember what Harold Brokke, one of my college teachers said once in class, “If Jesus Christ is a sinking ship I am going down with him.” That’s faith!

Verse 21 > Have you ever had a case of the “If onlys”? Like “If only I would of had Christian parents. If only I had a college degree, If only I hadn’t done that.” The ‘if onlys’ are faith killers and they are always looking back. Trust Jesus right now, forget the past and move on. Jesus can turn anything even death around. Also forgive yourself for the ‘if onlys’.

Luke 9:62 (NLT) — 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Verses 25-26 > These two verses take care of the ‘if onlys’. Believe in Jesus and keep looking forward right into eternity!

Proverbs 4:18 (NLT) — 18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

John 11:40 (NLT) — 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”

Be Inspired Hilltop!


  1. Mark Gundersen says

    3 times we find Mary at Jesus’s feet. Once if faith, once from love and this time from grief and unbelief in Jesus’s full power. She said if only Jesus had been there earlier something could have been done. This made Jesus angry and sad. He then showed that his power was not limited by man’s understanding and lack of faith but the unfaithful attitude in Jerusalem prevented him from doing anything there from the raising of Lazerus until the Passover. Even after Lazerus was raised some of the people believed and some bended to fear of the pharasees.