The Proof

John 12:9-10

The resurrection of Lazarus is an interesting story, isn’t it?  Jesus could have shown up to heal Lazarus when he first heard of his sickness.  Instead, it seems that Jesus took his time and delayed coming to them.  And at the end of the story we have a miraculous resurrection of a dead man – Lazarus has come to life.

This made Christ widely popular.  Shoot, it made Lazarus widely popular!  Lazarus was the proof that what people said happened had actually happened.  He was dead.  Now he’s alive!  You’ve got to come see this!  It says in John 12:9 “…a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.”

What is interesting about this story is that the enemy wanted…. Lazarus dead?  What?  “So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.”

Understand this, the enemy doesn’t always want to go for the one who is doing the miracle working.  Many times he is after the miracle itself – because THAT is the proof of who Jesus is.

What has God resurrected in your life?  A relationship?  A passion?  A purpose for life?  Yourself?  Don’t let the enemy near it.  He wants only to destroy it.  Instead, make it public.  Show it to the world.  Because it is what He has done IN you and FOR you that many are ‘going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.’

Something is foul!

Went running this morning.

At one point something about dropped me on the spot.  Thought it was a heart-attack at first.  Then realized it was some horrible, God-forsaken, nasty, funked up, disgusting smell.  Something had died and it was apparent.  It made me run faster…. away from the stench.  And when it came time to run past that point again I didn’t even want to go near it.

God talks a lot about smells.  He says “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”  But on the contrary we probably smell like death when we are dead to God.  We stink to him.  We stink to the world.  But God can raise the dead.  Look at Lazarus.  They didn’t want to let him loose because he was sure to stink… or stinketh. Fun word.

Be careful what aroma you are giving off.  Your fragrance has the potential to be a witness to those who are perishing.  But your stench has the potential to make people run for their life away from you.  Take a spiritual bath.

Psalms 31

  • He is my Rock & Fortress.
  • He leads & guides me.
  • He sets my feet in a spacious place.
  • The Lord preserves the faithful.
  • Be strong & take heart all you who hope in the Lord.
  • "My Times are in Your hands."
  • "You shelter us from the intrigues of men."
  • He heard my cry.
  • He frees me from my trap.
  • "How great is Your goodness which You have stored up for those who fear You."

God’s Hierarchy

As pastor or volunteer….forget that….as a human, do you sometimes feel that you don’t measure up?  I have long dealt with issues of not feeling that I’m adequate enough – that I don’t have what it takes – that somebody is better than me.  And in all honesty, there are many people better than me.  Big deal.  I am who I am.  But still we get caught measuring ourselves up against other pastors, worship leaders, or people with big names, big churches, and big blogs.

Well I ran across a verse the other day that really made me think differently about who I am in God’s eyes.  In Luke, John the Baptist sends some of his peeps out to meet Christ and really see if they could get down to the root of what is happening.  Could this really be THE Messiah?  The ONE?  No…really?  So being in jail, John says, "Go figure this out.  Ask him if he is who he says he is."

So they ask.  And Christ…being the master of answering questions…says "The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. [so what do you think?]"  Question answered.

But here is the good part…the part I want everybody to get.  Jesus then goes into this description of who John the Baptist was.  He was this, and he was that.  He was the messenger who prepared the way for Christ.  The one, the only…J. B.  Burlap, bearded, and all…well camels hair, but burlap sounded better…you get the point.  So this guy is somebody.  He has a pretty good following.  He’s being persecuted for his faith.  This guy must really get special treatment from God.  Nope:

"I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." 

Huh?  Now you’ll never hear me say, "I’m better than J.B."  I don’t feel that way.  I screw up.  I make bad decisions.  I drop the ball.  But what I think Christ is saying here is that I don’t need to worry about how I measure up in man’s eyes.  God’s hierarchy, his way of measuring us is completely different than ours.  I am somebody to Christ.