17 There had been many people with Jesus when he raised Lazarus from the dead and told him to come out of the tomb. Now they were telling others about what Jesus did. 18 Many people went out to meet Jesus, because they had heard about this miracle. 19 So the Pharisees said to each other, “You can see that nothing is going right for us. Look! The whole world is following him.” 20 There were some Greek people, too, who came to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover Feast. 21 They went to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew, and then Andrew and Philip told Jesus..—John 12:17-22 (NCV)
The people were still spreading the word about what Jesus had done for Lazarus. This caused a lot of curiosity in the villages and caused others to want to meet Jesus. Even people who were not Jews had become interested in who this man was. They were there to celebrate the Passover Feast. They went to Philip and said “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” There are lost people in our world today who want to see Jesus. they may not realize that is who they are looking for, so we have to be the ones to tell them. They are empty and they need someone to love them enough to tell them about Jesus.
Does our lifestyle and the way we act toward them cause the lost to be attracted to Christ? Would a person who knew you feel comfortable about asking you about Jesus? Are we letting our light shine?
38 Again feeling very upset, Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave with a large stone covering the entrance. 39 Jesus said, “Move the stone away.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, “But, Lord, it has been four days since he died. There will be a bad smell.” 40 Then Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they moved the stone away from the entrance. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. 42 I know that you always hear me, but I said these things because of the people here around me. I want them to believe that you sent me.” 43 After Jesus said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with pieces of cloth, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take the cloth off of him and let him go.”
—John 11:38-44 (NCV)
Just imagine this scene! A crowd standing at a tomb, which was a cave covered by a large stone. Some were crying, some were doubting, all of them, I am sure, wondering what Jesus was going to do next. Is it any wonder that Jesus had cried earlier? He was surrounded by a sea of unbelief. It would have been particularly hurtful because the ones who knew Him and He loved so much were also doubting. But, thank God, Lazarus didn’t have to depend on the faith of all those people or he would never have come out of that grave. Picture the look on their faces when Jesus said “Lazarus, come forth!’ Their attitude went from one of doubt to amazement! Some of them were even convinced that Jesus was really who He said He was. “Let Him go!” There must have been some rejoicing there that day in Bethany! STOP! Now, picture yourself in that same crowd that same day. In which group do you see yourself? Do you come there as a believer or a doubter? Do you leave there as a believer or a doubter? Fast forward to “now”. In which group are we now? Are we fully persuaded?
17 When Jesus arrived, he learned that Lazarus had already been dead and in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was about two miles from Jerusalem. 19 Many of the Jews had come there to comfort Martha and Mary about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you anything you ask.” 23 Jesus said, “Your brother will rise and live again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know that he will rise and live again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die. 26 And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Martha, do you believe this?” 27 Martha answered, “Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the One coming to the world.” —John 11:17-27 (NCV)
As Jesus traveled toward Bethany, He learned that Lazarus had been buried four days ago. Many had already come out to comfort Mary and Martha about the loss of their brother. Martha heard that Jesus was coming and ran out to meet Him, but Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She had no idea that this death would be used for the glory of God. But Jesus assured her that Lazarus would live again. Martha, still not understanding, thought Jesus was referring to the final resurrection. But Jesus told her that those that believe in Him will never die. Jesus asked Martha if she believed this. She said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ…. “. But her answer did not acknowledge what Jesus had asked her. If she truly believed, would she have thought that Lazarus died just because Jesus wasn’t physically present?
The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to remain on the earth and would not be here until Jesus ascended, so we can understand how Martha and the others might have thought that Jesus had to be physically present to heal Lazarus. But, thank God, we have His promise that Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, abides in us and that we are in Christ Jesus. We are never without Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.—1 John 5:20 (NASB)
If we truly believe this, why do we worry and fret? Isn’t dying for and in Christ to be much more desired than living in this sinful world? As Paul said: 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.–Philippians 1:23 (NLT)
12 Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” 13 The Pharisees replied, “You are making false claims about yourself!” 14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You judge me with all your human limitations, but I am not judging anyone. 16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone — I have with me the Father who sent me.—-John 8:12-16 (NLT)
The claim that Jesus made “I am the Light of the world” was true. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.-Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)
Where the light shines, it dispels darkness, the two cannot abide together. Those that follow the light of Jesus can walk without stumbling and they will be led to eternal life. When we were being led by the flesh, we walked in darkness and misjudged people just as the Pharisees and the religious leaders did. We were unable to see and understand the truth. When the Holy Spirit shined the Light of Jesus upon us, we could no longer live in darkness. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we are now the light that shines in the darkness of the world. 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.—Matt. 5:14, 15 (NLT
This reminds me of the old hymn by Philip Paul Bliss. The hymn was inspired by a story told by the well known preacher, Dwight L Moody. Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
We are the lower lights, we must continue to shine to lead others safely to the shore.
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! 38 If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) 40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “This man surely is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? —John 7:37-41 (NLT)
Jesus tells the crowd the same thing He had told the Samaritan woman at the well. There is water which we can drink and never be thirsty again. This water is the living water which is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The One that takes up His abode in us, so that we are always being filled and refilled, so that we could never be thirsty. Just as the woman at the well had accepted this message, so did some of the crowd here in Jerusalem. They said “this man surely is the prophet”. But others said He can’t be, the Messiah will not come from Galilee. There will always be people who refuse to believe regardless of the signs or the situation. But, instead of being puzzled as to why they don’t believe, we should remember our own history before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit—Titus 3:3-5 (NLT)
Because we have been redeemed by God’s grace and mercy, we should remember to always be thankful and pray that others will accept this free gift of God’s mercy and grace. That is the work that God has given us to do as laborers in His harvest.
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”—John 6:30-34 (NLT)
Even after Jesus had fed the multitude, the people wanted more miraculous signs. Jesus corrects them on the Old Testament scriptures. Moses was their earthly leader, but Moses could not have produced enough manna to feed millions of people. God supplied the bread and when that wasn’t enough, God supplied the quails. Jesus uses this to teach them about the true Bread from heaven. God, in the human form of Jesus, came to earth. God is the Creator who breathed the breath of life into us in the beginning and God is the one who sustains life now. Earthly bread make feed us physically, but it cannot sustain us forever, The True Bread is the source of life. If we partake of that Bread, we shall have eternal life. 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.—1 Cor. 11:23,24 (NLT)
8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.—-John 6:8-13 (NLT)
We can’t be quite sure how many people Jesus fed that day with five loaves and two fish. But we can be sure that what they had was more than enough. Everyone ate their fill and there were plenty of leftovers. Think what a blessing this was for the young boy and his family, five loaves had now turned into twelve baskets. What an amazing thing Jesus had done! Thousands upon thousands had been filled to overflowing and there was more left than when He started! When Jesus asks us to participate in His Kingdom work, we need to remember that He is the one who will accomplish the results, we are just the seed sowers. Jesus never sees us as lacking anything to do His work. He doesn’t see us as unable. When we, like Moses, procrastinate, complain and ask “what if…”, God has one question for us. The same question He asked Moses: “What is that in your hand?” (Read Exodus 4:1-5). Whatever we have will be more than enough. In fact, there will be so much, we will need to be careful not to waste the leftovers.
1 After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”—John 6:1-7 (NLT)
Philip and the other disciples had been following Jesus for a while now. They had seen Jesus perform miracle after miracle. Even now, a huge crowd was approaching Jesus because they knew about His miraculous work. Jesus sees this as an opportunity to test Philip. He asks Philip, “Where will we buy bread to feed these people?” Philip doesn’t answer the question Jesus asks, instead, he makes a statement about their lack. It doesn’t seem to enter his mind that the Bread of Life is sitting right in front of him. When Jesus asks us to do something for Him, what do we see? What is our answer? Don’t we do basically what Philip did? “Even if, we_______, we wouldn’t have enough! (fill in the blank with whatever you think you would have to do to accomplish the mission). Most of us, like Philip, avoid the question and look at what we don’t have. Jesus will never ask us to do a work for Him without providing everything we need to accomplish the task. All he wants is our availability and all we need to finish the work is Jesus. If we do what Jesus asks us to do, the oil and the flour will not run out. 15 The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16 As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.—1 Kings 17:15, 16 (GNT)
5 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”—-John 5:1-8 (NKJV)
This is an amazing story in more than one way. The name of the pool, Bethesda, can be translated as “house of grace” or “house of mercy”. It tells us of an amazing event that happened at certain times when the angel came down and stirred the water. It shows us God’s amazing grace when Jesus healed this man. But the most amazing thing is the man’s answer to Jesus’ question. “Do you want to be made well?” Here is a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. You would have thought his answer would have been more along the lines of “I certainly do” or “Yes, yes, yes, I do” But instead he goes in a completely different direction and says “I have no”. Does this type of answer sound vaguely familiar? When Jesus asks us to help with His work, is our answer, “I can’t talk to people about that”, I don’t have any abilities” or I don’t have the resources”? To those responses, Jesus says to us: “Take up your ______ and walk” We can fill in the blank with whatever excuse we used, our weakness, our inability, our brokenness, our lack. Just as Jesus healed this man, He will provide whatever we need to do whatever He has asked us to do. It is not about our abilities, but it is about our availability. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send more workers into the field.
46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. 48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” 49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” 50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. 51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. 52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.—John 4:46-54 (NLT)
Jesus went about doing good, healing all kinds of diseases and sickness and raising people from the dead. When the official heard that Jesus was in Galilee, he went to Him and begged Jesus to heal his dying son. Jesus said “Go back home, your son will live.” The man believed Jesus and started home. On the way home, he met some of his servants who confirmed that Jesus was indeed correct. When we hear the words of Jesus spoken to us either orally or by the Holy Spirit abiding in us, do we believe? If we can believe Jesus for our eternal salvation, why is it so hard for us to believe that He can and will heal us? Paul tells us there is no reason for us to ever doubt that God will give us everything we need. 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?—Romans 8:31, 32 (NLT)