Sunday August 23rd
Many of you are probably familiar with the Apostles’ Creed. It was an early statement of Christian belief that has been recited by many Christians over the years.
I like the story told about a children’s class that was learning the Apostles Creed. Each child in the class had been assigned a sentence from the creed to recite.
Top of Form
The first child said, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”
The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.”
A number of other children followed with their additional statements about Jesus (I believe in His virgin birth, I believe in His death and resurrection, I believe that He is coming again etc.).
Then there was this awkward silence.
Everyone waited for the next line of the creed to be recited, which is “I believe in the Holy Spirit”.
Finally, one of the children said, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here today.”
Well, I certainly hope that everyone who is here today, boys and girls, men and women, and everyone who is watching online would say “I believe in the Holy Spirit.”
As Christians we believe in the trinity, the fact that there is one God present in three persons– the Father God Almighty, Jesus Christ, His only Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In addition to our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly savior, we have an earthly helper, the Holy Spirit, who lives right inside of us.
Christian author Francis Chan wrote a book about the Holy Spirit that he titled “Forgotten God”, because the Holy Spirit is so often overlooked or misunderstood.
If you ask someone to describe who God the Father is, they will usually have an answer.
If you ask them to describe who Jesus is, they will have no trouble giving an answer.
But if you ask them “Who is the Holy Spirit?” all you might hear is silence, accompanied by a confused look.
There are a number reasons why the Holy Spirit is harder to pin down and to describe, but we must not overlook or undervalue the Holy Spirit in terms of His significance in our Christian walk.
A lot of Jesus’ teachings on the night before His crucifixion focused on the Holy Spirit and His role in the lives of believers going forward.
Jesus definitely knew that the disciples were going to need a comforter like the Holy Spirit very soon. He understood how troubled they would be when they learned about His upcoming departure. So He starts out by reassuring them this way:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
One of the fascinating elements of these verses is that Jesus’ words reflect the words spoken by the bridegroom at a Galilean betrothal ceremony. The groom tells the bride that he will go “prepare a place for her” in his father’s house and then come back to take her with him. There is no doubt that the disciples recognized this.
But so far Jesus has only mentioned the Father, not the Holy Spirit. And He makes it clear that the way to the Father is only through following Him.
This focus on the connection between Jesus and the Father continues in verses 7-15
7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Again, there is this complete emphasis on the oneness between the Father and the Son, so much so that if you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen the Father! And the power of the Father will flow to those who believe in the Son, so that our prayers “in Jesus’ name” will surely be answered, and we will have the ability to do even “greater works” than Jesus Himself had performed here on the earth!
But still no mention of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, in verses 16-17 Jesus says,
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”
Jesus says “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor or another comforter.” So both the Father and the Son are working together to send the Holy Spirit. This makes perfect sense when we look at these other scriptural references to the Holy Spirit:
He is often called the Spirit of the Lord, or the Spirit of God the Father. Look at Isaiah 11:2
“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Then in Matthew 10:19-20 Jesus says,
“19 But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20 For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
In Romans 8:9 He is called both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ:
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
Look at Galatians 4:6
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Look at Philippians 1:19
“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”
And look at 1 Peter 1:10-11
“As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.”
So not only is Jesus one with the Father, the Father and Son are both one with the Holy Spirit.
That’s why Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as “another comforter” or “another Helper”. Because the Holy Spirit was going to continue doing the work that Jesus had started in the lives of the disciples. The word translated as “Comforter or Helper” was a legal term for a defense attorney, or more generally it could be someone you would call upon for help in a time of trouble. Jesus had been such a tremendous source of help for these disciples until now, but after His ascension the Holy Spirit would take over the work of comforting and helping them.
Jesus also refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth”. Once again, this also shows that the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. Look at Isaiah 65:16
“Because he who is blessed in the earth
Will be blessed by the God of truth;
And he who swears in the earth
Will swear by the God of truth”
And we already saw in verse 6 that Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life.”
It’s very important to take hold of what Jesus is saying in verse 17 when he tells the disciples that the Holy Spirit will not only be “with you” but He also “will be in you.”
This is a life-changing reality. The Holy Spirit lives “in” believers! That wasn’t true under the Old Covenant.
Abraham didn’t have the spirit in him. Moses didn’t have the spirit in him. David didn’t have the spirit in him! John the Baptist didn’t even have the Holy Spirit “in him”.
That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 11:11
“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
This means that YOU are greater than John the Baptist!
That’s what these scriptures are telling us:
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
2 Corinthians 6:16
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said
Think about this for a moment – When we get saved, when we are born again, who do we say we’ve asked into our heart? We say we’ve asked Jesus into our heart, right?
So who is within us, Jesus or the Holy Spirit?
The answer is – both!
Look what Jesus says next in verses 18 and 19
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.
Some scholars believe that when Jesus is saying “I will come to you” He is referring primarily to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After all, the Holy Spirit is also known as the Spirit of Jesus.
Look at Acts 16:6-7
“They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them.”
Those weren’t two different Spirits that were directing the path of these missionaries. The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus are one!
In the next few verses, Jesus again brings the focus back to the unity between Him and the Father, but also with us:
20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
In verse 23, when Jesus says, “We will come to him and make Our abode with him”, is He only speaking about Himself and the Father, and leaving the Holy Spirit out?
Obviously not. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one. When you get one of them you get all three.
Look at Romans 8:9-11
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Who is in us? The Spirit of God. The Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead. His Spirit.
Do you see the unity of the trinity working within you?
Jesus goes on to emphasize the key role of the Holy Spirit again in the next 2 verses:
25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
This statement shows that the Holy Spirit’s teaching always agrees with the teachings of Jesus. The Holy Spirit ensures that the words of Jesus will be preserved in our hearts as the foundation of the church and of our individual lives.
In the remaining verses of this chapter, Jesus returns to the theme of comforting His disciples:
27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.
It’s interesting that Jesus tells them in verse 28 that if they truly understood what was about to happen, “you would have rejoiced”. They definitely were not rejoicing over what they were hearing.
They didn’t understand that Jesus’ departure was necessary to complete His sacrificial work on the cross.
But it was also necessary so that the Holy Spirit could be sent to live within the hearts of believers, like us.
Jesus will explain this more fully in John 16:7
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
Let me wrap this chapter up by highlighting verses 30 and 31
I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.
The ruler of this world is clearly Satan. Jesus knows that the final showdown with the powers of darkness is about to unfold, starting in the Garden of Gethsemane and ending at the empty tomb. But I really love the fact that Jesus says that Satan “Has nothing in Me!”
This is a reaffirmation of Jesus’ sinlessness. If Jesus had sinned even once, the devil could have accused Him of it, and then He wouldn’t have been an acceptable sacrifice to cover our sins. Do you see why that’s so important?
And I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to say the same thing – “Satan has nothing in me!”
And here’s where it all comes together.
In order for me to be able to walk in purity and holiness – in order for me to be able to say with confidence that “Satan has nothing in me”, I need to be fully connected to the Holy Spirit!
As Paul reminds us in Romans 7:18
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
So I’m not going to be walking in holiness by the strength of my flesh. It’s just not possible. My only hope is to be walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Look at these three verses from Galatians chapter 5:
Verse 5 – “For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.
Verse 16 - “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Verse 25 – “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
In our flesh we have no hope. Through the Holy Spirit we can be victorious! Satan has nothing in you!
Let me ask you a simple question:
Is the man who believes in the Holy Spirit here today?
Is the woman who believes in the Holy Spirit here today?
Sunday August 2nd
I don’t want to spoil the ending for you guys, but the final verse of the Gospel of John, Chapter 21, verse 25 says,“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”So there are a lot of things that Jesus did that aren’t recorded in the Bible, but if you do your research you can find some of them. For instance, I don’t know if you’re aware of the story about that time when Jesus and Lazarus were playing poker. Lazarus placed a bet and Jesus said...I'll see you and I'll raise you.
Of course John chapter 11 is where we find the story of the raising of Lazarus, and also the proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection power. The story begins with Jesus getting the news from Martha and Mary that their brother was sick, with an obvious expectation that Jesus would immediately come to heal him.
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
When Jesus finds out about Lazarus’ illness, He immediately proclaims that this story will not end with death. But notice how Jesus doesn’t say that Lazarus wouldn’t die, only that this would not “end with death”.
That’s important, because at this point Jesus is aware of three things:
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.
Think about the seeming contradiction in that verse:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
There are going to be times in our lives when God is doing things that make no sense to us. If fact, what God is doing might seem to be the opposite of what we think He should be doing. But God knows what He is doing!
And the disciples can’t figure out what Jesus is doing either:
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, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” 12 The disciples then 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 So Jesus then 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 Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”
What a bunch of knuckleheads!
They don’t want to go into Judea because they know that there are people in Judea who want to kill Jesus. They say “Let Lazarus sleep if he’s feeling sick.” Then when Jesus makes it clear that He’s talking about death, not sleep, Thomas throws up his hands and says, “Okay, fine. Let’s all go die together in Judea!”
So they all head out towards Bethany, where Jesus runs into Martha on the way. She is distraught with grief:
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 stayed at the house. 21 Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
I tend to think that Martha spoke those words with a bit of an accusation in her voice. After all, “what took so long?”
But in the midst of her confusion and questions, she still has hope. She says this to Jesus:
22 “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Martha believes in the eventual resurrection of believers on Judgment Day, but she doesn’t have a full understanding of who Jesus really is, and the power that He holds over life and death. She is about to find out.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will 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.”
Verse 25 is the core truth of our Christian faith. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. This parallels the words that Jesus will speak in John 14:6
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Martha says that she does believe what Jesus is saying.
Then she backs that up by acknowledging that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, the only one who can raise the dead.
Then Martha runs to share this hope with her sister Mary:
28 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 got up 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 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they 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.”
Notice how Mary’s level of misunderstanding reflects where Martha’s was. “I know that you COULD’VE done something to prevent this IF ONLY you had come in time.”
Mary is crying, the others are crying, and soon Jesus is crying too:
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 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!”
John 11:35 happens to be the shortest verse in the Bible.
But it is also a very significant verse in light of how it reflects Jesus’ true humanity. He wept. He cried. Like we do when we lose someone we love.
Hebrews 4:15 says:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
In other words, Jesus has experienced every aspect of what it means to be human except for one thing, and that’s sin. Because of that, He can fully understand and sympathize with whatever we’re going through.
Some people have wondered, “if Jesus knew that He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, then why was He crying about the situation?” But we see in Romans 12:15 that we are called to:
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
So Jesus was simply sharing in the very sorrow that He was about to erase.
The people in the crowd had their own opinions as well, similar to what Martha and Mary had expressed:
37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”
Could Jesus have kept Lazarus from dying? Absolutely! But there is a bigger plan at work here.
38 So Jesus, 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.”
I think that’s really ironic, and kind of typical of how we sometimes relate to God. We tell God what we need. He starts to address the need in a way that only He can. And we tell Him why that won’t work!
I mean seriously, don’t you think that a God who can raise a dead man to life can also make the smell of death disappear?
So when we’re going to trust God for our answers, let’s be willing to believe He can work out every detail!
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42 I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” 44 The man 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.”
I heard a cute story about a children's Sunday school class that was presenting their end of the year program for the congregation. The children were telling stories about the life of Jesus.
When it came to the part about Jesus' miracles, one little boy said, "Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead!" The teacher urged him to tell the audience more.
He said, "Well, Jesus told them to open the tomb, and then He said, 'Lazarus, come out!' And it's a good thing he didn't just say 'Come out!' because there would have been a stampede of dead guys."
Do you know what’s great about that? At the resurrection there’s going to be a whole stampede of dead guys and ladies coming out of tombs, and we might be part of that stampede!
Now you might think that this powerful miracle would change the minds of everyone in Israel. Not exactly.
45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.
47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
Many of the people who witnessed this miracle became followers of Jesus, but the hard-hearted Pharisees still won’t believe. In fact, they are even more determined to kill Jesus.
And the Holy Spirit speaks through Caiaphas, who is NOT a believer, and prophesies that Jesus would be the “one man” who would die for the “whole nation”, in fact, for the whole world. And they will be a part of that.
So the final verses of this chapter are sort of a lull, a waiting period before the plot to crucify Jesus starts to unfold:
54 Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 So they were seeking for Jesus, and were saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they might seize Him.
I know it seems incredible that these leaders would want to kill a man who has just raised the dead. But in John chapter 16 Jesus tells the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus. By the way this isn’t the same Lazarus!19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
How true of a statement was that? The Pharisees had Moses and the Prophets to point out that Jesus was the promised Messiah. They wouldn’t believe them.
AND they had a man, Lazarus, raised from the dead, and they STILL wouldn’t believe! In fact, we’ll see in chapter 12 that they wanted to KILL Lazarus too!
What are we to make of this?
Well, for one, we shouldn’t be surprised that people reject the truth no matter how clear it is.
We saw back in John 7:7 where Jesus said that:
“The world… hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.”
And in John 3:19
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”
So don’t get discouraged when people don’t seem receptive to the gospel. Just keeping sharing it with your words, your lifestyle, and your love. Because those are the things that God uses to break through hardened hearts!