JESUS AND THE RESTORATION
John 11:1-46    (NAS)
1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.   3 The sisters therefore sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick."    4 But when Jesus heard it, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it."   5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When therefore He heard that he was sick, He stayed then two days {longer} in the place where He was.   7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."    8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?"    9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.    10 "But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."    11 This He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep."    12 The disciples therefore said to Him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."    13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.    14 Then Jesus therefore said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead,
15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him."
16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to {his} fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."     17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.
18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off;     19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning {their} brother.   20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him; but Mary still sat in the house.    21 Martha therefore said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.    22 "Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."     23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother shall rise again."
24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."   25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,   26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"   27 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."
28 And when she had said this, she went away, and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, "The Teacher is here, and is calling for you."   29 And when she heard it, she arose quickly, and was coming to Him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.
31 The Jews then who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
32 Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."    33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her, {also} weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled,    34 and said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see."
35 Jesus wept.     36 And so the Jews were saying, "Behold how He loved him!"     37 But some of them said, "Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man also from dying?"     38 Jesus therefore again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.     39 Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been {dead} four days."     40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"    41 And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me.
42 "And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me."    43 And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth."    44 He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."   45 Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and beheld what He had done, believed in Him.   46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.
 

Introduction
Jesus commanded Lazarus to arise and he arose. This did not occur every day and since New testament times has not occurred. The final resurrection of the dead is guaranteed by our Lord. All who have acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior will resurrect to newness of life. This story of Lazarus can aid us in the day by day restoration needed in our lives. Let's analyze the ingredients of this restoration.
 
 
 

I.    Jesus and the restoration, before it happened. 
A.    If we want Restoration.

The First thing to do:    Call upon Jesus. In verse 3, they told Jesus. Whatever you and I need today in the say of restoration power, we must first call upon the Lord. This call was given before Lazarus died. But, the Lord was called because Mary and Martha realized He alone could help.

Secondly:    We must learn to focus on truth. Truth must be the starting point and from it we can receive our desired restoration. Verse 4, tells us anew, a truth about the knowledge of the Lord. he has a spiritual knowledge about this sickness. The knowledge expressing God's glory will be highlighted through this experience. Once again, we have a verse of scripture that doesn't agree with the modern health and wealth gospel. This sickness is for the glory of God. Verses 3 and 5, focus on the truth of God's love. A general agreement of Christ's love for Lazarus is stated bu Mary and Martha. John, as the inspired writer, further calls attention to Christ's love for Mary, Martha and Lazarus. In verse 36, the multitude states, "...behold how He loved him." When you need restoration power remember we as His children are loved. Verses 6-7 and 14-15, indicate the wisdom of the Lord. His wisdom told Him to stay 2 days longer. The wisdom of the Lord further expresses itself in the statement,"...so that you may believe,..." One of the purposes in glorifying God is the disciples to believe more firmly. All of these statements relate to truth. We must focus on truth.

Thirdly:    We must regularly deal with our fears. Notice verses 8 and 16. The disciples recall the stones thrown and have a fear of returning to the immediate area of Jerusalem. But, in verse 16, Thomas leads the way as he says,"...let us also go, that we may die with him." This is courage in the face of fear, even if it is pessimistic courage. These verses indicate the need to deal with our fears. They must be dealt with if the resurrection power is made available.
 
 
 

II.    Jesus and the restoration, when it happened. 
Before we look at the level of belief surrounding the restoration event, notice Matthew 13:58. "And He did not do many miracles there, because of their unbelief." Why did God choose Lazarus for a resurrection.

First:    In my mind, the belief level of this family entered into the choice. Verses 21-17, speak of Martha's belief. Jesus asked her specifically, "...do you believe this? She responded, "Yes, Lord, I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of the Livoing God,..."

What a confession of faith. But, notice also the faith of Mary expressed in verse 32. She believes the Lord could have kept Lazarus from dying. She believes in the power of Christ. In verse 37, the multitude expresses a similar belief in the healing power of the Lord.

Then the Lord emphasized belief as He says,"...I knew that thou heardest Me always;... There is not a question in our Lord's belief. he does not waver. Then He says,"...I said it that they might believe..." (v. 42) The Lord can, has, and will perform restorations simply in His own power, but the climate of belief here certainly added the calling forth of Lazarus. When you and I need a physical, mental or spiritual restoration, our belief level will be a help or a hinderance.

Secondly:    As the restoration takes place notice those who participate with the Lord. There is a stone in front of the tomb. The Lord asked others to remove the stone. The obvious question must come. If the Lord can raise the dead He certainly can move a stone. But, you and I might move stones so the Lord lets others help. Look, also, at verse 44 as Jesus says,"...unbind him, and let him go." Once again, if Jesus can raise the dead he can also unbind him. But, some can remove stones and some can take off bindings and the Lord wants their participation. I know if I had been there and helped to roll that stone or remove those bandages, I would have testified about it. Anyone who questioned the validity of Lazarus' restoration would hear from me. The Lord wanted and received participation in the restoration event.

Thirdly:    The Lord called with aloud voice, "... Lazarus come forth." And Lazarus came forth. Years ago I heard a preacher say the reason the Lord said, "Lazarus" was to keep all the other dead people in this graveyard from rising. But, in more recent years, I have heard that this is the only tomb in the area. Never-the-less, the Lord cried out with a loud voice. It is the call of the Lord that gives victory over death.

Illustration
Dr. Adrian Rogers and his wife, Joyce, have four children. But, one of their children died in infancy. They were saddened by this event and through those days sought the comfort of the Lord. In joy they had a tombstone prepared for this little boy. On this stone they had engraved the wording "Phillip" "...Yes, Lord!"

Application
All of us who believe will experience a similar resurrection. We will arise in Christ because we have acknowledged His lordship. That power is available for a victorious life on the way to the final resurrection. Please follow to point three.
 
 
 

III.    Jesus and the restoration, after it happened. 
From my perspective, I cannot imagine anyone seeing the resurrection of Lazarus and not believing the claims of Jesus. Verse 45 says, many believed. That's as it should be. But, notice verse 47. It indicates doubt and animosity. These folks are not happy that a restoration occurred.

Their hate led them to plot to kill the Lord. (v.53) They also designed to kill Lazarus, (12: 10-11).

One preacher, I heard recently, suggested Lazarus represented the natural, carnal and spiritual man. This description of mankind is given in I Cor. 2:14-3:3.

Lazarus as a dead man might be thought of as a natural man.

In the restored state, bound hand and foot, he could represent the carnal man.

Unbound and loose the spiritual man. This is a helpful analogy. Under which of these categories do you fall? The restoration power is certainly there for us to enjoy an unbound spiritual life.
 

Conclusion:

The Lord gave three reasons for this raising of Lazarus:

l. That the Son of God may be glorified. (v.4)

2. That the disciples may believe (v.15)

3. That the crowd may believe (v.42)

The same emphasis exists today. We should glorify the Son, deepen the belief of disciples and help non-believers to believe. Do you need a restoration? Then apply these principles to your life.