Studies in the Gospel of John- I AM the Resurrection and the Life
I. Lord if You had Been Here
A. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:20-27)
B. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Martha’s assessment of the situation was based in her firm faith in Jesus’ love for Lazarus and that if He had been there He would have certainly healed him. What we see here is a perfect example of Past Faith. Faith that believes in God’s ability to do something had He been fully aware of the situation or if we had been able to get His ear about it. It is the kind of Faith that limits God’s Omniscience and His Omnipresence. It, at its core, questions His ability to account correctly and truly work all thing together for my good.
i. When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (Revelation 6:9-11)
ii. The natural mind would say surely if God was present He wouldn’t allow such things to take place. How can we say that God is a loving, merciful God and allow such atrocities to take place on the earth and especially toward those who love Him. There is no simple answer, but to say that the Glory of God will be manifested through the situations and difficulties that we endure if we simply believe. John 11:40.
C. “Your brother will rise again.” Jesus declares to Martha that Lazarus will rise. IT is a Promise! God’s Word to us is filled with Promises! “Come to Me all that are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest!”, “I am willing be Cleansed!”, “Your sins are forgiven”, “Be Healed!”, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Oh, how we need to know the Word of God so we can hear, believe, stand on, and receive His promises. For God’s Word is sure and He is Faithful who promised! Hebrews 10:23
D. “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Martha moves from a Past Faith to a Future Faith. Once again she accurately states a truth convinced of God’s ability to do something yet unseen, but as before this is a hope based on promises that somehow places God’s desire to work in the present to a “someday in the sweet by and by” mentality based on a fear of God’s failure to act on our behalf. It is an attempt to preserve Jesus’ reputation in the face of an impossible situation.
E. Faith is Now! Faith is Present! Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) Jesus is focusing in on Martha’s real issue in the midst of a very difficult situation. He is causing her to evaluate what she really believes about Himself, His purpose, and His power…in the midst of a very difficult situation in her life.
II. I AM the Resurrection and the Life
A. Jesus states His Reality in the Present…Not I WAS or I WIll BE, but I AM! Our faith is in the ONE WHO IS!
B. Martha says I know he will rise again-
to stand up (literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively): – arise, lift up, raise up (again), rise (again), stand up (-right).
at the resurrection at the last day.
1) a raising up, rising (e.g. from a seat)
2) a rising from the dead
2a) that of Christ
2b) that of all men at the end of this present age
2c) the resurrection of certain ones history who were restored to life (Heb_11:35)
Her response showed her understanding of the scripture and of end-time events, but these things did not impress the Lord, he wanted Martha to recognize Him and understand His nature and character, not just doctrine.
C. Jesus says that He is the Resurrection. The event that you are placing your hope in is standing in front of you! I AM the Event! The culmination of the Ages and the Last Day is Centered and Focused on Me, Martha! Not only that, I AM the Life, the animating force, that makes the Rising Up possible!
D. Jesus also was telling Martha that Lazarus was really alive. Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.” (Mark 12:24-27)
E. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Martha is your faith a present faith and is it a faith in ME? WE can all ask ourselves this very question. For Jesus is standing before us in His word saying I AM the Event which brings dead things back to Life and it is my Life that causes it! Even if you die, you will never Die!
F. What else can I say? There isn’t enough time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. Their faith helped them conquer kingdoms, and because they did right, God made promises to them. They closed the jaws of lions and put out raging fires and escaped from the swords of their enemies. Although they were weak, they were given the strength and power to chase foreign armies away. Some women received their loved ones back from death. Many of these people were tortured, but they refused to be released. They were sure that they would get a better reward when the dead are raised to life. Others were made fun of and beaten with whips, and some were chained in jail. Still others were stoned to death or sawed in two or killed with swords. Some had nothing but sheep skins or goat skins to wear. They were poor, mistreated, and tortured. The world did not deserve these good people, who had to wander in deserts and on mountains and had to live in caves and holes in the ground. All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised. This was because God had something better in store for us. And he did not want them to reach the goal of their faith without us.