Friday, February 15, 2013
The Call and the Challenge to the Vision. Part 3
This message was preached by Colin D' Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the 10th of Feb2013. You can listen / download the audio file by clicking here.
This morning God has been speaking to us amazingly to prophecy, scripture readings. I ‘d like to dwell on that a bit before we see how our vision of 13/30 will be worked out
This story is about Lazarus. He had two sister Martha and Mary who were good friends of Jesus. Lazarus fell very ill while Jesus was away in another town. They sent word to Jesus about Lazarus’s condition because they knew that Jesus had healed many people from all kinds of disease. Jesus got the message in time but did not do anything about it, in fact he chose to stay there a little while longer. One would think that this is such a strange response (verse4-6) Imagine if you call a doctor in an emergency and he deliberately delays his coming to you.
What we must remember is that Jesus did not do anything outside of God’s will.
Then Jesus comes to Martha and Mary’s house and he is greeted by a funeral party. Lazarus had been buried 4 days. The Jews believed that the soul stayed on the body for 3 days and on the 4th day it left the body. It was now the fourth day and the body should have decayed really badly.
This is when Jesus arrives.
V22 Martha expressed hope though she is disappointed. You may have dead situations viz. a job, finance, relationships etc that seem hopeless top the point of decay.
Jesus gives Martha hope – “your brother will rise again”
V25- Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life” Jesus takes them to the grave.
V 38 They come to the tomb and asks that the stone be rolled away.
V 40 Jesus prays aloud
V 43 Jesus commands the dead Lazarus to come out. This is not a fairy tale. This is history. Throughout Jesus ‘ministry he demonstrates that he is God over creation (when he calms the storms), over food (the 5 loaves and two fish), over sickness and death.
Jesus goes on to say in 12:24 unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it will not bear fruit. Jesus though Lord of creation knew what He had to do.
How does this apply to us?
Our vision is 30/13
This is the way He modeled and taught it.
We know we are going to heaven because he died and paid the price.
Jesus is saying he is the kernel of wheat that is going to die. He knew going to the cross would produce a great harvest and rose again and the gospel has gone on for 2000+ years.
Verse 25 – It does not end with Jesus.
Jesus is asking for a response. Are we willing to loose our lives for him?
Q. What does this mean?
We need to have a new way of living. How can we bless and serve others. When you do this it will be inconvenient. It will involve hardships, pain. We get many opportunities to deny ourselves and practice this.
This world is quickly passing by. What will we do with our time on earth? It’s only a short blip in eternity.
There is a great hope in eternity. Jesus set the example. It will cost us – our comforts and preferences.
The people you reach with the gospel will keep growing because of the seed you have sown.
Churches die due to stagnation. We can be comfortable with certain things. But the new wineskin is Church Planting Movements- where you are starting new groups. Start one, don’t stagnate.