(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



As we continue our study of the Life of Christ we find the Lord Jesus confronting death.  Last time we saw him having dinner with and confronting a bunch of self-righteous Pharisees.  This week, we see the passing of His good friend Lazarus and His subsequent raising of Lazarus from the dead.  In this passage eternal life is very much a part of the discussion. 

THE PROBLEM – Vss. 1-16 

The problem presented here is an age old problem that everyone has to deal with it. 

Vss. 1-3 – There was evidently a close friendship between the Lord Jesus and Lazarus.  Lazarus was sick. His sisters, Mary and Martha, were also loyal followers of Jesus and Jesus had been a guest in their home, probably on more than on occasion.

Vs. 4 – When Jesus said that the sickness was not “unto death”, He didn’t mean that Lazarus wouldn’t die.  He would die.  But his resurrection four days later would bring glory to God.

We need to remember that many of the problems we face are designed to bring glory to God.  The way God strengthens us during these problems and shows His presence will bring glory to Him.  We must remember that problems are designed to correct, strengthen us, and if we let them, bring glory to God. James 1:2-4 

Vss. 5-6 – I read these two verses together because I want you to notice something.  Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and yet He still delayed His coming to their aid. 

I want you realize that when God delays helping you or giving you the relief you think that you need, that He still loves you.  His delays have reason. 

Jesus was Perea on the other side of the Jordon River from Bethany which was about two miles from Jerusalem. It is probable that Lazarus died the day the message was sent, even before Jesus got the message that Lazarus was sick. It was customary to bury the body on the day of death.  

Figuring a day’s journey for the messenger to arrive and report to Jesus, two days wait, a day’s journey for Jesus to get to Bethany, Lazarus was in the grave four days as stated in Verse 17. 

So why did Jesus delay his arrival? Here is a good possible reason shared by John MacArthur: “The Jews believed that the soul hovered around the body for three days after death, hoping to reenter it. But on the fourth day, after noticing that the body was beginning to decompose, the soul departed. Only then would a death be considered completely irreversible, Lazarus had been dead for four days, and his body had already started to decompose. The Jews therefore would have recognized that only a divine miracle could restore him to life.” John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, John 1-11, (Chicago, Moody Press, 2006), pp. 461-462 

In verses 14-15 we see another reason for Jesus’ delay.  It would have strengthened the faith of the disciples.  The time of Jesus’ death was drawing near, and their faith would need to be strong. 

The problem in our story is death.

Death has historically been a problem.

No matter how long you or your loved ones live, unless Jesus comes again beforehand, you and your loved ones all will die. 

Why is there death?  It all began back in the Garden of Eden.  The Garden of Eden was a perfect environment.  God had told Adam to eat of any fruit he wanted but one. Genesis 2:16-17 

The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God there was Spiritual death and later there would be physical death.  There was a separation between God and Man caused by sin that became part of man’s nature. Romans 5:12, Ezekiel 18:4 

The problem of physical death is bad enough. But eternal separation from God and the eternal punishment for our sins that come with spiritual death is an even greater problem.    

Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death;   

So, death is a problem for everyone who ever lived.   

We all deserve death physical and spiritual. 


Vss. 17-20 – Jesus arrived.  The traditional mourning period was taking place, complete with professional mourners and friends coming to call. People from Jerusalem came as well because Bethany was so close.  Evidently, Lazarus was a prominent man from a prominent family and this would have made his death a major event. 

Martha, more forceful in personality of the two sisters, did not wait for Jesus to come to her. She went to Him. 

Vs. 21 – This is not necessarily a word of rebuke. It was a statement of fact and faith.  Martha knew that if Jesus had been there He would have healed Lazarus.  There was no question in her mind. 

Vs. 22 – Martha’s statement here seemed to reinforce what she had just said about Jesus’ healing ability.  She believed that He still had the ability to heal and work the miracles that He had done in the past.  However, she was not thinking of Jesus was capable of raising her brother from the dead.  Her faith, like ours, had its limits.  The limits we put on our faith are often not limits God wants us to put on our faith. 

Vs. 23 – Jesus proclaimed that her brother would rise again. Jesus meant immediately. 

Vs. 24 – Martha did believe in the resurrection in the last day and that Lazarus would be part of it. 

She wasn’t expecting anything any sooner. 

Vs. 25a – Jesus makes a proclamation here that does pertain to the resurrection of Lazarus from the grave, and the resurrection of all believers. 

Jesus is the resurrection!  If Jesus is the resurrection, then He could raise her Brother from the dead right then and there. If Jesus is the resurrection, then He can raise you from the dead as well. 

Why could Jesus say that He is the resurrection and the life? 

We already mentioned the problem of sin.

It is Jesus Christ the, perfect, sinless, Son of God, who laid down his life for us. Romans 5:6-9, 2 Corinthians 5:21 

Jesus died to give you eternal life.  Romans 6:23 

Jesus is the resurrection because He is the first person to rise from the dead to die no more. Lazarus died again. Colossians 1:18, Revelation 1:5, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23   

Your hope for resurrection and eternal life is found in Jesus Christ who is the resurrection and the life.  

Not only do you have eternal life in Christ, Christian bear in mind that you have abundant life in Christ. John 10:10 

PROMISE – Vss. 25b-27    

John 11:25…he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 

Jesus is talking about the body here.  It a person believes in Christ, though His physical body is dead, his physical body shall live. 

The believer in Christ who has passed away, where is he or she until the resurrection?  That person’s spirit is with the Lord.    

The Apostle Paul made that very clear. Philippians 1:21, 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 

So that beloved child, sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend who was a true believer in Christ is in Heaven awaiting the rejoining of their spirit with their body on Resurrection Day!  Though he is dead, yet shall he live!  

1 Corinthians 15:52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

John 11:26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 

The one who lives is the one who believes on Christ.

The one who believes on Christ will never die spiritually.

We will all die physically unless Jesus comes in our lifetime. But spiritually we will live.     

Jesus asked Martha if she believed this.

What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

It means to trust in Him alone for forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

It means that all your confidence is in Christ alone.

You are not relying on your own goodness, your own effort, or your own ability to obey God. 

You acknowledge your own sin and inability to save yourself. You turn from your own self effort and your sin to trust Jesus Christ alone as the one who died for you and the one who gives you life. 

John 3:36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. 

Vs. 27 – Martha expressed her faith in Christ! She is alive in Heaven. She wll be part of the resurrection to eternal life. Have you? 

PROOF – Vss. 38-45 

Jesus proved that He was the resurrection by raising Lazarus from the dead. 

Vs. 38 – After an interview with Mary, they went to the tomb. 

Vs. 39 – Jesus commanded that the stone be rolled away.

Martha objected.  He had been in the grave four days and had begun to decompose. He would stink!

Martha reminds me that even though we have faith in Jesus, we don’t always have faith enough! 

Vss. 41-42 – Jesus reminded her of His promise and then prayed. 

Vss. 42-44 – Jesus gave a mighty shout and Lazarus came forth out of the grave. 

Jesus proved His ability beyond the shadow of a doubt. 

If your faith is in Jesus Christ, you need to be listening for another shout.  Your loved ones who know Jesus Christ will also hear that shout! 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 





Are you a true believer?  If not, come to Christ this morning!

(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 


Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    


Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   


Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 


Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 


Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 


Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes.