February 24 – Chronological Gospels

“Come, follow me.” — Jesus (Matthew 4:19)

We are following Jesus through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, wrapping up on Easter on April 1st. We’ll be hopping around the four gospels for a chronological perspective of Jesus’ life on earth. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!

John 11

The Death of Lazarus

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.

SOAP Note

If Only | Jess Howell

Scripture

John 11:21-22

Observation

Jesus gets notice that a close family friend, Lazarus, is very sick. Lazarus’ family assumes that Jesus will rush back to heal him, but Jesus intentionally waits to return until he knows Lazarus has passed. Martha sees Jesus coming in the distance and rushes to meet him. Immediately she shares her frustration with him, “if only” he had come earlier. But then Martha’s faith kicks in – she realizes this could be an important moment/lesson with Jesus.

Application

You can feel the desperation in Martha’s tone – her disappointment of waiting days for Jesus to come and heal her brother. “If only” was part of Martha’s plan, but Jesus had another. Many times my prayers go unanswered, and life’s path changes on me. “If only” is my coping mechanism that enables me to blame God. If only I had gotten that job; if only You had stopped that illness; if only I had made that decision.  Rather than saying “if only” in my circumstances, I should reposition my thoughts toward the Director of my paths –  “But God”.

Prayer

Father God, You are the Director in my life. I trust You. I believe You have predestined me to face trials that I will try to blame on You. But God, You aren’t trying to make my life hard – You are simply trying to break me of my sin and build me to be a better person. I pray I can look to You first before I turn to “if only”.

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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Posted on February 24, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Earlier this week, I made an observation in my journal that the only time the Bible mentions rejoicing in heaven is when someone turns to God and I went on to speculate what that means. If they ONLY rejoice when a soul is won for the Kingdom and not for anything else, it must mean they know something we don’t about just how exceedingly wonderful heaven is!

    With that in mind, this was the nugget I found this morning:

    S: John 11:35

    O: Jesus wept. A favorite verse among many because it’s the shortest verse in the whole Bible. He weeps during the story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection. Not because he’s sad about Lazarus – Jesus already knows he’s going to bring Lazarus back. Perhaps he weeps out of compassion for his friends Mary & Martha who are mourning the loss of their brother. Their grief moves him. My Bible (NLT) says he weeps out of anger for the lack of faith demonstrated by the mourners. Don’t they know who Jesus is and what he can do? He even says in verse 25 that he’s the Resurrection and the Life and asks “Do you believe this?” And the people’s actions show they don’t. Well, if you don’t believe you don’t receive. And Jesus wanted them to receive.

    A: I have always seen Jesus as compassionate and found it comforting that he grieves with us. I still believe he does, but I feel this is more than that. This is one of the only times Jesus cries, and it’s seemingly over our salvation. Just like the heavenly hosts only rejoice when someone turns to God, Jesus was lamenting the lost souls who haven’t figured it out yet. He does care for us and feel with us, but what matters most to him is our spending eternity with him in heaven. He’s moved to tears when he sees we’re not getting it. Our eyes need to be open and fixed on him.

    P: Jesus, I’m sorry for the tears I know You’ve shed on my behalf more than once. Those times I demonstrated a complete lack of faith and understanding. Thank You for caring and for being there with open arms when I return. Please help me stay Focused on You, and help me keep my family’s Focus on You, so that You don’t have to cry for them too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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  2. There was an excellent Proverbs 31 Ministry devotion by Liz Curtis Higgs on John 11:27 this week that tied together the story of Martha in Luke 10 (the founding scripture of our Discover One Thing ministry) with this glimpse of Martha in John 11. Check it out: https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2018/02/23/moving-from-distracted-to-devoted

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