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Journey to Bethany

Journey to Bethany

John 11:1-16


11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

ON this first Sunday of Lent I want us to reflect on Jesus journey to Bethany several days before the triumphal entry and arrest.  Specifically, I want us to talk about the courage to cross the Jordan.  

3 Lessons from the journey to Bethany:

1. See past your problems to God’s glory 

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

2. Stay focused despite opposition 

 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

3. Have the courage to make difficult choices 

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

Discussion: 

Read John 11:1-27

  1. The “Decopolis” across the Jordan River was a different jurisdiction than Judea and therefore the disciples were more safe on that side of the river. Why do you think Thomas and the other disciples would feel more secure in that place? 
  2. How do we distinguish between playing things safe and courageously following God’s leading? 
  3. In what ways does the Bible illustrate Jordan crossings?  What is to be learned from them. (Read Joshua 1)
  4. Why did Jesus delay going into Bethany for two days? 


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