This sermon is based on John 11:38 – 45. It is the familiar story of Jesus raising Lazarus his good friend from the dead.
What can we learn from this story? When Jesus learnt of Lazarus death, He was in another place and Lazarus had died four days already. Jesus was very sad when He learnt of his death. His disciples wanted Him to stay where He was, but He insisted of going back to Lazarus’ village. When Jesus reached the village he ordered the stone to be taken away from the tomb, but people were reluctant because of the odour after four days. Jesus knew, He wanted to show them He was God. He also wanted to show His love for Lazarus. In this away, God show great love for us, also Jesus was raise from the dead for us. Those who believed will have eternal lives. Jesus returned to raise Lazarus as well as to show His love for Lazarus. Although Jesus could have roll the stone from the tomb, He asked his disciples to do that. This was because He was teaching the disciples, similarly He is teaching us. God will do His part, let us do our part. Sometimes we cannot understand like what Pastor Daniel experienced in his ministries, but we just obey God. Pastor Daniel said doing mission work is not easy. Many of these activities are new to him. Like raising Lazarus was new to the disciples. God wants us to do the unfamiliar. Like removing the stone, to show love to the people. To be closed to the people. It was like Jesus even though He knew people hated Him, He still wanted to go back to the village.
Pastor Daniel related an incident in the longhouse his ministry is helping. A man who usually opposed his ministry came to ask for his help to give him some stones, cement and bricks to build his house as he was an invalid. People had told Pastor what this man had done to his ministry in that kampong. Pastor said he will pray about this man’s request. After two weeks this man received what he requested for and he was so thankful and came to the Lord. Pastor Daniel said the lesson is that sometime Christians are the ones who do not share the Gospel with non-Christians. It is the hope that Jesus brings to people, regardless of who they are. Pastor Daniel also observed that believers in the kampong have stronger faith then believers in the city.
When the stone rolled away from the cave, Jesus shouted to Lazarus to come out. Actually, His shout was for the people presence, and not about Lazarus. Jesus could have raise Lazarus without going to the village but He chose to go there. His shout was meant for the villagers. He brought a message of love. Jesus has also given us spiritual authority so let us use this authority.
When Lazarus came out of the tomb he was in grave cloths. When Jesus asked the people to remove his cloth, they hesitated. May be people were sceptical and worried about the odour. Why Jesus wanted the people to remove the cloths? Because He wanted the people to be involved in the Kingdom, also they have to do their part and God will do His part. This lesson also applies to us today.
It is not necessary to have great faith to do ministry, but we need to obey God. The raising of Lazarus was for the people, after he was raise from the dead many came to believe in Jesus Christ.
What is Jesus doing in your life? Show love to the unreached, share our faith and show our love to them.
Exercise our faith and release people into the ministries of God.