The believer’s unique relationship with Christ allows prayerful communication in the middle of any circumstance.
I really do not know where to begin to introduce this chapter. It is so awe inspiring. It reveals the power of Jesus over death. He had healed the sick, recovered the sight of the blind, and opened deaf ears. Never had Jesus done such a great miracle like this. Whenever I hear or read of this miracle, I am speechless. After this miracle is done, Lazarus receives celebrity status. People come to see for themselves the man who came back from the dead. Let us begin our journey through these verses to discover the love and divine power of our savior whose name is Jesus Christ.
This chapter will be divided into two major sections.
Section One: Verses 1-44 The Miracle
Section Two: Verses 45-57 The Response
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’–and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Psalm 32:5
Christ the Guilt Offering
Sacrifices made under the Old Testament law were only a picture of the perfect sacrifice that was to come. Verses 1-4
The death of Christ becomes the perfect and complete sacrifice, replacing the old way and establishing the new order for obedience to God’s will. Verses 5-18
Only through identification in Christ, His death and resurrection, can we confidently stand before God, purified and cleansed of the guilt of all sin. Verses 19-23
How can I know if the inner voice I’m hearing is God’s loving conviction of sin or Satan’s false accusations?
Be willing to search out your motives for the behavior that produced the guilt, and then learn to recognize what is truly from the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 30:21 (KJV)
(21) “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”
Recognize the Voice of Your Enemy
The Bible teaches that Satan loves to disguise himself by masquerading as a representative for God. He brutally accuses and condemns those with a sensitive conscience. He uses undeserved guilt as his most powerful weapon. Satan incriminates committed Christians, using guilt and fear to generate severe spiritual discouragement. Learn to discern the lies of Satan. He often communicates with a subtle use of unreasonable “should’s.” Here are some examples of this this attack.
You should be smarter and more capable.
You should be able to get over your loss much more quickly.
You should have been more careful and conscientious.
You should do more for the poor people around you.
You should endure hardship and pain with dignity.
You should never let anyone know your real feelings.
You should never cry or show weakness.
You should be the perfect friend, mate, parent or employee.
“The accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God?
day and night, has been hurled down.”
Resolve to Forgive Yourself
Although some sins bring greater consequences than others do, God’s viewpoint is that sin is sin. His forgiveness covers all sins, yet some of us place ourselves above God and become unwilling to forgive ourselves. The Bible mentions no exceptions. If you choose to have a self-focused, unforgiving heart, you will struggle with the following:
Uncertainty about where you stand before God
Undesired compulsive behavior
Unscriptural false humility
Unawareness of God’s priorities for you
Undervalued sense of your usefulness to God
If self-condemnation is your burden, memorize the following passages of Scriptures. God’s Spirit can succeed where you have failed.
This chapter introduces Jesus as Prince of Life.
John 11:53 (KJV)
(53) “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.”
This event is the miracle that sealed Jesus’ death. This climactic miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead was Jesus’ public evidence of the truth of His great claim, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Death is the great horror which sin has produced. http://ref.ly/Ro5.12 and http://ref.ly/Jm1.15.
The people attempt to stone Jesus again, but He escapes. The hour of His death had not come. He goes to Jordon where John the Baptist had baptized people, and He stayed there for a brief time. When people found out where Jesus was, they traveled to that place. They testified that John did no miracles, but Jesus had done many miracles. Because of this, many believed in Him. This passage leads the student of the Word into chapter 11.
Further facts concerning the final portion of this chapter show that what http://ref.ly/Ec3.1. There is a time to advance and a time to retreat. This is true regardless of the enemy. Jesus retreated from His enemies because it was not time for Him to advance in this area.
Jesus was not well received in Jerusalem. Time for His earthly ministry was quickly coming to a close. The gospel does not tell of all His movements during this time. He moved from Galilee to Jerusalem in the fall of His final year. This was during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles http://ref.ly/Jn7.2 and http://ref.ly/Jn7.10. It is presumed that Jesus had been there after that for most of the winter. His preaching was extensive making opposition grow. This was especially so among the Jewish leaders. Hatred and murder developed in their hearts at this point in time. The door to an effective ministry in Jerusalem was closing.
One of the earliest preachers from whom we have substantial writings is Chrysostom. He preached once on this portion of scripture. He commented on the fact that more women than men seemed to have received Christ’s teachings. He asked the question why was this so? He stated in his opinion that it was because women for the most part are at home during the day and have time to think, while men are so often entirely caught up in the world’s business. The author of “Boice Expositional Commentary gives this insightful but brief comment: “But I do know that there will never be blessing unless we take time to think about spiritual things.” I believe this statement is something we should ponder before continuing on. Spurgeon said it this way: “Surely heaven is worth a little thought if it is to be gained.” We must learn to be quiet; wait upon God.”
The Holy Spirit never condemns true Christians. Note the following verse:
Romans 8:1 (KJV)
(1) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
As your Father, God sometimes allows you to experience the consequences of your sin as an encouragement to change. He will also produce in your heart a desire to do His will. Note http://ref.ly/He12.4-11. See Philippians 2:13.
The Enemy Discovered
Meet two kinds of guilt: One is a friend who speaks truth, gently leading you to repentance and forgiveness.
The other is a secret conspirator who taunts and condemns, bringing dishonor and inner shame.
False guilt arises when you blame yourself even though you have committed no wrong or when you continue to blame yourself after you have confessed and turned from your sin. Note I Peter 5:8
John 16:13 (KJV)
(13) “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
-Based on Fact–“I was wrong to take paper and other office supplies home for my personal use. This is actually stealing.”
-Results in a Godly Sorrow over Sin–“My failure to be honest makes me aware of how much I don’t reflect the character of Christ. Dear God, I want to
change. I am heartsick over bringing shame to my Savior.”
-Brings Conviction from the Holy Spirit–“I now see that my attitude was wrong in assuming that the company owed me what I took.”
-Accepts Forgiveness–“I am thankful that I have a heavenly Father who will always forgive me, no matter what I have done.”
Revelation 12:10 (KJV)
(10) “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
-Based on Feelings–“I feel horrible…because I am horrible for wanting something that isn’t mine, much less thinking about taking it. How could I sink so low as to even consider using work supplies at home?”
-Results in a Worldly Fear of Consequences–“I should have worked all weekend to make up for slacking off all week. Now my employer may decide to fire me. If only I had accomplished more, I would not be in this predicament. What am I going to tell my wife if I lose my job? How am I going to pay my bills?”
-Brings Condemnation from Satan–“I am a terrible person for feeling anger at my employer.”
-Abides in Self-pity-“I’m always trying to do my best, but I just don’t have all the advantages that others have. If I had a better paying job, I wouldn’t have to resort to taking things.”
John 8:32 (KJV)
(32) “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
This is an abbreviated list of these conditions.
In verse 28 and 29, Jesus states that He will give His sheep eternal life. He uses the word “perish.” Those who have chosen to be followers of Jesus Christ will not experience separation death. They will have a hope that goes beyond the grave. They shall not be separated from Jesus. The Father is greater than anyone. He uses the word “pluck” twice. There will be nobody will be able to rob them from Him. He is stronger than anybody on earth. Some will attempt an open act of violence against Jesus’ followers, but they will not succeed. These individuals were given and are being given to Jesus. The Father is more powerful than anything or anybody. In verse 30, Jesus once again proclaims the unity of Father and Son. They are one. Nothing can come between them whether present or future.
The Jews, who are not part of His flock, take up stones to kill Him. They are once again unsuccessful. The reason for this action is because they claim Jesus is blaspheming because Jesus is putting Himself on equal footing with God the Father.
The previous section does not include all of Jesus’ answer to the unbelieving crowd. He had said all that could be said. He had done all that needed to be done. If they did not believe by this time, there was really nothing more that could have been done. He spoke plainly. It is a dangerous thing to ask God to speak plainly when He already done so. I will be discussing this in the next chapter. Jesus gives the most highly condensed statements of the doctrine of grace in the entire Gospel. The men and women were unable to believe. Those who did believe were receivers of God’s acts in grace by which He elected them into the company of His people. These are the central doctrines of the reformed faith as it has been expressed by Jesus, Paul, Augustine, Calvin and a host of others. This is pure biblical teaching.
It is important to realize that we must add that the doctrines of grace cannot be used as an excuse to escape responsibility. God chooses us, and we choose to follow His leading. He does a miracle in our hearts by which we understand these things and respond to Him. We are responsible for the things we do choose and for the way in which we handle His revelation. What about Christ’s words, and what about His works? These cannot be escaped. If they are true–and what possible reason do you have to doubt them save that someone has told you at one time or another that the Bible is not true. Then wisdom and simple honesty demand that you drop lesser loyalties and follow Jesus. This is what He wants. Jesus says “my sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (verse 27). So, listen! Really listen! And don’t stop with just listening, follow Him!
As you remember, Jesus has been talking about Him being a good shepherd. He speaks of His flock, which does not include the Gentiles. They are a part of the “other” sheep. Before Jesus leaves to go to the temple, there is a division concerning what He has just done and taught. Some once again claim He has a devil while others speak up and say, “Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” (v. 21)
The time is winter, and it is during the Feast of Dedication. Jesus walks in the temple in Solomon’s porch. When the Jews see Jesus coming, they gather around Him. They ask Jesus to tell them the truth. Is He the promised Messiah? Jesus responds by saying He did tell them, but they did not receive His words. He speaks the truth, which comes from the Father. These words witness of Him. They do not receive Jesus’ words. They are not His sheep. Jesus spoke plainly, and they did not receive His words.
At this point Jesus is approaching the end of His ministry. He has been in Galilee and Judea for an approximate period of nearly three years. He has been teaching publicly for that time. He did not say explicitly that He was the Messiah. The people were looking for a political messiah and not a spiritual messiah. This fact was dealt with earlier. If He had conformed to this statement, He would have given false hope. He had been open to other claims such as a right to have a person’s loyalties. He was able to satisfy all legitimate wants and needs. He healed the sick, and He has given sight to the blind. He has done many things in the course of three years. These works were a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. If they had known these prophecies, these verses would serve to answer their questions about whether He was the promised Messiah or not. If they followed Jesus and heard His teachings, they would not have been in the dark. They claimed that Jesus has not taught them plainly.
The words of Jesus spoke plainly to the question they asked. Take, for instance, the nobleman whose son was healed from his sickness. He took Jesus at His word. John 4:50. Notice what Peter said. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” John 6:68. These had believed based on the words alone. Yet, there were also Jesus’ many works that substantiated them.
John’s Gospel calls the works “signs.” This is seen in John 5. A sign is a symbol. It points to something signified. The miracles are signs in that they point to the unusual ability or character of the one performing them. The signs point to Jesus. There are seven “signs” in this gospel. The last one is found in the next chapter.
Isaiah 55:1-3 (KJV)
(1) Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (2) Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (3) Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
I fell on the floor Tuesday of this week. I grabbed my walker, and a woman in her hover round hit me from the front. She slammed her chair into my basket in the front of my walker. I went down on my back. I was sent to the hospital where the took x-rays. Nothing was broken, but I am in pain. I cannot even walk for exercise yet. Hopefully, I will be able to pick up my writing by the weekend or Monday. I hope the pain and aching will be gone by that time.
Please remember me in your prayers.