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By Glorifying God

(John 11:1-7, 15-16, 11:30-40, 12:9-15)

By Charlie Lehardy, 04.14.19

John 11:1-7

A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”


John 11:15-16

15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” 16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”


John 11:30-40

30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him.31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” 38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”


John 12:9-15

When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus. 12 The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors 13 took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: 15  “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.”

BIG IDEA: Jesus Christ glorified God by revealing Him to us; we glorify God when we reveal Christ to the world.

From the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

  • What is the chief aim of man? To glorify God and enjoy him forever.

"When we speak of glory, we always think of an exaggeration. Perhaps you are familiar with the inscription at Versailles: "To all the glories of France." Man's glory is like making a big noise, like trying to show off himself greater than he is. God does not need to make any fuss about his glory: God is glorious. He simply needs to show Himself as He is, He simply needs to reveal Himself." – Karl Barth, The Faith of the Church.


1. Christ lives in us; we glorify God when we carry on with His unfinished work.

(Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:25-27; John 14:12)

Read John 11:1-6

  • The things we do in the name of Christ, and the things we do almost without thinking day by day as Christ-followers, these things all create an impression on those watching us. We glorify God when how we live draws people to want to know Jesus.


2. We glorify God when we remain faithful through good times and bad.

(Psalm 118:1; 2 Timothy 2:13; Isaiah 61:1-3; Daniel 3:16-18)

Read John 11:30-40

  • When we remain faithful, even if we're disappointed in God or angry at God, even if we have doubts about whether he's really paying attention to our prayers, we're saying something important: God is good, God loves me, and God can be trusted even when I don't understand what he's doing. And that statement glorifies God.


3. We glorify God when the church recognizes Christ as its one true King.

(Matthew 6:33; Mark 10:15; Luke 17:20-21)

Read John 12:9-15

  • Our political aims as Christians can't be to advance partisanship, but to hold all leaders accountable to govern ethically and to use their powers to bring about justice, peace, and compassion for the powerless.
  • We must always conduct ourselves in our political activities in ways that bring honor to Christ, because the ultimate aim of everything we do, even politics, is to share God's Good News with the lost.

“The most interesting, creative, political solutions we Christians have to offer our troubled society are not new laws, advice to Congress, or increased funding for social programs – although we may find ourselves supporting such national efforts. The most creative social strategy we have to offer is the church. Here we show the world a manner of life the world can never achieve through social coercion or governmental action. We serve the world by showing it something that it is not, namely, a place where God is forming a family out of strangers.” – Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon

ONLINE RESOURCES:

Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon

Some thoughts on the book:

The Church as a Colony

https://www.anotherthink.com/contents/essays_on_faith/20181026_the-church-as-a-colony.html

Is the Church Political?

https://www.anotherthink.com/contents/essays_on_faith/20181102_is-the-church-political.html

NEXT STEP:

  • Is God challenging you today to think differently about your walk of faith?
  • Have you ever thought that your relationship to God, to the church, to your friends and family can glorify God?
  • How is God challenging you today to think and live differently, to the glory of God?

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