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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : Lord, if You had been here

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John 11

Theme verses, John 11:21 & 32: "Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died."

Jesus loved this family dearly. Sometimes it might seem to you that others are loved more than you are, and that might arouse jealousy in your heart. Unless that jealousy is repented of and forsaken, you will be unusable to God. Rather bless those whom God blesses. Then you will be blessed too. Be content with what God gave you and be faithful in the work He gave you.

This whole incident takes place at the 11th hour, so to say. However, it was not the 12th hour yet, and Jesus knew this, and continued to work. (The Lord Jesus is Lord of time.)

Thomas saw the situation completely differently, and sincerely believed that the end had come (thus he said, "let us go, that we may die with him". He was wrong even though he was sincere. It was not the end of Christ's ministry and God wanted to glorify Himself in raising Lazarus from the dead.

We also find in John 11 that not only did Jesus love this family, all of them loved Jesus and His disciples dearly. You cannot love God while you do not love His children.

In verse 22 Martha said, "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You". However, it seems that she was not completely convinced, for when Jesus said that her brother would rise from the dead, she immediately jumped to the conclusion that Jesus is speaking about the future resurrection. Let us be careful of uttering correct and saintly words, but we fail when it comes to the reality of our faith.

Martha (and Mary) indirectly blamed Jesus for her brother's death in our text. However, she missed a great secret - that Jesus was there and He knew all that was happening. (Aren't we glad now that Jesus allowed Lazarus to die and that He didn't heal him of his sickness?)

However, Jesus stayed two days more where he was after Lazarus died and arrived 4 days after his death, so that the name of God might be glorified through it all. God's timing is perfect.

So often a person does not understand the situation and what is going on around him. Only one day will he understand. That may be one's situation right now. One doesn't comprehend what's going on and everything looks completely wrong and hopeless. But in that hopeless situation, the Lord Jesus can do what we cannot imagine.

Everything happened to bring glory to God. This text teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ is always there and He is in complete control.

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