March 01, 2023 – Wednesday
John 11:41-42 NIV
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Yesterday, on the last day of February, we shared where Jesus had said, 39 Take away the stone. And Martha had replied, But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days. However, the five days did not matter to Jesus or perhaps were incredibly important for what He was about to do, so He said, 40 Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? While His reply may have confused Martha for she likely believed Jesus wanted the stone removed so He could see the corpse and mourn.
But that was not His purpose, nonetheless whatever the reason they complied with His request to Take away the stone. And then we read, 41 So they took away the stone. There was to be no more discussion or argument. And that was when, Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” Having taken away the stone, Jesus gives thanks to His Father in prayer before doing anything. Then gave the reason for His prayer, this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me. This was unusual as Jesus did not normally address His Father before His miracles. But here, with what was about to occur He wanted to make sure everyone present clearly understood He was acting with and within the Will of God. The Benson Commentary (paraphrased) said “Jesus did not pray for His own sake, as He had no doubt of having power to do this miracle, but for the good of the people to make them aware He was loved by God, was sent by God, and the Father was always with Him. And further all that He did was in union with the Father, and nothing without or separate from His Father.
Then,43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”He commanded Lazarus to rise from the dead and to come out, Lazarus, come out! Lazarus had been dead five days, buried four days, yet Jesus commanded him to rise and come out! Jesus said earlier, 40 Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? Now they were seeing the glory of God! But Jesus did not stop with Lazarus, come out! For we find, 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Lazarus did come out, but he was still wearing grave clothes or wrappings of the dead and Jesus ordered those removed for he was no longer dead.
This has enormous implications for all of us as all of us were once dead in sin. Paul writes of this in Ephesians 2:1, 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins. Note the past tense, like Lazarus we were once dead, but because of our faith we are no longer dead in our sins. Paul continues, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Further, as Jesus had commanded Lazarus’ grave clothes to be removed, we who are no longer dead in sin, Paul says I, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3). In other words we are to remove the chains of sin, the clothes of sin which made us dead in sin. Being now dead to sin, let our lives show that we are alive in Christ.
Bottom Line: Faith in Christ can overcome any chains of sin. There is no sin greater than God’s Grace.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for what You have done through Your Son Jesus. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton