Monday 11 March 2019
Over the next eight weeks we will be looking at passages from John’s Gospel that lead up to the death and resurrection of Jesus. All the events in the life of Jesus are connected, so wherever we start the build-up to the Easter story we will be entering half-way through a story.
The only solution is to read or listen to the whole of John’s Gospel from the beginning to the end. If you’ve never done this before I would encourage you to do so – my experience has been that when I read whole books of the Bible I can see repeated themes that I have previously missed when reading chunks of the Bible in isolation.
If you don’t have time to sit down and read several chapters at a time, why not try listening to audio recordings of the Bible? There are several versions available online:
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’
Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’
Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’
John 11 tells the story of Jesus raising Lazurus from the dead. This was in spite of the fact that Lazarus had been dead for four days. His sister Martha was even afraid of the stench of decaying flesh that would come out if they opened the tomb.
In today’s verses we have part of the conversation between Martha and Jesus just before Lazarus came back to life. We can see that Jesus is not only concerned with showing compassion for his friends. He also wants to teach about his identity.
He is the resurrection and the life. He is the Messiah, the Son of God. People who believe in him will receive eternal life. This is why Jesus came to earth. With hindsight, we should not now be surprised when we read in John 20 that Jesus himself rose from the dead.
Thomas Halley, Sawyers Church Leadership Team