Lazarus (Part 11) – True Worship

by Rick

Read John 11:1-16


This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Year of Supernatural Manifestation”, with our mini-series on “The Miracles of Jesus.”  Let’s continue with the story of Lazarus.


In our last message related to this story we saw how Jesus did not get anywhere with Martha.  So He asked to speak to Mary.  I told you that I believe Jesus was looking for a trigger from one of the two sisters before He moved on their behalf.  Jesus was ready, willing, and able to resurrect Lazarus, but He was looking for something, some act on the part of the sisters that would move Him to action.


When Mary got word that Jesus was asking for her she immediately went to see Him.  Mary was in the middle of mourning and a group of mourners followed her.  The Bible says that some thought she was going to the tomb to continue mourning, but she was actually going out to meet Jesus.  Jesus had not made it into town yet.  He was still waiting just out of town, in the same place where He met Martha.  


When Mary arrived, there He was, God in the flesh, waiting on the second sister, hoping she would trigger Him to move in their lives.  Martha had come, held a long conversation with Jesus, but had done nothing but frustrate Him.  He attempted several times to get her to understand that He was ready to resurrect Lazarus, but she just didn’t get it.  Mary had her shot now.  When she got to the place where Jesus was she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  That’s it, that’s all she said.  If you look through this entire story you will see that these are the only words that Mary uttered.  As a matter of fact, these are the SAME 12 words that her sister had spoken when she first saw Jesus.  But somehow they were different.  When Martha said these 12 words nothing happened.  When Martha said them it caused Jesus to enter a lengthy discussion with her, trying to get her to see what He was really up to, but she never really got it.  But Mary was different.  All she had to say was 12 words.


Although WHAT she said was exactly the same, HOW she said it was completely different.  Mary had spoken these 12 words from her knees.  Mary was in a position of worship.  The mourners that followed her were there.  They were expecting Mary to fuss at Jesus like Martha did, but Mary did not fuss.  Her words were words of surrender.  She fell down at His feet, the place of surrender and worship, and expressed her pain.  She cried as she laid there at His feet.  Tomorrow I will focus on Jesus’ reaction to Mary and how it was completely different from His reaction to Martha.  Mary released everything she had, everything she was feeling, all the pain she was carrying, and all the hurt that was haunting her, as she laid at His feet in worship.  Jesus could not help but be moved by that.


So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.


1.  Work and worship are both required in the life of the believer.


a)  One day, while Jesus was in Bethany, Martha invited Him into her home.  She quickly began working, getting everything ready and serving Jesus and His team.  While this was going on, Jesus was teaching and Martha was missing out on what He was saying.  All-the-while, Martha’s sister, Mary, was sitting at the feet of Jesus, in a position of worship, receiving from the Lord.  Martha got upset with Mary for worshipping while she was working.  Martha was even bold enough to ask Jesus to tell her sister to ‘get her lazy butt up’ to help her.  Jesus explained to Martha that she was troubled by working when she should have been worshipping.  Mary was doing the right thing.


b)  Work and worship are both necessary, but you must discern the proper timing for each.


c)  When Jesus is speaking, you should be listening, not working.


d)  Never get so busy doing something FOR God that you fail to hear FROM God!


e)  A life of constant work without a proper diet of worship will strip you of your joy and peace, leaving you with nothing but frustration and aggravation.  This is what happened to Martha.  She was so accustomed to working that she failed to properly worship.  So when Jesus showed up, ready to resurrect her brother from the dead, she could not discern what Jesus was saying.  He tried, over and over again, to get her to understand what He was there to do, but missed Jesus’ every attempt.



2.  Worship puts you in the proper position to interact with God.


a)  Mary said the exact same words that Martha did, but she said them from a position of worship.  Martha frustrated Jesus, Mary moved Jesus.  Same words, different posture, different results.


b)  Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  God is looking for you to worship Him with your whole heart.  Mary did.  Mary fell at the feet of Jesus, she released everything she had, and wept in a position of worship.  How did Jesus respond?  He wept as well.  Mary’s true worship moved Jesus.  Will yours?


Closing Confession:  Father, this is a year of Great Victory for me.  This year I learn to work and worship.  I learn to discern when to do each and to do them both well.  You are looking for true worshippers.  I am one!  I worship You with a pure heart.  I worship You at all times.  I come to You as my King, my Ruler, my Daddy, my God.  I acknowledge no other gods and I call upon no other name.  You alone are Lord in my life.  You alone sit on the throne and I will worship You all the days of my life!  My worship enables me to release all the pain, frustration, and weight that the cares of this world put on me.  As I worship You, I am made free.  And as You receive the worship, You move in my life!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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