The Witness of Resurrection & the Love Languages of Faith

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses twenty through fifty of the twelfth chapter. “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answering them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of what fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” (John 12:20-28).

 

            “The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:29-36).

 

            “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which. He spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:37-43).

 

            “Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I hasve spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:44-50).

 

            THERE WERE CERTAIN GREEKS AMONG THEM THAT CAME UP TO WORSHIP AT THE FEAST! WORSHIP OF THE GENTILES! THE SAME CAME THEREFEORE TO PHILIP, AND DESIRED HIM, SAYING, SIR, WE WOULD SEE JESUS! WE WOULD SEE JESUS! WE DESIRE TO SEE JESUS! WE HAVE HEARD ABOUT JESUS! MAY WE PLEASE SEE JESUS? CAN YOU INTRODUCE US TO JESUS? IF ANY MAN SERVE ME, LET HIM FOLLOW ME; AND WHERE I AM THERE, THERE SHALL ALSO MY SERVANT BE! IF ANY MAN SERVE ME, HIM WILL MY FATHER HONOUR!

            NOW IS MY SOUL TROUBLED! WHAT SHALL I SAY? FATHER, SAVE ME FROM THIS HOUR? FOR THIS CAUSE CAME I UNTO THIS HOUR! FATHER, GLORIFY THY NAME! THEN CAME THERE A VOICE FROM HEAVEN, SAYING, I HAVE BOTH GLORIFIED IT, AND WILL GLORIFY IT AGAIN! THIS VOICE CAME NOT BECAUSE OF ME, BUT FOR YOUR SAKES!

 

            NOW IS THE JUDGMENT OF THIS WORLD! NOW SHALL THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD BE CAST OUT!

 

            AND I, IF I BE LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME! THIS HE SAID, SIGNIFYING WHAT DEATH HE SHOULD DIE!

 

            YET A LITTLE WHILE IS THE LIGHT WITH YOU! WALK WHILE YE HAVE THE LIGHT, LEST DARKNESS COME UPON YOU! HE THAT WALKETH IN DARKNESS KNOWETH NOT WHITHER HE GOETH! WHILE YE HAVE THE LIGHT, BELIEVE IN THE LIGHT, THAT YE MAY BE CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT!

            THESE THINGS SPAKE JESUS, AND DEPARTED, AND DID HIDE HIMSELF FROM THEM!

 

            BUT THOUGH HE HAD DONE SO MANY MIRACLES BEFORE THEM, YET THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM! NEVERTHELESS AMONG THE CHIEF RULERS ALSO MANY BELIEVED ON HIM; BUT BECAUSE OF THE PHARISEES THEY DID NOT CONFESS HIM, LEST THEY SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE! FOR THEY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MEN MORE THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD!

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the twelfth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John coming to a close. What makes the twelfth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John so incredibly powerful when you take the time to consider it is how it begins and opens with Jesus returning to the place of resurrection. As you read the opening verses of this chapter you will find that six days before the Passover Jesus would return unto Bethany, which was actually unique when you think about it in the context of the eleventh chapter. Previously the town of Bethany was known to be the home of Mary and her sister Martha and her brother Lazarus and might have had a special significance and meaning unto Jesus and the disciples since the apostle John writes how Jesus loved Lazarus and his two sisters. What we find in the twelfth chapter, however, is that Bethany would be completely and utterly transformed  through and because of a miracle that would take place in the midst of it. You will recall in the eleventh chapter that Lazarus who was friend to Jesus and who Jesus loved grew sick and would ultimately die and be buried in the tomb where his lifeless body would lie for four days. Mary and Martha would send word unto Jesus that the one whom He loved was sick and yet upon hearing and receiving word that His friend was sick Jesus would abide still two days where He was. In fact,  the text indicates that Jesus wouldn’t show up until after Lazarus had died and his lifeless body was buried in the tomb for four days. Instead of showing up four days earlier while Lazarus was still alive—although Lazarus was indeed sick—Jesus would show up when it was seemingly too late and when there was absolutely nothing that could be done in the lives of Mary and Martha.

            As I come to the twelfth chapter of this gospel narrative I can’t help but encounter the tremendous truth that this chapter highlights and underscores Bethany—not only because Jesus would return unto it because of its proximity to Jerusalem but also because Mary, Martha and Lazarus would be present there in the midst of that town. What’s more is that the town of Bethany would be the place of resurrection and that place where miracles had indeed taken place in the midst of it. The town of Bethany would have been entirely and altogether transformed by and through one single act which took place in the midst of it. The town of Bethany would indeed be that place where Mary and Martha would host Jesus in their home as Mary would sit at the feet of Jesus while Martha labored and toiled that she might serve them in the midst of the house. You will recall how Martha was disturbed with the fact that Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus while leaving her to do all the work and the labor in the midst of the house. As a direct result of this Martha would entreat Jesus to ask Mary to rise from the place where she was and offer help. Upon hearing these words Jesus would declare unto Martha that she was labored and cumbered about with many things but only one thing was necessary and that one thing Mary had chosen. We don’t know the rest of the narrative and what dinner was like in the home of Mary and Martha and I am forced to wonder what it would have been like during the remainder of that time when Jesus was present within the house. As a side note I am absolutely and completely convinced there are those among us who are just like Martha as they are not only labored and cumbered about by many things but they are also disturbed and frustrated feeling as though they are the only ones who are laboring in the midst of the work. There are those among us within the church and houses of worship who feel as though they are the only ones who are laboring and toiling and would entreat the Lord Jesus to ask and force others to rise up to help them. To such individuals Jesus would emphatically declare the same words and say unto them how they are labored and cumbered about with many things but only one thing is necessary, thus inviting them into a place of quietness and rest.

            The twelfth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is actually quite remarkable when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that Bethany would be a town that would be completely and utterly transformed by and through one miracle and supernatural wonder Jesus would perform. This is in all reality something that is truly unique within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John for within this gospel we come face to face with how Jesus could completely and utterly transform a city and town through one single miracle. If you turn and direct your attention to the second chapter of this same gospel you will find that there was a wedding which took place in Cana of Galilee and how Mary the mother of Jesus together with Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. It would be there at the wedding, however, when they would run out of wine and when they would come and make it known unto Jesus. Upon hearing that they had run out of wine Mary would proceed to inform and make Jesus aware of what had happened. Jesus’ initial response unto His mother was that His time and hour had not yet come, which would be immediately followed up by Mary instructing the servants to do whatever Jesus commanded them. We then read how Jesus would proceed to instruct the servants to fill the six stone water pots which were used for cleansing with water and to draw forth water from the midst of one and bring it unto the master of ceremony. When the master of ceremony tasted of the water which had been turned into wine he was overjoyed and surprised at how good the wine tasted and even declared how most of the time there are those at weddings who offer the best of the wine at the beginning and when everyone had drunk their fill of wine they would bring out and offer the lesser quality of wine. This wasn’t the case on this particular day as the master of the ceremony would declare how the best wine was saved for the last.

            The apostle John writes and records how this transformation of water into wine would be the first of the miracles which Jesus performed and which would take place in Cana of Galilee at a wedding nonetheless. What you find as you continue reading this New Testament gospel is a powerful picture of Jesus returning, however, it wasn’t just a picture of Jesus returning but a picture of Jesus returning unto the place where He had turned water into wine. It is truly amazing to read the words which are found in the second chapter of this New Testament gospel for not only do we find Jesus demonstrating and manifesting His glory in the earth through performing a miracle of transforming water into wine but we also find Jesus returning unto the place where that miracle had taken place. Oh I would love to know what it was like when Jesus returned unto Cana of Galilee when those who remembered what Jesus had done at the wedding perceived that Jesus was once again among them in their midst. What type of response and welcome did Jesus receive there in the midst of Cana of Galilee as those who perhaps tasted of the water which had been made wine and knew what had happened realized that Jesus was once again present among them in their midst? How absolutely incredible it is to read this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that Jesus would return unto the place where He had turned water into wine thus returning to that place where miracles had indeed taken place among men within the earth. It would be there in the midst of Cana of Galilee where water had been turned into wine Jesus would once more return and I am absolutely convinced that this town within the region of Galilee would be completely and utterly transformed because of the miracle which Jesus performed.

            If you continue reading the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that not only did Jesus return unto certain places He performed miracles as was seen in Cana of Galilee and Bethany but He would also find some of those individuals whom He had healed and worked the supernatural works of the living God in their physical bodies. You will recall in the fifth chapter how Jesus would come up unto the city of Jerusalem at the time of one of the feasts and how He would come to a pool which in the Hebrew tongue was called Bethesda. It would be here at this pool where there would be five porches which were filled with great multitudes of impotent folk, the halt, the blind, the mame, the withered, and the like All those who were present here within these porches would dwell and abide therein because there was a certain season when an angel would come down and trouble the waters. Whosoever therefore was first into the waters after they had been troubled would be entirely healed and altogether made whole of whatever sickness and illness was present within their physical bodies. The apostle John writes and records how there was a certain man within one of these porches who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years who was himself waiting for the troubling of the waters and hoping that he might receive his chance and opportunity to be the first into the waters. On this particular day, however, Jesus would show up and ask this man if he would be made whole to which he would respond by declaring that he had no man to help him down to the waters and whenever he would get close to the waters someone else would step down before him. Upon hearing this Jesus would command this man to rise up from his place, take up his mat and walk—words which would be immediately obeyed by this man as he would receive strength in his physical body and would be completely and utterly healed and made whole of the plague within his body. What we find later on is Jesus finding this man in the Temple after the Jews had scolded him for carrying his mat on the sabbath day. It would be there in the Temple Jesus would not only declare unto this man that he was made whole but would also command him to go and sin no more lest something worse happen to him.

            In the ninth chapter of this same gospel we find the narrative of a man who had been born blind—one whom the disciples asked whether or not this man or his parents had sinned that he was born blind. Responding to the misguided words and assumption of the disciples Jesus would declare unto His disciples that it was neither this man nor his parents which had sinned but that the glory and works of God might be manifested within his life and physical body. After speaking these words Jesus would spit in the ground and from the spittle He had made He would anoint this man’s eyes with clay. Jesus would then instruct and command this man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam although He would offer no other instruction nor any other confirmation of what would happen when and after he had washed in the pool of Siloam. I am sure this man was unable to make it to the pool himself and would have required help from others who would guide him to that pool where he would wash his eyes from the substance Jesus had placed upon it. What this man would experience was something I am sure he had absolutely no idea was going to happen—namely, that he would receive his sight for the first time in his entire life. We don’t know how old this man was when he first began to see, however, we do not that he departed from the presence of Jesus blind and went to the pool of Siloam and after washing came forth seeing. What makes this narrative so compelling is when you think about and consider the fact that this man receiving his sight would draw the attention of the Jews as well as the scribes and the Pharisees for they could not believe nor could they understand how it was that he came to see. As a direct result of this man receiving his sight there would be a great stir and division which would take place in the midst of the city of Jerusalem as his healing would create a firestorm of controversy which would not only include this man but also his parents, the Jews, the scribes and the Pharisees. This firestorm would ultimately result in this man being cast out of the synagogue by the religious leaders after having received sight for the first time in his entire life. What makes the narrative of this man even more compelling is when you consider the fact that Jesus would find him after he had been cast out and asked him if he believed on the Son of God. When this man asked who the Son of God was that he might believe in Him Jesus would declare unto him that the Son of God was not only He which talked with him but also He whom he saw with his eyes.

            Each of these passages are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to consider them for in the second chapter we find Jesus returning to the place where He had turned and transformed water into wine. In the fifth chapter we find Jesus finding the man whom He had healed of a spirit of infirmity which he had for thirty and eight years. In the ninth chapter we see Jesus healing a man who was born blind and giving unto him sight for the very first time. Not only this but Jesus would also find this man after he had been cast out of the synagogue and revealed Himself as the Son of God whom he both saw with his eyes and spoke with. When you come to the twelfth chapter you will find Jesus returning unto a place where He had performed a miracle and it would be in Bethany where Lazarus whom He had raised from death to life would be present together with his sisters. It’s actually quite interesting to read the words found in the twelfth chapter for what we find within it is Jesus coming unto Bethany where He had raised Lazarus from death to life. It would be there in the town of Bethany where Mary and Martha would host Jesus in their home and prepare a great supper for Him. At this supper we find that Martha was laboring and toiling to accommodate the guests which were present in her home and yet how Lazarus was one of those who was at the table with Jesus. What’s more is that within this passage we find Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus bringing forth a very precious ointment which she would use to anoint the feet of Jesus as she would dry them with the hair of her head. How incredibly interesting it is to read the words found in this passage for what we find here is a powerful picture of Martha serving, Lazarus sitting at the table with Jesus and Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with precious ointment and Martha serving. In all reality I can’t help but think about this particular narrative as being a demonstration of the love languages men and women have before and unto Jesus.

We know there was a book released by popular Christian author Gary Chapman which was entitled “The Five Love Languages” and we know that the purpose of this book was to help men and women recognize and understand their love languages. We know that some of these love languages include physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and another. Building upon this concept of the five love languages I can’t help but think about the fact that within this passage of Scripture we find three different love languages which were demonstrated there in the home of Mary and Martha. I cannot help but read the words found in this passage of Scripture and encounter the tremendous truth that within it there are three different manifestations and demonstrations of love exercised before and presented unto Jesus. As I read the words found in this portion of Scripture I find the first love language as simply being simply sitting at the table with Jesus—undoubtedly listening to His words and conversing and speaking with Him. Through Lazarus we see a love language being manifested in simply sitting at the table together with Jesus as he would have listened to the words the Master spoke and carried on a conversation with him. Pause for a moment and consider what that scene must have looked like as Lazarus who was previously dead and raised to life by Jesus was sitting at the table together with Jesus and carrying on a conversation as he had most likely done before he became sick and ultimately died before being raised to life again.

While we see one of the love languages through the life of Lazarus as was manifested with his sitting at the table together with Jesus enjoying His company and fellowship there in the house there are two other love languages which I am convinced are present within this passage. In addition to the love language of sitting at the table which undoubtedly speaks of fellowship, relationship, communion, and conversation there was also the love language of serving. This chapter is the second time where we find Jesus present within the home of Mary and Martha and how Martha would once more be found serving there in the midst of the house. We know from previous gospel narratives that Mary and Martha had invited Jesus into their home and how Martha would give herself unto laboring and serving. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that the laboring, the toiling and the serving of Martha was her way of demonstrating her love for and toward Jesus. There is not a doubt in my mind that the way Martha sought to demonstrate her love for Jesus was through acts of service—and not only acts of service but serving in general. For Martha she felt that the best way to demonstrate and manifest her love for and toward Jesus was to labor and serve that she might provide for him food and drink. Undoubtedly Martha thought and felt that the best way for her to show and demonstrate her love toward Jesus was laboring, toiling and serving for this would be the second time we find her laboring in the house while Jesus was present in the midst of it. Within this passage, however, we find no mention of Martha entreating the Lord to have her sister help her, nor do we find her even entreating Jesus to command her brother to help her. Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced that there are those whose love language before Jesus is simply sitting together with Him as they speak with Him and listen to Him speaking to them. With this being said there are others whose love language in the presence of Jesus is simply laboring and toiling and serving as they feel the best way to demonstrate their love is through acts of service.

Continuing on within this passage we find a third love language and demonstration of love which would be manifested within and through the life of Mary. While it was true that we find Martha serving and while it was true that we find Lazarus sitting at the table together with Jesus we find Mary bringing forth a very precious ointment which she would pour over and pour upon the feet of Jesus. There in the house Mary would once more be found at the feet of Jesus as she would not only anoint His feet with the ointment but she would also dry and wipe those feet with the hairs of her head. This is quite interesting—particularly and especially when you consider what is recorded in previous gospel narratives—for when we read of Jesus being present within the home of Mary and Martha we find Martha serving and yet Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. Please do not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it is for this would now be the second time when we find Mary at the feet of Jesus. The first time we read of Mary at the feet of Jesus we find her simply sitting there as she would undoubtedly hear and listen to Him teach and speak while this time around we find her once more at the feet of Jesus and yet anointing his feet with a precious ointment and drying them with her hair. Oh I would dare say that the love language which Mary demonstrated and displayed there in the house was that of physical touch and perhaps even a quiet intimacy. Oh I would love to have seen what it looked like that first time when Mary simply sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to Him speak for what we find here is Mary once more being at the feet of Jesus yet this time she would have a precious ointment which she would anoint His feet with and would dry them with the hairs of her head.

I realize and recognize that you might be wondering why I would choose to use such words and such language concerning love languages in this writing and yet the truth of the matter is that each and every one of us has our love language or languages in the physical and natural realm. If you are honest with yourself you will admit that there are at least one of the love languages which is present within your life which you gravitate toward and which you continually give yourself to. I can honestly say that my love languages are quality time and physical touch and there is not a doubt in my mind that these are undoubtedly those love languages which I cling to, value and appreciate. With this being said there is something to be said about our spiritual love languages and yet not in the sense of what we expect from Jesus but rather what we demonstrate in the presence of Jesus. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there are those love languages which we tend to gravitate toward when we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus or when we attempt to demonstrate and show our love for Jesus. There are those whose love language in the presence of Jesus is simply sitting at the table together with Him as they not only hear and listen to the words which He speaks but also dialogue and converse with Him. Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what the conversation at and around that table must have been like as Lazarus who was dead and raised to life sat there together with Jesus the One who had raised him from death to life. Imagine sitting together at the table with the very One who had called for the stone to be rolled away from the tomb you had been buried in, called you by name and commanded you to come forth, and then commanded that you be loosed from your graveclothes and let go to begin living again. What does your conversation with Jesus look like as you sit together with Him at the table and perhaps hear about the events which took place on that day or perhaps describe what it was like being sick, dying, being buried in the grave, and then ultimately being raised from death to life.

What we find here in the town of Bethany and the house of Mary and Martha is an incredibly powerful picture of three different demonstrations and manifestation of love, affection, appreciation, fellowship and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh the more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous reality that there in the house of Mary and Martha each of these siblings demonstrated their love for and toward Jesus in entirely different ways. The apostle John made it quite clear in the previous chapter that Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha and there is not a doubt in my mind that this love was reciprocated from Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. With this being said we must needs recognize and understand that this love would be demonstrated and manifested in entirely different ways there in the house after Jesus had raised Lazarus from death to life and after He had returned unto Bethany six days before the Passover. It would be there in the house where we find one sitting at the table together with Jesus, we find one laboring and toiling in serving and we find another at the feet of Jesus anointing His feet with ointment and drying them with the hairs of her head. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this for each and every one of us has that one love language and that one way we demonstrate and show our love and affection toward Jesus. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are those who demonstrate their love for Jesus through acts of service and serving while there are others who demonstrate their love for Jesus through simply sitting together with Him in fellowship, in communion and relationship. Still there are others who demonstrate and show their love for Jesus through acts of intimacy as Mary did through anointing the feet of Jesus with ointment and drying those same feet with the hairs of her head.

If you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you will come to the twentieth chapter which would describe events which would take place after Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. As you turn and direct your attention back to verses twelve through nineteen you will find the fourth installment and description of the triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem as the apostle John would also write of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem meek and lowly riding on a donkey. The apostle John writes how on the next day there were many people who came to the feast and who heard that Jesus coming to Jerusalem. IN response to hearing that Jesus was coming unto Jerusalem they would take branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him and crying out in the streets in adoration and praise before Him. The apostle John writes how those who took palm branches and went out to meet Jesus would cry out in the streets saying, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” What we find within this passage is a powerful picture—not only of Jesus entering into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly but also fulfilling that which had been spoken by the prophet Zecharias. In fact the apostle John would go on to quote the words of the prophet Zechariah when he would write “Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.” Oh that we would recognize and understand this for having left Bethany what was most likely five days before the Passover we find a great celebration and rejoicing in the midst of the streets of the city when men and women heard that Jesus was coming. What’s more is that there is something truly powerful found in verses seventeen through nineteen of the twelfth chapter for while we find a rejoicing and celebration taking place when men and women heard Jesus was coming we also find the scribes, the chief priests and the Pharisees continuing their distrust with Jesus and seeking how they might lay hold of Him. Consider if you will the following words in verses seventeen through nineteen of the twelfth chapter:

The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, and bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? Behold, the world is gone after him” (John 12:17-19).

The words which we find here in this passage of Scripture are quite remarkable when you read and consider them for within it you will essentially find three groups of people which were present there in the city of Jerusalem. On the one hand you find those who were present in Bethany at the tomb of Lazarus when Jesus called him forth from the grave and raised him from death to life. In the seventeenth verse of this chapter we find a group of people present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem who were present at the tomb where Lazarus who once was dead was not only called forth out of the grave but also raised from death to life and loosed from his grave clothes. In the ninth chapter of this New Testament gospel we find the account of he who once was blind and yet now saw while in the twelfth chapter we find the account of he who once was dead and yet was now very much alive. It is in the seventeenth verse of this chapter where we find that in the city of Jerusalem there would be a group of those who were actually eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Lazarus from the grave and who observed the stone being rolled away, who observed Jesus calling Lazarus by name and commanding him to come forth out of the grave, watched as Lazarus heard the voice of Jesus and obeyed, and as Lazarus was loosed from his grave clothes at the command of Jesus. What’s more is that in the eighteenth verse of this chapter we find that it was for this cause—the cause of Jesus having raised Lazarus from the dead that much people came forth to meet Jesus for they had heard of the miracle which Jesus did not far from the city of Jerusalem. Oh how truly unique and powerful it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and not only see the presence of those who bore record of Jesus being there at the tomb of Lazarus but also those who came forth to meet Jesus because they heard of the miracle which Jesus had performed.

What makes the twelfth chapter so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to consider it is that it begins within the town of Bethany and in the home of Mary and Martha as they would host and entertain Jesus, his disciples and their brother Lazarus. Martha would labor and toil in much serving while Lazarus would sit at the table together with Jesus and His disciples and while Mary would be at the feet of Jesus anointing them with precious ointment and drying them with the hairs of her head. What’s more is that when you come to verses twelve through nineteen you will find Jesus departing from Bethany and making His way unto the city of Jerusalem to participate in the feast of the Passover. Oh little would anyone know and understand that this feast of Passover would be entirely and altogether different as there would be present among them a Lamb unlike any other that had been slain. From the time of Moses and the children of Israel in the land of Egypt and even during the times of Hezekiah and Josiah who both celebrated Passover in such a mighty and powerful way such as had not been experienced before there would be something supernatural, miraculous and powerful about this particular Passover. What’s more is that during this particular Passover there would be something far greater than an earthly lamb present among those in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. For years—year after year—they men and women had come unto the city of Jerusalem to celebrate and observe the feast of the Passover and would observe the same feast which would be implemented in the land of Egypt as Moses would not only instruct the children of Israel to slaughter a lamb but also take the blood of the lamb and anoint the side posts of the door to their houses as well as the top post of the door. Oh there is within Scripture three different Passovers which were entirely and altogether unique which had not been experienced before as there would be the initial and first Passover which would be celebrated and observed in the land of Egypt, there would be the Passover which Hezekiah would observe in his generation, and there would be the Passover which Josiah would observe within his generation. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and draws our attention to just how mighty and powerful this Passover truly was during the time when Jesus was present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

Scripture reveals how five days prior to the Passover Jesus would enter into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly riding on a donkey and how when people heard that He was coming they would take palm branches and go forth to meet Him praising God and rejoicing at His coming unto and among them. What’s more is that we read how there were those who were present at the tomb of Lazarus who observed his being raised from death to life who would also come unto the city of Jerusalem and would bare record of Jesus there in the midst of the city. Pause for a moment and consider what it would have been like in the city of Jerusalem as not only would there be much people that would come forth to meet Jesus but also how there would be those within the city who would bare record of Jesus having observed and witnessed the miracle of raising Lazarus from death to life and calling him forth from his grave. In verses seventeen through nineteen we find those who witnessed and observed the miracle of raising Lazarus up from death to life and bore record of Jesus as well as another group of people who had heard of this great miracle. It is truly something worth mentioning when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture these two groups of people for there were those who would be witness to the miracle of raising Lazarus from death to life and there would be those who heard of this miracle. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and read how the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from death to life would be told even in the city of Jerusalem. When Jesus entered into Jerusalem five days before the Passover we find that there was not only an expectation concerning He Himself but we also find a wonderful and powerful witness to Him. There in the city of Jerusalem there would be those who came forth having bore record to Jesus being present at the tomb of Lazarus and there would be those who would come forth to meet Jesus having heard of this mighty miracle which He had performed.

Pause for a moment and consider what is present within this passage of Scripture as there would be an expectation, an anticipation and excitement surrounding the arrival and entrance of Jesus—not only because of what men and women had heard and seen of Him previously but also because of what He had done in the town of Bethany. The apostle John makes it quite clear within this passage how there were those in the city of Jerusalem who bore record of Jesus and how they had witnessed and observed him calling forth he who was previously dead and buried in the tomb out of it and raising him from death to life. Not only this but there would be those present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem who would come forth to meet Him because they had heard of this mighty miracle which He had performed. What an incredible thought it is to think about and consider how surrounding this Passover there would be more than simply the observance of a sacred and ancient feast but there would also be an excitement and anticipation surrounding Jesus as well as having heard a report of resurrection which took place not far from the city. What I can’t help but think about and consider is that on the former side of this Passover before it would take place there would be a resurrection which would take place which would create a tremendous stir, excitement and expectation surrounding the Messiah and His arrival. Please don’t miss this reality for this Passover would be marked by two different resurrections as on the former side of the Passover there would be the resurrection of Lazarus while on the opposite side of the Passover there would be the resurrection of Jesus. Oh imagine what it would have been like for the city of Jerusalem as prior to the Passover there would be a rumor and report of Jesus raising Lazarus from death to life and after the Passover there would be a rumor and report of Jesus Himself being raised from death to life.

WHEN PASSOVER IS MARKED BY RESURRECTION! I am absolutely and completely convinced when reading the twelfth chapter that this particular Passover would be one unlike any other which would have been celebrated in the midst of the Hebrew people—even dating back to the original and first Passover when the death angel would go throughout the land of Egypt and strike down the firstborn of both man and beast which did not have the blood upon the doorposts of the house in which they were present. This is actually interesting when you take the time to think about it for the first Passover would be marked by death in two different realms as there would be deliverance through death as the death angel would strike down the firstborn within the land of Egypt and deliverance from death through death as the children of Israel would be spared the devastation and destruction of the death angel. There in the midst of the land of Egypt when this first Passover was celebrated we find it being marked by deliverance through death as well as deliverance from death and the secret behind this mystery being the blood which was upon the doorposts of the houses of the children of Israel. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it draws and calls our attention to something that makes it quite unique when considering and comparing it the Passover which would be celebrated during the days and times of Jesus. This first Passover which would be celebrated in the land of Egypt would be marked by death as the firstborn among the children of Egypt would be struck down by the death angel. It would be because of and through this death of the firstborn in the land of Egypt that the children themselves would be delivered from death—and not only from death but also from their bondage, slavery and oppression. The children of Israel would be delivered from their slavery, bondage and oppression through death as the death angel would move throughout the land of Egypt striking down all the firstborn among both man and beast. That first Passover would be marked by death in that the land of Egypt would witness the death of all the firstborn among man and beast as well as life in that the children of Israel would be granted life and would be spared the devastation and destruction of the death angel as he passed through the land.

In the twelfth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find this Passover being marked by something entirely and altogether different as it would be marked on both sides by resurrection. This Passover would be unlike any other Passover in that the ultimate Lamb and offering which each previous Passover pointed to would be present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. For this particular Passover we find the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world as John the Baptist proclaimed being present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. This particular Passover would not only be marked by the Lamb of God being present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem as He prepared to be the ultimate sacrifice which every previous Passover pointed to but it would also be marked be resurrection. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for on the previous and former side of the Passover there would be the resurrection of Lazarus whom Jesus would raise from death to life while on the latter side of the Passover would be the resurrection of Jesus Himself after He would be crucified and put to death. How incredibly unique it is to read the twelfth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative and consider the fact that this Passover would be marked with and by resurrection—and not only the resurrection of one whom Jesus loved but also be Jesus Himself who would be raised from death to life on the third day.

The more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that this Passover would be entirely and altogether marked by resurrection and by the supernatural work of the living God. The apostle John makes it absolutely clear that Jesus would return unto Bethany where He had raised Lazarus from death to life six days before the Passover and how five days before the Passover Jesus would enter into the city of Jerusalem. The apostle John would indeed write how much people would come forth to meet Jesus with palm branches and with rejoicing when they heard that He was coming unto the city but he also wrote of another witness and testimony that would be present in the midst of the city at the time of the Passover. Within the twelfth chapter we find that there were those in the city of Jerusalem who bore witness to the resurrection of Lazarus from death to life as they were present at the tomb when Jesus called Him by name and commanded him to come forth. There were those present in the midst of Jerusalem who witnessed Jesus call Lazarus forth from the grave and then instructed those standing by to loose him of his graveclothes and let him go. What’s more is that in the twelfth chapter of this New Testament gospel we find that the report and news of the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection would reach the city of Jerusalem as there would be those who would hear of this miracle and what Jesus had done. What an incredibly powerful truth it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that Jesus would raise a man from death to life in the nearby town of Bethany and how report of that resurrection would reach the city of Jerusalem. What a powerful context would surround this particular Passover as it would initially be marked by resurrection—and not only resurrection but a witness and testimony of that which Jesus would offer others through His own resurrection which would take place roughly one week later.

Reading the twelfth chapter you get the strong sense that there was a heightened expectation, anticipation and excitement surrounding Jesus’ presence as men and women in the city had heard how He raised Lazarus from death to life. Five days before the Passover Jesus would make His way into the city of Jerusalem and would enter it meek and lowly riding on a donkey that He might fulfill that which was spoken by the prophet Zechariah. With this being said we must needs acknowledge and understand that this particular Passover would be unlike any other those in that generation had experienced in their lifetime. Those who were present at Jerusalem at the time of this Passover had undoubtedly come unto this ancient and sacred city at the time of the feast to celebrate the Passover year after year and yet would never experience events quite like they would this time. Just prior to the Passover this year we find Jesus raising Lazarus from death to life in the nearby town of Bethany and although no one was aware of it the Lamb of God which would take away the sins of the world would not only be present at the time of the Passover but would also Himself be offered as the Passover Lamb. During this particular Passover we find the Lord Jesus Christ being present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem as the Lamb which would take away the sins of the world. What makes this all the more captivating is when you think about the fact that this Passover would be marked first by the resurrection of Lazarus from the grave, would be marked by the death and sacrifice of Jesus, and would also be marked on the other side by the resurrection of Jesus.

THE RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS! THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS! THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD! There is something truly wonderful about this particular Passover as it would not only be marked by the resurrections of both Jesus and Lazarus but it would also be marked by the resurrection of the righteous dead. If you turn and direct your attention to the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew you will read how when Jesus died upon the cross the graves of the righteous dead were opened while the bodies of the righteous dead would remain within those graves. At the time of Jesus’ death we find the graves of many righteous dead being opened and those whose bodies were present in those graves would remain in them until the time of Jesus’ resurrection took place. It would be when Jesus was raised from death to life that the bodies of those righteous dead within those graves would emerge and enter into the holy city bearing witness and giving testimony in the earth. It is truly something worth thinking about when reading the narrative of the Passover during this particular year for this Passover would be marked by events which had not been experienced before and would be marked both by death and life. You cannot read the narrative surrounding this Passover and not encounter the tremendous truth that it would be marked by the resurrection of Lazarus as a sign and witness to that which Jesus would offer unto all those who believed in Him at His second coming when the trump sounds and when He descends from the heavens with a shout and with the voice of an archangel. It is through the resurrection of Lazarus that we see a powerful witness and testimony of that which Jesus Himself would experience not long thereafter and which He would offer unto all those who believed on Him. Not only this but through the death of Jesus the graves of the righteous dead would be opened and through His resurrection the bodies of those righteous dead would rise to life and enter into the holy city.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF RESURRECTED ONES! Imagine what it would and could have been like within the city of Jerusalem at this time as just prior to the Passover there would be the report of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. Jesus would spend five days in the city of Jerusalem before He would be betrayed by one of His own and would be presented as a living sacrifice which was holy and acceptable in the sight of God the Father. It would be as Jesus was that living sacrifice upon the cross and would ultimate die that the graves of many righteous saints would be opened while their bodies still remained in the midst of them. When, however, Jesus Himself was raised from death to life those righteous dead would emerge from the grave and would enter into the city of Jerusalem. Scripture isn’t at all clear whether or not Lazarus and his sisters went into the city of Jerusalem at the time of the Passover but imagine what it would and could have been like in the city as Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from death to life was there, if Jesus who was Himself raised from death to life was there, and as those who experienced resurrection as Jesus Himself was raised from death to life would also be in the city. Imagine what a great company and fellowship of resurrected ones would have been present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem during a time when that Passover would not only be marked by the death of Jesus of Nazareth but it would also be marked by resurrection. We cannot avoid and miss this particular truth as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that this Passover would be entirely and altogether unlike any other.

When we read the narrative of this particular Passover we find it being wonderfully and powerfully marked by resurrection as there was not only the witness and testimony of this one who had been raised from death to life but also as the One who had raised him from death to life was present in the city. Imagine what the city of Jerusalem would have been like around the time of the Passover as the resurrected one and the resurrecting One were both present together in the city. What a tremendous witness and testimony this would have been during those times as this Passover would be altogether marked by resurrection. At a time when men and women were preparing themselves for the slaughter of physical lambs and the shedding of the blood of such animals there was a different Lamb present among them who was preparing Himself to be slaughtered. There was present one among them who would Himself be offered as a living sacrifice by the living and eternal God for the sins of humanity. This particular Passover would have at the very beginning of it a wonderful and powerful testimony of resurrection as there would be in the earth the witness and testimony of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. Oh I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the fact that this Passover would be marked at the beginning with resurrection and it would be marked at the end with resurrection. Not only this but there would be the resurrection of the righteous saints whose graves were opened when Jesus died upon the cross. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous excitement and anticipation that surrounded Jesus during this time. There were those present in the city of Jerusalem who had heard how He raised Lazarus from the dead and it was because of this testimony and witness they came to see Him for themselves.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely incredible to find the setting for this Passover as not only being an excitement surrounding Jesus but also powerful statements made concerning those who were present in the midst of the city. The twentieth verse of this chapter begins with the apostle John writing of certain Greeks among those in the city of Jerusalem who came to worship at the feast. The apostle John wrote of these Greeks how they came unto Philip which was of Bethsaida of Galilee and desired him that they might see Jesus. How absolutely incredible and amazing it is that the fame and report of Jesus would be so widespread that there would even be Greeks in the midst of the city at the time of the feast who desired to see Jesus for themselves. When Philip and Andrew came and told Jesus the Greeks desired to see Him Jesus would declare that the hour had come that the Son of man should be glorified. What’s more is Jesus would also go on to write how unless a corn of what fall into the ground and die it abides alone, however, if it die it brings forth much fruit. Jesus would go on to declare that those who hated their life would lose it those who hated their life in this world would keep it unto life eternal. Moreover, Jesus would continue speaking and teaching that if any man served Him they would follow Him that where He was there also shall they be. With this being said we also find Jesus transitioning to speaking of Himself and how His soul was troubled at that particular time. Jesus knew that His hour was come and that time for Him to be glorified had come. Jesus knew that the hour of His betrayal and of His suffering and death would in fact be present and as a direct result His soul was greatly troubled. What makes this all the more intriguing and powerful is when you consider the fact that Jesus would ask His disciples what He should say in response to that hour—Father, save me from this hour! Jesus would not entreat the Father to save Him from that hour for it was for this cause that He came unto that very hour.

THE GREEKS DESIRED TO SEE JESUS! THE VOICE FROM HEAVEN! THE UNBELIEF OF THE JEWS! As you continue reading the words found in this passage you will that although Jesus had done many miracles among them during those three and a half years and although Jesus had even raised up Lazarus from death to life yet they did not believe on Him. The apostle John in the thirty-seventh verse would write how though Jesus had done so many miracles before them yet they believed not on Him that the words of the prophet might be fulfilled. The prophet Isaiah saw that generation and saw the hardness of their hearts and the unbelief that would be present among them. It would be the prophet Isaiah who would prophesy “Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” The apostle John would go on to describe and declare how they could not believe because Isaiah also prophesied “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” What makes this all the more powerful is when you continue reading how there were even those among the chief rulers who believed on the Lord Jesus, however, because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him lest they should be put out of the synagogue. This is increased all the more when you read the words the apostle John wrote concerning these chief rulers and how they would not confess Jesus—even though they believed on Him—because they l oved the praise of men more than the praise of God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to our own hearts and lives and whether or not we are those who not only believe on the Lord Jesus Christ but are also willing to confess Him before men. It is with this in mind I feel compelled to call your attention to the words which our Lord Himself spoke as well as the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome. I leave you with these words as a powerful invitation—not only to believing in the Lord Jesus but also confessing Him before men here upon the earth:

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:32-39).

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things” (Romans 10:8-15).

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