Resurrection and the Life

Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that His good friend, Lazarus of Bethany, was sick. Jesus did not go to Bethany right away. He waited two days before leaving to see Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When Jesus arrived, Lazarus was already dead and had been in the grave four days. Martha questioned why He did not come earlier, but she knew God was still in control. To comfort Martha, Jesus reminded her of the resurrection that believers will receive, by saying, ‘Lazarus will rise again.’ Jesus then makes his fifth ‘I am’ statement in John 11:25, announcing that He is the ‘Resurrection and the Life’. The one who believes in Jesus will live even after he dies. There is eternal life waiting to the one who believes in His Name. Verse 35 shows Jesus’ humanity as he mourned for the lost of his friend. Then Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the grave to show his divinity and to display the glory of God. What a beautiful picture to show that there is life after death.

John 11:20-27 nasb Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”

Bread of Life

After the feeding of the five thousand (John 6), the crowds were going to try to make Jesus their king (v. 15). Jesus withdrew to a mountain and the disciples headed toward Capernaum. Jesus went to the boat later that night walking on the water (v. 19). Once in Capernaum, the crowd that followed was there at the feeding of the five thousand; they were seeking Jesus for more physical food. Jesus tells them that they should be seeking the spiritual food that comes down from God and gives eternal life. The crowd also wanted to know what kind of work they were supposes to do to get eternal life. “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’ (v. 29)” The only work they had to do was believe.

The crowds begin to boast how their fathers ate the manna the Moses provided. Jesus corrects them by reminding them that His Father was the one who provided the manna (v. 32). The true bread is the bread that comes down from heaven. Jesus now makes his first “I am” statement in John 6:35. He calls himself the “bread of life” who came down from heaven to do the Father’s will. Jesus said in verse forty, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” The Jews grumbled about this statement because Jesus was claiming to come down from heaven. Also, Jesus was clearly claiming to have a unique relationship with God and claiming to have attributes of God by raising people up on the last day (v. 40).

The only access to God is through believing in Jesus and by doing this you will receive eternal life. Christ is the spiritual food that nourishes the soul like regular food is for the physical body. Jesus is the only bread that can satisfy your soul. Whenever you try to satisfy your soul with anything except Christ, it will leave you feeling empty and unsatisfied.

Be Like A Child

In Mark chapter ten, parents were bringing their children to Jesus for a blessing. The disciples were rebuking the parents because they probably thought that the children would have been a distraction for them to do “real ministry”. Jesus was very displeased with the disciples’ response to the children. He said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me: do not hinder them: for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (v. 14 nasb). This was a contrast to a culture that usually looked down on children. Right before Jesus blesses the children, he tells His disciples, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all” (v.15 nasb).
Immediately after this incident a rich man runs up to Jesus asking what he can do to inherit eternal life. The rich man came with the preconceived idea that he was a model citizen and this assured him eternal life. Yes, he had kept most of the Law (outwardly) since his youth. Jesus loved him and said, there is one thing that you are lacking, “Sell all of your possessions and follow me.” The rich man than realizes all of his shortcomings. His true God is his possessions. The rich man leaves without the eternal life that he so searched for. Jesus than speaks about riches. It is very hard for a rich man to enter into heaven. The disciples are amazed and figured there was no chance that any of them could have eternal life. Jesus reminds them of the incident with the children. He calls them “children”. With your own works it is impossible to obtain eternal life.
Man is powerless, helpless, and without ability, when it comes to saving himself. God alone has the ability and power to give the person eternal life. An individual must come to God like a child to receive the kingdom of God. He must realize that it is God who gives the free gift of eternal life. Those who try to obtain eternal life by man’s “good works” will never ever ever enter into the kingdom of God. It is Christ alone that saves.