Testify Series: Days 18-19

John 10:22-42

John 11:1-54

I decided to combine yesterday’s and today’s reading into one post. My day was full yesterday attending the memorial service for one of my husbands best friends at work/his mentor. After a 4 year battle with cancer, he received his heavenly reward. The service was like no other I’ve been to before. The whole two hour memorial pointed to Jesus in the most worshipful way.

Darian’s life spoke loudly for Jesus in the way he carried himself, his countenance, his discipleship mentality in a secular and scientific workplace. He was brilliant and kind, did his work to the highest standards, and his work/life balance was on pointe.

His last wish was that his co-workers would know Jesus like he knew Him. It moved me. It confirmed the calling in my heart that today is the day to share the good news with those around us. Even after walking through unspeakable pain and loss, He still gave praise and honor to God and his family did as well.

Because one day, just like Lazurus, who we will read about in a bit, Darian will walk out of his grave into God’s glorious day!

John 10 was driving home the truth that the sheep hear Jesus’ voice. We who hear his voice know Him and we follow Him. He gives eternal life and we will never perish. No one can snatch us away from Him. The Father has given us to Him and He is more powerful than anyone. No one can snatch us from the Father’s hand. The Father and Jesus are one.

Friday someone asked me about once saved always saved. I had just read this and was able to gently, lovingly, and kindly give them an answer. This person was using that phrase as an excuse for licentiousness and godless living. That’s not what it means at all. If you are truly saved, going back to John 8:31, you will be faithful to Jesus’ teachings which are filled with repentance, faith, and service to others.

At the end of today’s passage people are still trying to decide about Jesus. They notice that John the Baptist didn’t do any miracles yet everything he said about Jesus is coming true. Another group of people is preparing to kill Him, accusing Him of blasphemy.

We then jump over to Jesus’ good friend Lazarus who was sick and dying. Jesus is only a few miles away, but delays in coming for the glory of God to be displayed. When he gets there He is angered and weeps at the loss of Lazarus. You feel His humanity here and as someone who has lost several people close to us lately, it’s comforting to know Jesus can empathize with us in our grief. Martha displays her faith in Jesus. Mary, her sister, is grief stricken and wondering why this has all happened.

Jesus said, “Roll the stone aside.” Jesus looked up to heaven, prayed aloud for the people’s sake and the Shepherd said the name of His sheep, “Lazarus, come out!” The sheep heard His voice and came out of that grave! “Unwrap him and let him go!” said Jesus.

Many more believed because of this, but others told the Pharisees who began to be afraid Jesus was a danger to the security of the nation of Israel with fear that the people would be divided and Rome would take them over.

Caiaphas then prophesies that Jesus will die for the nation and John adds that Jesus died not only for Israel, but for all of the children of God scattered around the world.

Soon after Jesus stopped his public ministry to Jerusalem and retreated in the wilderness with His disciples.

Today, I want to leave you with the words Darian asked be shared with us. Remember to “Look up and smile.” When you are grief stricken, remember what He has done and will do. When you look around at the world in all it’s chaos, remember to “look up and smile.” There’s more to the story than what’s on the surface. And most of all remember to remind others to look up, too.

May the Lord bless you and keep you this Sunday morning and make His face shine upon you,