How much do you think about the Lazarus story? In school, I remembered it because it has the shortest verse in the Bible "Jesus wept." For most of us, the story is about Jesus and Lazarus. Yes, it is about Jesus' love for his friend Lazarus, but the story is actually about Mary and Martha.
In John 11:21-22 we read
Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.'
Martha had incredible trust in Jesus. She knew did more than believed he was the Messiah, she trusted that he could care for us in ways that no one else could.
This week, we are looking the passages when Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life" and "I am the resurrection and the life." Jesus challenges us to live as he lived throughout all of his teachings. John has been showing us how Jesus shed a new perspective on the classic Jewish teachings. The way of Jesus is not just a club to be in or a rite to follow. It's a lifestyle. We must first believe that he is Lord, then trust that he can change our lives. Then, we must follow his example he set out for us so that we can walk the path he laid out as truth following him to eternal life.
It's easy for us to say, "Of course I believe. I was baptized and I professed my faith before the church. Now I'm saved and I'm good." But That's not what Jesus asks of us. He doesn't want us to simply check a box on our bucket list. He wants transformation. He may even ask us to put a part of ourselves to death so that he can give us a new and better life.
The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways in our lives. No one can explain it fully, but the key is to never forget that the Spirit is always working to make us more like Christ every day. That is what the Way means.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
- How do you relate to this idea of “way” as referring to right living versus right belief? How does this understanding impact your interpretation of John 14:6?*
- What do you think it meant for the disciples to make Jesus a way of life?*
- If Jesus lived in our area in our time, how do you think he would relate to those of faiths other than Judaism and Christianity?**
- Consider the difference between Lazarus and Jesus. Lazarus was brought back to this life; Jesus was brought back to a resurrected life. What is the difference between resuscitation and resurrection to you?+
- When have you experienced some kind of death in order for God to give you new life?+
- Have you ever said to God something like Martha’s words to Jesus, “If only you had been here, this would not have happened”? What was the situation? How did that event affect your faith?++
- Rob says that faith sometimes asks us to do things that don’t make sense. When has your faith caused you to do or say something that a nonbeliever might find hard to understand?++
*The God We Can Know, by Rob Fuquay. Chapter 6, Reflection/Discussion Questions.
**The God We Can Know, Adult Group Guide, by Rob Fuquay. Week 6, Video/Book Discussion.
+The God We Can Know, by Rob Fuquay. Chapter 7, Reflection/Discussion Questions.
++The God We Can Know, Adult Group Guide, by Rob Fuquay. Week 7, Video/Book Discussion.