Monday, January 25, 2016

On 1-31-16, John 11:38-44 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as The Death of a Friend

The Death of a Friend
John 11:38-44
January 31, 2016

Jed Greenough

Sickness, accidents, murder and old age.  These are just some of the ways that death strikes us.  The grief that is usually then expressed ranges from stunned silence to the tearing and clutching of hair and clothes.

I am sure you have seen in person, in print or in some media and perhaps even in yourself where in grief an individual either feels abandoned by God or knows the comfort of God.  The latter more often an eventual comfort than immediate.  

Mary and Martha didn’t feel immediate comfort because they felt the pain of their brother’s absence but they knew and believed in the resurrection so the point should be learned—grief is okay even if you believe.

Knowing that you will no longer have that person to talk to, laugh with, help or be helped by is painful.

Jesus knew how this would all turn out when He said in verse 4, “This sickness will not end in death.”  But yet He grieved with and for Lazarus’ family and friends.  

It seems almost astounding knowing as He did what He was about to do and the joy that would soon come their way!  Isn’t it comforting to know that this is the one who sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us?  (Romans 8).  

This is especially true when we know that those who have died are His but it is the complete opposite when we know that they are not.  Then how do you comfort the grief?  For this I have no answer save to say what will you do to prevent it for others in the future?

Sharing the gospel message should not be something you are afraid to do if you love someone.  And to whom will you limit your love?

For Discussion:

  1. Please read my blog entry from 5-20-12 where the subject of Lazarus was covered previously.
  2. Talk about your own experiences of grief and comfort at the death of a loved one.
  3. Discuss dealing with those who grieve at the loss of a loved one who was not saved.
  4. Discuss what Mary, Martha, their friends and Lazarus must have felt after this miracle.
  5. Discuss those who still held Jesus a grudge.
  6. Discuss what Jesus went through during this.

Upcoming Lessons

2-7-16     Passover     Exodus 12:1-14

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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