I. I AM
John 11:1-44 (NLT) - A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2This 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. 3So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” 4But 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.” 5So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6he stayed where he was for the next two days. 7Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” 8But 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?” 9Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. 10But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” 11Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” 12The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” 13They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. 14So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” 16Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.” 17When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. 18Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, 19and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. 20When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” 23Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” 25Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26Everyone 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.” 28Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” 29So Mary immediately went to him. 30Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. 31When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32When 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.” 33When 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.” 35Then Jesus wept. 36The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” 38Jesus 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.” 40Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42You 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.” 43Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44And 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!”
A. Jesus was Angry in His spirit, groaned in His spirit, and deep anger welled up inside.
- His closest friends couldn’t see who He was.
- Martha believed He was powerful but not all powerful.
John 1:1-4 (NLT) - In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
There will be a resurrection but only because Jesus is the resurrection. There is life but only because Jesus is Life.
B. Jesus Wept
- He wept for those who lived with a knowledge of Him.
- Up against our greatest fear, our greatest dread, sorrow and death, they forgot who Jesus is.
C. As followers of Christ, our greatest battle is forgetting who Jesus is, not what He’s done.
- We accept His ability to forgive us, to save us, but deny His resurrection power in our lives.
II. We will never see what God can do until we submit to His authority
A. All the miracles that they had seen Jesus do had an element of obedience in them. Think about it.
- A SURRENDER moment. "Take the wine to the master," "Pick up your bed and walk," "Go and wash," "Come out of the boat…" "ROLL THE STONE AWAY."
Every miracle had a moment where a person or persons placed themselves under the authority of Jesus. We will never experience the miraculous, the healing, the walk on water moment, or the life in Lazarus case until we choose to live under the authority of Christ. You cannot experience Christ, know him, and receive his gift of salvation without a surrender moment. Because he is the Authority
B. Authority is a bad word in our culture
- We instinctively resist authority, question authority.
C. Although Martha knew and admitted that she believed Jesus was the Messiah and that God would grant Him anything.
- If you would have come when I said, he would have lived.
III. Living under the Authority of Christ.
Ephesians 1:19-23 - I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.
A. We never had authority. Until Christ entered our lives, we were under the authority of sin.
- When he saved us, we became free to say no to sin and actually do what is right.
John 8:34-36 (NLT) - Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
- We are truly free.
- When you place yourselves under the authority of Christ and His word, you get freedom, not bondage.
John 8:31-32 (NLT) - Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
B. That phrase “if you remain faithful to my teachings.
- Being faithful to his teachings will reveal His truth, and it will make you free.
ILLUSTRATION: It’s like a train. As long as the train is on the tracks, it is free to be the train God made it to be. But a train is not made to run through a meadow where it will never run properly or accomplish its role or ever become even a shadow of what it could be if it was on tracks.
- I have said this before. Righteousness matters. You will never know victory in life over sin. You will never taste the joy that God has for you, you will never know him in an intimate way until you surrender to run on the tracks made for your train.
IV. Pulling it all together.
A. Jesus was Angry in His spirit, groaned in His spirit, deep anger welled up inside, and he wept.
- He wept because the people only knew about Him. If they would have known Him, they would have known He is the resurrection.
- When we just know about him, we deny His power, the resurrection power that is in every Christian.
Philippians 3:10 - I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death.
B. To know Him in that way, we need to submit to His authority
- To place ourselves under his authority means to trust him. Trust which is a word for faith.
- Remember: If our understanding of who He is grows, not what He’s done but who He is, then so does our confidence in what He has done. That confidence means faith.
- Our faith grows by looking at Jesus for who He is. I believe we can be transformed. We can began to receive what our hearts long for. Change.
Summary: Does He weep for you? Are you one of those Christians that have a knowledge of Jesus and deny His power? You want to be so close but what you want out of life is more important than what He wants from you?
Jesus is the resurrection. Jesus is the Life. Everything He has for you is yours if you will place yourself under His authority.