Where Is Jesus When You Need Him?

By Derek Gentle

John 11:1-46

Ten Principles:

Principle Number One - You can Love Jesus and Still Get Hurt.
Verses 1-2

"Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)"

Principle Number Two - Jesus Can Love You and You Get Hurt.
Verses 3 and 5

Our Suffering doesn't disprove the love of God

"Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. . .
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. "

Principle Number Three - God's Glory is More Important than our Comfort .
Verse 4

"When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. "

Principle Number Four - God's Delays Have Purpose .
Verse 6

"When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. "

God's delays may have:

  • Motive purifying purpose
  • Sin purging purpose
  • Service training purpose
  • Work completing purpose
  • Character building purpose
  • Circumstance arranging purpose

Principle Number Five - God's Delays are Silent Times.
Verses 17 and 21

"Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already."
"Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."

Jesus did not send word to Martha and Mary about what He was about to do. For four days they lived in worry over their dying brother and then, grief as he died. For them it was a silent time when they heard nothing from God.

Principle Number Six - Human Tragedy Does Not Prove Divine Inability.

One thing everyone agreed on- Jesus had the ability:

  • Martha in Verse 21 - "Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."
  • Mary in Verse 32 - "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. "
  • "The crowd in Verse 37 - And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? "
  • Jesus in Verse 15 - "I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe "
    (The idea here is that if Jesus had been there, yes, He would have healed Lazarus. But since Jesus had not been present, they would see a bigger miracle, a resurrection. Ironically enough, Jesus is saying, 'Good thing I wasn't there!')

Principle Number Seven - God Does Not Meet Human Tragedy with Divine Indifference.
Verses 33-36

"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept."

Principle Number Eight - The Lord Uses Tragedy and Impossibility to Reveal His Personality.
Verses 39-40, 25

"Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? "

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live "

Principle Number Nine - The Lord Doesn't Do "Nothing" About Our Sorrows.
Verses 11, 38a, 43-44

"These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep."

"Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. . . "

"And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go."

Principle Number Ten - Miracles Do Not Guarantee Faith.
Verses 45 and 46

"Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done."

They saw it all and instead of believing it they went to the Pharisees and told on Him! Carnal people always resent a spiritual ministry