GORILLA CLIP Count the passes People don’t see the gorilla Weren’t looking for it Motorcycles often overlooked in traffic When hit – “I didn’t see it”
When we read the Bible we may miss something because we weren’t looking for it We didn’t know we were supposed to look for it
English words are sometimes both nouns and verbs Wish (I make a wish) and wish (I wish for …) Hope (I have a hope) and hope (I hope for …) You can even “hope a hope” or “wish a wish”
In English we have a noun - faith (I have faith) And the verb is believe (I believe …) In Greek they are the same word Noun pistis ( πίστις ) Verb pisteuo ( πιστεύω ) English needs a verb – faith, to faith, faithing I.e. I faith, do you faith
Is the gospel of belief/faith Faith as a noun appears? 0 (zero/nada/zilch) times In 21 chapters Always a verb In John you don’t have faith, you faith in John Faith is something you do It is dynamic
If you are looking for it, Then it is obvious It becomes interesting Not something you have But something you do Over and over again
Example from John 11 Raising of Lazarus Raising the dead is a great miracle And it is even greater when they are already rotten How many miracles recorded in John? 8 miracles are recorded Fewest of all the gospels
Only 8, but there is a lot of talk/dialogue with each recorded miracle The dialogue is IMPORTANT Jesus goes from Jerusalem to Bethany Less than 2 miles distance Jesus had waited in Jerusalem after hearing of Lazarus’ sickness Jesus has intentionally delayed until Lazarus has died, been entombed, and “ripe”
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already. 18 (Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 so many of the Jewish people of the region had come to Martha and Mary to console them over the loss of their brother.) 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary was sitting in the house.
21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will grant you.” 23 Jesus replied, “Your brother will come back to life again.” 24 Martha said, “I know that he will come back to life again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
Jesus and Martha have a theological discussion about resurrection Martha believes in the resurrection Not a Sadducee Jesus replies “I am…” In Greek this is normally one word emi ( εἰμι ) But here we see ego emi ( ἐγώ εἰμι ) Important?
John 18, arrest of Jesus in the garden Vs 2 Judas arrives with soldiers “Who do you want/seek?” “Jesus of Nazareth” Jesus replies ego emi ( ἐγώ εἰμι ) “I AM” What happens? Soldiers draw back and fall to the ground This is Moses and the burning bush!
Whenever Jesus says “I AM” picture a wink, wink or nod, nod I AM GOD
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes faiths in me will live even if he dies, 26 and the one who lives and believes faiths in me will never die. Do you believe faith this?” 27 She replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe faith that you are the Christ, the Son of God who comes into the world.”
Martha’s confession is one of the GREAT moments of displayed faith in scripture
28 And when she had said this, Martha went and called her sister Mary, saying privately, “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” 29 So when Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 (Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still in the place where Martha had come out to meet him.)
31 Then the people who were with Mary in the house consoling her saw her get up quickly and go out. They followed her, because they thought she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the people who had come with her weeping, he was intensely moved in spirit and greatly distressed. 34 He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They replied, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 Thus the people who had come to mourn said, “Look how much he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “This is the man who caused the blind man to see! Couldn’t he have done something to keep Lazarus from dying?” 38 Jesus, intensely moved again, came to the tomb. (Now it was a cave, and a stone was placed across it.)
39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, replied, “Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, because he has been buried four days.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe faithed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you that you have listened to me.
42 I knew that you always listen to me, but I said this for the sake of the crowd standing around here, that they may believe faith that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he shouted in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The one who had died came out, his feet and hands tied up with strips of cloth, and a cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”
John’s stories have someone in addition to Jesus being a secondarily important character John 9 the man born blind – the parents are the other important character Here in the Lazarus story the other real main character is Martha
Martha had just said “I faith that you are the one who is to come into the world” At the tomb she hesitates/waivers and reminds Jesus that Lazarus’ body is now stinky Jesus replies “didn’t I just tell you that if you faithed you would see the glory of God?”
Will you/we faith the moment? Yes or no? We would probably all confess like Martha did We would confess Jesus as Lord, if/when asked In John, the question is will you faith the moment Faith is not what you have, but what you do You have to faith today, tomorrow, the next day, the next moment
Most of us would pass an orthodoxy test Central points of faith Jesus is lord But that is not what is most important per John But the important question is When we leave here When we face life’s important moments Will we faith them? Or not.
When a loved one dies, will I faith it? When we are caught in sin, will we faith it? When I have a serious illness, will I faith it? When I win the lottery, will I faith it? These tests happen all our lives In John the word is ALWAYS a verb We need to get back to faithing
The primary problem is not what we believe The primary problem is we don’t faith each moment of life What we believe is not changing how we live John calls us to believe faith
There is a postscript to the story of Lazarus in the next chapter
9 Now a large crowd of Judeans learned that Jesus was there, and so they came not only because of him but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus too, 11 for on account of him many of the Jewish people from Jerusalem were going away and believing faithing in Jesus.
There is a party! Lazarus is alive! Many come. Both Jesus and Lazarus are there People wanted to see someone who was dead and now lives and the one who raised him
Vs 10 “…plan to kill Lazarus as well…” A a brilliant plan Because many Jews were faithing (vs 11) in Jesus
Chapter 12:10 What would it take to make the chief priests believe? If they weren’t convinced now, they never will be They are unwilling to faith! They plan to get rid of the evidence they have They have a moral/heart problem
There are others like the chief priests out there even how But we are Martha, not the chief priests We have faith, but have trouble faithing each/every moment Every act of faithing counts Every time we fail to faith, it counts