Jump Start # 3232
John 12:2 “So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.”
I did not come from a family of preachers. I was the first in my family to travel down this road. Of my three sons, one also preaches all the time. The oldest has preached many times. But recently, the youngest, Joel, preached his first sermon. Of course, as a proud pappa, he hit it out of the park. To think, on that Sunday, three of us were preaching in three different places. Giving credit where it is due, these thoughts came from Joel. Even ole’ dad can still be taught by his kids.
In the previous chapter of John, Lazarus is resurrected from the dead. He has been in the grave for four days. We turn the page in our Bibles and come to our verse today. Jesus is at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Martha is serving. And, there sits Lazarus, at the table with Jesus. For a moment, just consider.
· Among all the people in that room, only Jesus and Lazarus knew what was on the other side of life. One has to wonder if a wink, a subtle smile, a nod of the head, passed between the two of them. They knew. They understood. They had had seen the other side. What a special bond that would have created.
· One has to wonder how that four day journey to the other side changed Lazarus. He knew what it was like. Was he more patient than before? Did he no longer let things bother him, as they once may have? Did he see this world differently, once he had been to the other side?
· Did that journey to the other side make him more evangelistic? Maybe bashful before about telling others about Jesus, now he had no fear. Maybe he saw how important it was to talk about one’s faith in God and the grand promises of the Lord. He had been to the other side. He knew.
· When it came time for Lazarus to die again, and he had to go through that door of death a second time, do you think he was less scared and anticipating getting to the other side. He’d been there. He knew what it was like. Can’t you imagine how he longed for that place again. His courage and confidence would have encouraged others.
How Lazarus must have changed once he had seen the other side. There was nothing like it. He had been there. The Bible does not reveal any conversations Lazarus had about the other side.
Jesus said, “Blessed are they who have not seen, yet believed.” He said this in regard to Thomas having to see the resurrected Jesus. But in many ways those words are fitting for us as we think about the other side. We have not been there, but by faith, we have. We know. We understand. And, how all of that ought to change us. How it ought to drive away the fear of death from our hearts. How it ought to make us evangelistic.
Lazarus had a new beginning. He saw the world through new eyes. He had been to the other side. How that experience would have changed him. And, through faith, how it ought to change us.
Thanks to my Joel for putting such an incredible thought out for us.