A Sickness Not Unto Death

A Sickness Not Unto Death

Scripture: John 11:17-44 (NRSVue) 
Lectionary Gospel Reading

The story this week of the raising of Lazarus is a foreshadowing of Easter. The first half of John’s gospel is called by some scholars the Book of Signs. There are seven signs that Jesus performs that point to a greater truth about the Father and the Son: the water turning into wine, the miraculous multiplication of bread and loaves, Jesus walking on the water, and three healings of the official’s son, the man at the pool, and last week the man born blind. Today’s passage includes the seventh and crowning sign—Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead. This is not only a foreshadowing of Jesus’ death and resurrection, it teaches us about the power of LIFE: the power of God and the Son of God to shine through in the midst of hardship, adversity, and even our greatest foe—death. With Jesus, life, the abundant life, has the final word. And this Sunday we will look at one of the seven I AM Statements Jesus makes in this gospel, “I am the resurrection and the life.”


March 26, 2023 – 5th Sunday in Lent

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Sermon Art: “Christ’s raising of Lazarus,” Athens, 12–13th century, Wikipedia.

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This Week’s Bible Study and Discussion Questions John 11:17-44

    1. What do you think it would be like to be friends with Jesus?
    2. John uses the symbolism of numbers in his gospel. There are the Seven I Am Statements and Seven signs that Jesus performs. What is the I AM statement in this passage? What does this say about Jesus? What is the sign (wonder or miracle) that Jesus performs? What does the miracle point to?
    3. Why did Jesus wait to come to Lazarus?
    4. What does Jesus mean by saying even though we die, we will live?
    5. How can we cultivate an attitude and perspective that the challenges we are undergoing can bring glory to God?
    6. Going through John’s gospel, we’ve heard a number of conversations Jesus has with people. What are your impressions of Martha’s understanding of Jesus?
    7. Martha came back to her sister with Jesus’ invitation: The Teacher is here and is calling for you. When she heard it, she got up quickly and went to Jesus, knelt at his feet, and shared her anger and hurt. What does this say about our relationship with Jesus?
    8. One of the shortest verses in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” John also writes that Jesus was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. What does that mean to you?
    9. What do you think it would have been like to be there when Jesus said, “Lazarus, come out!” And then the dead man came out.
    10. What are some grave clothes we might need to be unbound from today?

What do you think Lazarus’ second funeral was like compared to his first?




Other Sermons In This Series

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