In John 11, Jesus comes to Martha and Mary who are mourning the death of their brother, Lazarus. Christ speaks to both of them right where they are. He touches them with the touch of God to meet their need. He doesn’t keep His ministry in a box. He gives doctrine and He shows care. As He approached the tomb, He first wept, but then He groaned, roared in anger as the devastation that the curse brings to people. (John 11:20-40; Job 9:33)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Steve Andrulonis
11:00 AM on 1/19/2020
P. Andrulonis –
(visitor welcome and announcements)
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” Martin Luther King Jr.
So this is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Martin Luther King. The way I think of him was a preacher of righteousness in our time and our world. You know, when you listen to old speeches. things when I was little, when I saw small, back when I had dark hair, I would go back and listen to these speeches and It’s remarkable how people had a comprehension of the bible message. Dr. Martin Luther King built his preaching and movement on the convictions he had drawn from the bible.
He was a preacher of righteousness, and a couple years before he made this great speech, the “I Have a Dream” speech, which is his most famous speech in Washington DC, a couple years before that there was a speech of a president John Kennedy “Ask not what the country can do for you, but ask what you can for your country” and Dr.King was a man who saw the crisis in the United States of America, the crisis of prejudice, the crisis of racism, and he spoke to it.
And the thing you understand when you read the letter from the Birmingham Jail, addressing us in this room; he is addressing believers. Dr. King addressed first the church people, that it is in us that we are accepted in the beloved. We know that we are, as Paul preached in Athens in Acts 17, That we are of one blood, of one breathe, and that God would like us to be whole in every sense of the word, that we would see that we are one. And I think our eyes will be really fully opened when we enter into eternity, and I think we’ll surprised at the diversity that is there!
Just all of the various peoples, colors, personalities and everything that God put into man as He created us in His image. When I think of Dr. King I think of another person: John the Baptist. Its kind of interesting when you read about John the Baptist, what kind of man he was. When the Lord came to him, speaking of the unborn, John was still in the womb when he danced before the Lord that Jesus Christ was nearby! You know, he was the first one that got a witness, it seems. Well,others had gotten a witness about this, but when Mary came pregnant with Jesus in her belly, John leaped in the womb at the reality of who He was, because John the baptist was a man who would prepare the way for the Lord.
He was going to speak of righteousness and tell people who were silent about things that matter. This was the issue. It was a silence in the people about the things that matter which were repentance and a walk with the Lord. And John the baptist went down by the river and he preached and he told them come and be baptized “One is coming that will baptize you with fire, but I have a word for you, I got a word for you. look at me, I have my preaching clothes on: camel skins and a leather girdle.
I’ve eaten my breakfast of locusts and wild honey, and I’ve come to you with a message for you” Isn’t that amazing? That’s a dress code for a preacher, ain’t it? Awesome! gonna come out one day in camel skins and a leather girdle to get your attention, its kind of like that, you know. But this is what John the Baptist was saying: Righteousness must rule in life and it starts with one heart at a time. And I think Dr. King had personality about him, an organizational ability about him and he rallied people around him, and he rallied them without weapons,which is kind of interesting.
He did this: “the laws are unrighteous, we will disobey them, we will not riot, we will march, we will speak, we will teach, we will tell the truth, to darkness!” and it cost him. When you preach the truth to darkness, it can cost you. I cost this man his life. Just as John the Baptist’s life was taken from him, preaching the truth to darkness. So think: what is our place when we think about this? I think tomorrow’s a holiday, but what do we think about when we think of the man, and the spirit, and the message that God put in him, what does it mean?
I think its the same as John the Baptist. You know, its interesting to me, I was thinking Martin Luther King preached, there was a movement of civil rights, but there was also a Jesus Movement, and it came towards the end of the 60’s, which launched a lot of the things we know are in Christianity today. Could it be that we are meant to speak truth to darkness in order to launch a new movement to prepare the way for the Lord? We know that a day is coming when we’ll recognize all of this, and all prejudicial things will be gone from our hearts, the old sin nature will be washed away from us.
God has cleansed us and we’ll live together in harmony, and unity and under the understanding of who God is and his coming! It would be great if it was happening tonight, it’s be great if it happened by the end of the service, right now! That’d be awesome! We’d be rejoicing with everything. But we cannot be silent about things that matter ; and what is the thing that matters most? I think if we read into the full ministry of Dr. King, what mattered most was the Gospel! There are people who need to hear the Gospel.
The sheep hear his voice. We are sheep and we know the lamb of God, John the Baptist pointed to the Lamb of God. We would like righteousness to roll like thunder through this country, though this city first. What can we do? I can say this: I am a person. I can’t do for everybody what I want to do for them, but I can do for one, I can do for one what I want to do for everybody. what I want for everybody to do is to realize that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and only by Him will unrighteousness be defeated.
But would everybody listen to me? you’re listening to me; that’s amazing! What I could do for one, just one, I could love my neighbors as myself and not be silent about what matters. You need to hear the voice of the Lord. My neighbor needs to hear the voice of the Lord. This is the way things will change. Dr. King believed it. John the Baptist believed it. We believe it, I think. This is the mission of our church. This is the mission God has given us for our church: to speak the truth in love, not to be silent about what really matters. God saves, God saves, and this is the message of the Gospel.
P. Schaller –
Romans 8. thank you so much, Josh. That’s a great song. Amen! Praise God! Praise God! Love it! To come and worship Christ today and respond to him in faith. How many of you are going on the cruise today? (He’s
naming people). They’re going on a cruise with P. Love and P. Shibley and sailing to the
Caribbean. They’ll have one week, and we want to keep them in our hearts and prayers. P.
Steve mentioned that there’s nobody in a Bible story where anyone on a boat died!
In the Bible, there is no story where anyone died! Isn’t that comforting! Say praise the Lord! We’ll have a
great week. Two points. One is Christ is in heaven on our behalf. Say that with me. Christ is in
heaven on our behalf. Look at Romans 8:30-31. Wow! Vs. 32. What a good memory verse. Lastly,
vs. 33. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. There is a lot
in there. I once had a chain of iron, a link of iron and a link of rope.
How strong is the chain? It’s only as strong as the rope. It’s only as strong as the weakest link. Vs. 30. We have a link of words. Predestinate. How strong is that link? Very strong because who did the predestination?
God. Them he also called. Is that a strong link? Because he did the calling. Justified. He did the
justification. Glorified. This is a strong chain and it means that if God is for you, who could be
against you? You can’t even be against yourself.
All these things he did. This chain is guaranteed that whom he predestinated, at the other end he glorified. He did it. Christ is in heaven on our behalf. We said Wed. night and last Sunday he is our Advocate. He is there in the presence of God on our behalf. We are secure. We are loved. We are called by his name. Our name is in the
book of Life. Our life is secure when it comes to salvation. We are secure when it comes to the
hand of God. Who can pluck you out of my hand? Out of my Father’s hand?
This is doctrinally sound. This is a guarantee. This means we are the children of God, all of us here. We are those
that believe and are justified, saved, forgiven and now we come to the second part of our
message and that is how does Jesus minister to us? How does Jesus bring it home to us where
we are living? How does he help us when we are strong and also when we are weak? We’ll
speak about that. Job. 9, sometimes when it’s cold outside people don’t want to get out of their
Look at the crowd today that came out of their house. Give each other a high five. You
got out of the house today! How did you do it? You got out of the house. We’re in God’s house.
We got out of ours and to God’s house and here we are and it’s cold outside but warm inside.
We are gaining something eternal. We sacrifice and lose something but gain something greater.
How about Martin Luther King’s statement.
What did he say? “A man begins to die when he is silent about the most important things.” Good word. We’re speaking about important things. We go to church because it’s an important thing. We go to church because my teenagers and family need to hear something. Be around the right kind of people. Be around a good teacher.
Find something from God. hear a good song. The very little ones need the house of God. Ten
years old, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 – we all need it.
And way up in the 90s. Isn’t that true? Job 9:33 Job is suffering, and he has the desire, request in his heart. You can shout loud enough so I can hear you. Shout out another word for daysman. Meditator, lawyer, advocate. I wish there was somebody between us. Who is it? God and Job. I wish someone could stand between God –
we’ll put him over here and Job here – I wish there was someone could lay his hands on both of
Looks like one hand goes on both but I’m saying this way because of the visual message I want to communicate. I believe Job wanted Christ, somebody that could be both between God
and man and he would be both God and man. I wish somebody could be between me and God
and look at God in the face and put his hand on God and be accepted and also come to me in
the pit, miry clay, trouble, disease, death, shortness of death, high blood pressure, weakness
depression – could look at me and put his hand on me and go way down deep inside and maybe
even go to the grave where man is buried.
He could go to the grave where man is dead and rotting and put his hand on me. That’s what he wanted. We have a story this morning of how Jesus ministered to two people and in the story. I want you to see from John. 11 that sometimes people are more at this end of this life in their experience in life: The Deity of Christ, the
miracles of Christ, the power of Christ, the joy of Christ. Some are at a weaker side and in
infirmity and fear and discouragement and in emptiness and a lot of trouble right next to the
When Jesus ministers to these two different people, he does it in two different ways.
He’s for both of them. He’s for the stronger believer and the weaker believer. It’s amazing. Let’s
read it. John 11, the two sisters of Lazarus. The seed thought is coming from a message by
Timothy Keller who brought this out in his commentary which I felt was so insightful and
beautiful. I’ll put Martha on this side and Mary on this side.
Their brother died. We put Lazarus over here. Mary is over here and on the other side is her dead brother. She is suffering because her brother has died. Never get used to it. Death doesn’t fit in us. Mary is so troubled by it.
Jesus is of course the answer. He is God but he’s a man and he said in the beginning of the Bible
if you eat of this tree, you will die. We could back up and say to God, do you want us to die? No.
it’s not in my plan. I don’t want the devil, disease, depression, pain, fear.
I didn’t make you to live in fear and be over there at the other side. That isn’t my purpose for you. In the story, Jesus
waits four days. He knows if he goes there, he’s going to get in a lot of trouble. Because it’s
right next to Jerusalem. He said we need to go to Bethany and Thomas said let’s go and we will
die with him. They felt he would be arrested and killed. Jesus goes into the face of that trouble
without fear but with purpose.
He has been sent for this reason. Martha said when she goes
out to meet him in John 11:21, if you had been here my brother had not died. I write it down
because Mary said the same thing. But his answer to the two women is different. It seems
when he answers Martha, he is saying something more from that part of him, truth, and it’s not
sentimental. It’s true, wise. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me shall not
die. John 11:25-26. So this is like the pulpit ministry.
This is like quoting the Bible, telling the truth. This is doctrine. This is important. This is how he spoke to Martha. Your brother will rise again but even more, I am the answer. I am the resurrection and the life. Process that. Listen to me what I am saying. I am the word of God. You could say we don’t have a problem here. I am the
resurrection and the life. That ministered to Martha. But where is Mary? She is like some of us
on another day sitting in the house. Martha said the master is here.
Mary stays in the house. Her sorrow is great, and capacity is limited. She is weak. Sometimes we say she has weakness or infirmity, or she is discouraged or depressed or troubled. Is that okay in our Christian faith? Is it
okay that Martha is representing a strong, doctrinal believer who has an understanding and it’s
enough for her to process the tragedy but not always. There is another kind of person who is
also a believer and her name is Mary. She is very hurt and sad about what has happened.
She doesn’t say Jesus you disappointed me. She did say if you had been here, my brother would not
have died. The way Jesus responds to her is different than to Martha. Some of us would give
the same Bible verse. We minister to Martha in a Bible verse and in our strength and attitude
and we can’t weep with those who weep. We are the same to both people. Not Jesus. When he
meets Mary, it’s different. He doesn’t have any Bible verse in that way.
He doesn’t say the same thing. Why not? He’s not a man with just knowledge. He is Christ that intuitively knows how to minster to people. He knows what is needed. He is not a machine. He’s a living God and knows
you and cares for you. Sometimes I need the pulpit to say that, and sometimes I need
somebody to be quiet and hold my hand because I’m hurting so much. I need somebody to
identify, weep with me, care about me.
Not just give me a Bible answer. Could you minister life to me in the Bible? God makes us able ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit. Yesterday I had a bunch of Bible college guys in my house – about 12 or so – and we had a sauna together. We sat in the living room and read the Bible and talked for a couple of hours. I loved to listen to
these guys and pray together and read the Bible and listen to what the Spirit says. The Spirit
could minister to us that way, but the Spirit could also minister to us a different way. Can he?
It’s beautiful. Look at what he said to Mary. John 11:30 He wasn’t running into town. He was
hanging out at the edge of town where he met Martha and talked to her and ministered to her
the word. Vs. 31. Did we get that correct? I didn’t read the right, exactly. Vs. 28. It goes like this:
Martha meets Jesus out at the edge of town. She goes to Mary and says the master calls for
you. Now she gets up to meet him and they have the talk. He’s not quoting a Bible verse.
There is something happening because just like Job said, I need someone to put their hand on God
and me. Don’t forget me. Go all the way to me. Jesus is going all the way to Mary. Vs. 32. There
it is. Martha said it. Mary said it. Vs. 33. If you had not been here, my brother would have not
died. He saw her weeping. He’s walking toward the house and sees the other Jews weeping. He
is overwhelmed with the whole idea of death. I love that. It’s okay to be weak.
Weakness can lead you into sin, but weakness may also lead you to God. Weakness can lead me into unbelief
and fear and sin and bad decisions. But weakness can lead me to like Job is saying, if he could
put his hand on me, I’ll be okay. If he could strengthen me, speak to me, comfort me, address
where I am living. Where I am living is my brother, my brother is dead. I love my brother. I
cannot get rid of it easy. I can’t process it simply. I’m very weak right now. I’m heartbroken.
This happens to believers all over the world. They get hurt so badly by what it means to be a human
being and being under a curse. This is where I need Jesus Christ. I need Jesus Christ. when I make my bed
in hell. I need him to be with me. When I am in unbelief I need him to be there and care about
me. In heaven the chain is sure. I am a child of God. But on the earth, I’m standing next to the
grave of my brother and I’m disappointed that Jesus didn’t come here in time. Jesus is here on
time. He is here weeping and caring.
I want to read this to you about this verse. Let’s go to vs. 34-35. He comes to Mary. She is devastated and he sees that. Then he goes where have they laid him. He knows what he’s going to do long before he entered town. When way up north he knew what he was going to do. He is going to do this miracle. He is weeping because when you
see human beings suffer, you have compassion and care. When this world is filled with so much
suffering, Isaiah 63:9 in all our afflictions he was afflicted. This is another problem we have.
God Almighty do you care? Do you care? You made a world and we are suffering in it. Do you care?
Job is saying if he could put his hand on me. If he could speak to me. If he could show up, if he
could be at the grave side I could see his eyes and know he understands me. I could hear his
voice. Vs. 36. I don’t think Jesus was weeping just because of Lazarus. I think he was weeping
because of all of us. He saw death.
Cain killed his brother. He’s weeping over Abel’s shed blood. He’s weeping over the whole curse on the human race. He came from heaven and God did not intend for us to be in this thing. Vs. 37-38. That’s the word that this commentator says. “I get frustrated with virtually ever English translation of vs. 38. Here we read it as Jesus once more deeply moved came to the tomb. But this verse contains a Greek word that means “to bellow
with anger. And somehow, no translator feels that he or she has the freedom to say what every
commentator and Greek expert says the text is saying.
Jesus is absolutely furious. He is bellowing with rage. He is roaring. Who or what is he angry at? There’s no indication that he’s angry at the family.” Then what is it? Let’s act it out a little bit. Jesus comes and Mary is
devastated. She is weeping. He starts to weep. Where have they laid him? He comes to the
grave. Now we have this word. He is bellowing with furious anger over the whole thing. That’s
what’s it’s saying. I don’t know how it would come out.
Death! I am angry about it. I’m angry. Families are not to be broken up. Death is not to be controlling our life. I’m angry about it. It’s devastating to the human heart. I didn’t make man to have that pain. I came from heaven
where we have eternal life. I put my hand on the Almighty God who made not man to die but to
live. When I come to the graveside, I’m angry about the whole thing. It doesn’t fit in me. It
doesn’t work. It’s not me. It’s the curse.
Yes it came from God but only playing a role in his perfect plan. I’m putting my hand on this whole thing and I’m changing it. I’m the Savior of the world. I’m showing up. I’m not quoting Bible verses. I did to Martha to tell her the mind of God, but Mary doesn’t have that capacity, but she has a capacity for this one. Lazarus! Come forth!
Mary’s got a capacity for that. What I want to say in this story is simple. The ministry of Christ
you can’t put it in a box.
The ministry of Christ is awesome. I know. It’s amazing. Don’t underestimate how people get ministered to in this capacity. Don’t underestimate how people get ministered to in a Pentecostal church or a Baptist or born again Catholics or that man of God or that man of God. God is not limited. He is doing his work by providence, the ministry of the Spirit, by the Word of God and in many different expressions, many different ways. Weak
people are a part of our life.
Infirmed people, troubled people, unbelieving people. That’s part of our life. He can sit with us at the grave side holding a hand, weep with us, and care about it. I love it. There is no end to what it means when our mind is renewed, and the Bible is a living book. The Spirit of God is moving. There is no end to how you can be ministered to in your weakness and in your strength. What did Jesus do here. Vs. 39-40. Didn’t I say that to you out
here at the edge of the city, that if you believe you would see the glory of God?
Take away the stone. You’re going too far. Take away the stone. I’m here. I’m here. That’s beautiful. Take away
the stone. I’m here. I’m here. What if that was our life. Jesus is here. I don’t think there would
be any problem that we couldn’t deal with or handle to be honest. I know sometimes the
ministry comes across strong like this. We are pastors, missionaries, Bible speakers, quoting the
Bible. We have a lot of Bible in us and we are quoting the Bible.
I know this. And I understand but I got to tell you, sometimes I’m over here. I’m weak and frail like everybody. I know what the Bible is saying but could someone take away the stone. I know what the Bible is saying if I
believe I would see the glory of God, but I need Jesus to show up right now. I need Jesus to
show up and care and touch my hand and care for me and speak to my heart. I need Jesus at
the hospital, at the emergency room. I need Jesus at the cemetery. I need Jesus in the nursing
home. I need Jesus in the prison.
I need Jesus in my study. I need Jesus in my office at the church. I need Jesus in the parking lot. I need Jesus in my youth and in my old age. I need him all the time when my brother fails me, when my brother forsakes me and my brother steals from me, my brother borrows money from me but doesn’t pay me back; my brother speaks
nice to me but it’s not really real. He’s deceiving me or something. I need Jesus in a personal
way. Let me close with that. How does it work?
If this year, 2020, you could start to read your Bible and I know you have iPhones and everything else. Whatever works for you. I need a good old-fashioned pencil and piece of paper and Bible like this one. You can do it with technology. I need to take my time and read a portion and write down and go back over here and think
about it. Sometimes I stand up and walk around in my room and read another verse and think
about it and mix faith with it and it starts to live. I kneel down and read it again.
Then I read another chapter and think about it and put my mind on it. I’m driving in my car and I have it in
the back of my mind. What did that say? I don’t remember it, but I might look at it again. It will
stick in my heart and mind and I can learn the Bible. I will have not only the Bible but the Spirit
of the Bible. The anointing of God in the Bible. That’s what I want for you this year. The church
isn’t a respirator for a dying person. It might be.
If you pull the plug on the respirator, you lose your church and you die. But I want you to be able to walk on your own. I want you to have Spirit filled learning and growing and able to walk on your own and be fed by the Bible. The best place to get that understanding is the church. The church is more like a gymnasium for Olympic
trainers. We can think of Martha. Here is what the Bible is saying about your brother. Live by
faith in what the Bible is saying and you’ll see the glory of God. Okay, I believe you. When I’m
weak, he is there for me, too.
The church is not a respirator to keep a dying person alive. It’s a
place where I can learn how to live so when the plug is pulled, I’m okay. When I go to a
university as a student, I don’t lose my faith. Instead I end up being salt and light on the
university campus. I go to public school and don’t lose my faith. I’m built up in how to read my
Bible and I get the words from God personally, so I have a message to him that is hurting,
troubled, like Mary in the story. Okay.
Amen. Someone in the previous service said I was
seconds away from jumping up and shouting during the message. I think this speaks to us this
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.