Surprised by His Glory

May 2, 2021   /   Pastor David Squyres   /   Palms Baptist Church

Intro: When we think of God’s glory, we tend to think of radiant light. That’s because God’s person is best represented to us in the physical property of light. If I was to preach on God’s glory, I’d usually take a text like Isaiah 6, where Isaiah sees God high and lifted up and his glory fills heavens temple. Or the Transfiguration, where Jesus’ glory actually shines. We could look at the angels at Christmas, who give the announcement to the Shepherds as the “glory of God” shone all around them. We could even look at the radiant light that accompanies the Second Coming, Jesus referred to this as the “Father’s Glory.”

But God’s glory is more than Light. It is God’s person. Who God is is His Glory. Light represents his Glory. But the ultimate symbol of God’s Glory is the incarnation of God himself, the Son.

Text: John 11

John 11:1: Mary and Martha are polar opposites as sisters. This is the Mary who anointed Jesus.

John 11:4: Jesus says that Lazarus death is for the “glory” of God. God is about to do something with this.

John 11:5: After hearing of Lazarus sickness, Jesus delays to ensure Lazarus be good and dead when he gets there. Cold stone dead. Dead as a doornail. Dead!

John 11:9: The parable Jesus tells is striking and clear. There are 12 hours of daylight that we work in. God’s glory is at work (his light) and we should work in the light of God’s glory. That is, we should join God where he is already at work.

John 11:10: When w try to work on our own (in the night) we accomplish nothing. When we try and do good in our own wisdom or strength, we stumble.

John 10:11-12: Jesus says Lazarus is asleep. The disciples don’t get the metaphor and suggest they need not travel just to wake someone up. (that’s funny!)

John 11:15: Jesus says he is “glad” Lazarus died. Imagine it. “Lazarus is dead.” Jesus… “Good!” God orchestrated this crisis to show them something they would not otherwise see. Note: Sometimes God rejoices in suffering I hate because he is working the situation to show me himself in a deeper way.

John 11:16: Thomas has his moment. He says they should go “die” with Jesus. (encouraging fellow.) He’s called the “twin” because: 1. He has a twin. Or.. 2. He looks like another disciple. (He’s always listed with Matthew.) or… 3. He looks like Jesus. Or… 4. It’s an inside joke among the Apostles.

John 11:17: Lazarus was dead when they got there. In fact, he was four days dead. Jesus was two miles away! Four days to walk two miles. Jesus is ensuring Lazarus is very dead because Jews believed the soul hovered near the body for three days. But by the fourth day, the body would begin to decompose and there was no chance of resuscitation. Other resurrections Jesus performed were closer to the persons death; but in this case, Lazarus was very dead. It would be more than a medical miracle for him to rise.

John 11:22: Martha shows remarkable faith. She thinks he’s talking about Resurrection DAY.

John 11:25: Jesus says “I am the Resurrection and the life” (ego emi.) Resurrection is not something he performs or does, it’s who he is.

John 11:25: Jesus is challenging Martha to move beyond abstract belief in the final resurrection to complete faith in Him.

John 11:25: The Resurrection is not an event, the Resurrection is a person.

John 11:25: Jesus claim is that He is life itself. Reality is rooted in Him. He is the Life Giving King.

John 11:27: Martha gives one of the clearest statements of belief. I like what she says. Asked if she believes, she says she believes in HIM. She may not understand eschatology or full theology, her faith is not rooted in a system to theology, but in the very person of Christ.

John 11:32: Mary comes and falls at Jesus feet. If Martha is a thinker, Mary is dramatic!

John 11:40: Jesus says that if they believe they will “see the glory of God.” Not shiny light, but God’s very person will be on display before their eyes on planet earth.


John 11:4: Lazarus died so God would display his glory.

John 11:4: The Son will be glorified.

John 11:40: See God’s glory.

This story is about the Glory of God.

What does Jesus how us of the Glory of God?

1. Jesus shows us

  • John 11:33: Jesus saw her weeping “Klaio”, loud whaling. He saw the Jews “klaio” sobbing. His response: he groaned or more precisely, “snorted.” Is translated “greatly troubled.”
  • He snorted like an animal who is angry. Like a warhorse about to go into battle. Jesus was angry as he stared at death, saw people crying, and prepared to do battle with the grave itself.
  • John Calvin: Like wrestler preparing for a contest.
  • Like horse snorts before attacking an enemy.
  • John 11:34-25. Jesus wept, Dakuro. Only used here in the New Testament.
  • God’s glory shines in his tears.
  • Tidal wave of emotion:

33: Deeply moved in his spirit.

33: Greatly Troubled.

38: Deeply moved.

34: Wept.

2. Jesus shows us

John 11:41-42

  • The tomb is a cave dug into stone.
  • John 11:43: Jesus cried out in a loud voice. Loud because he was speaking into the realm of the dead.
  • John 11:44: Actual wording is succinct, terse, abrupt. “Lazarus, here!”
  • John 11:44: He used Lazaurs name because the tomb had more than one body in it. Also, he could have called forth all the dead at once!
  • John 11:44: The dead man came out. Think about the power that resurrected a dead man! Lazarus was completely dead. Jesus caused a dead heart to start pumping. Blood to come alive. A brain that had been decomposing to begin to think again. Skin, bones, flesh that had begun to rot were instantly transformed to live under the burialcloths. Most important, the very soul of Lazarus was lifted from sheol (the grave) and returned to his living body.
  • The promise of Scripture is that Jesus will also one day raise us from the dead.

3. Jesus shows us

  • Resurrection gave Lazarus a whole new life. Every new day was a day he didn’t have before.
  • John 11:43: Jesus claimed to be the Resurrection. He proved it by raising Lazarus. (Anastasia, GK word for resurrection means, “To stand again.”)
  • John 11:45-46: There is a funny epilogue. Because Jesus raised Lazarus, they plan to kill him. And later plan to kill Lazarus. I’m sure Lazarus was so scared…

Life in Jesus is:

1. Infused with power.

2. Stripped of the old way.

3. Enjoys sweet fellowship with Jesus.



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