Believe and See, #642
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (JOH 11:40).
Now, our text teaches a great truth about gospel faith. It teaches that gospel blessings are contingent upon gospel obedience. "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"
Now, that phrase, if thou wouldest comes from the Greek word ean, which means "conditional, in case of, or providing that." "If thou wouldest" means that it is contingent upon, providing that, conditional, in case of.
Now, the word believe in our text originates in the root word peitho in the Greek, which means to become convinced. So, this is saying that gospel obedience is becoming convinced, on the authority, the assent unto the evidence or authority of, to rely upon by an inward certainty. Believing is relying on that inward confidence that He has the power to perform of what He spoke. It is to be persuaded by inward conviction of the religious truthfulness of God, to have faith in the Person of Christ, to put your trust in Him, and obey Him. That is what the word believe means. Now, we see, "if thou wouldest believe," is contingent upon believing.
Our text says, "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" Now, watch what the Lord Jesus says to His disciples in Verse 15, "And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him."
Believing comes before seeing. I want you to notice that, "If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God." Jesus said in JOH 11:4, "When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."
Are we going to see the glory of God if we believe? It is contingent. You and I will never see the glory of God with unbelief filling our heartsuntil our hearts are filled with faith, until we believe, and we have that inward conviction of assenting unto the truth of what God says, that we are able to accept that and believe it. Until then we will not see His glory.
Believing in Jesus as the Christ, that is, being convinced of His authority by seeing the evidence of His works, comes before "seeing" His glory. We must understand that the Lord Jesus has seen the unbelief in the hearts of the Jews and He has seen the resistance that had come against Him. He said unto them in JOH 10:37, "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him."
He is saying that we must recognize that His works are a confirmation of His authority. His works are the evidence whereby we believe. We have not only seen with our eyes the works, but we have seen by what authority He performed these miracles, and therefore we need to understand that the evidence that Jesus had already revealed was indisputable.
Now, were they willing to believe this? Were Lazarus loved ones able to accept and have that inward conviction of the authority that He had in His Word? Until that believing took place, they would never see His glory.
Jesus was about to perform the greatest miracle outside of His own suffering, death, and resurrection, and who was it that did not believe? It was not the Jews. It was not the unbelieving scribes and Pharisees. It was Martha, and it says here in JOH 11:5, "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." In other words, it was the flock that Christ loved, and she did not have the faith to believe and therefore she did not obey. This is so important to understand. There must be obedience of faith. If we believe, we will obey. She started to gainsay what He had told her because of her unbelief; she did not obey Him.
Jesus said that He would raise her brother again. He told her that He was the resurrection and the life. He told her to take away the stone but consider her reply. In JOH 11:39 we read, "Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days."
With human reasoning, she was not able to accept the authority of what He said to her. Her eye was so fixed upon death and the things of death that she was not able to raise her eyes unto that resurrection and life that is in Christ. Her heart was so taken up with the temporal things. She was so grieved over the death of her brother, and she was so filled with human reasoning. She said that by this time his body would stink for he has been in the grave four days. She thought it would be an offense to take that stone away and to open up the stench of death.
So, we certainly do not affirm the saying, "God helps those who help themselves." We are not saying that we go for that statement, but God most often helps those who are unable to help themselves. Those who have no help within themselves are those whom God most often helps.
On the other hand the miracles of salvation are performed as God enables us to walk in the obedience of faith. You cannot separate salvation from walking in obedience, but God enables us to obey. It isnt until we believe the authority with which He speaks and obey that we will see the glory of God. He enables us to walk in obedience of faith as we see from Naaman the leper. I want you to see what a beautiful illustration there is in 2KI 5:14.
I want you to see how beautifully this illustrates the grace of God. It was the grace of God that brought that little girl to tell Naaman about the prophet of Israel. It was by the grace of God that Naaman was brought to the prophet of Israel who told him whereby he could be healed. It was by the grace of God that "he went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and [see that connecting word and] his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." When did it happen? As he obeyed. It wasnt until the obedience of faith was put into action that he was healed.
Enabling grace comes from the same source. We need to understand this. Enabling grace to obey comes from the same source and by the same authority in His spoken Word as the new life itself. At first Naaman did not obey the command of the man of God until God granted a change of attitude.
The man of God said to Naaman, Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and what happened? He rose up in anger and he resisted the will of God, but now enabling grace to obey comes also by the same power and the same authority of the same word of the Lord Jesus Christ as it takes to bring Lazarus out of the grave. It is by that same authority that we receive enabling grace as it was that gave Naaman the cleansing when he obeyed.
Now, I want you to see in 2KI 5:13, "And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said [How does persuasion come but by hearing the word?], My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?" "Wash and be clean" had power in it. That was the word that was spoken to his heart and that was what gave him enabling grace. Then went he down.
After his attitude was changed and enabling grace gave him the will to unconditionally obey, he was willing to step into the waters of Jordan, in other words, to step into death. He was willing to write death on everything of himself. That takes enabling grace. As he obeyed, he stepped into the waters and he dipped himself seven times in Jordan according to the saying of the man of God, and his flesh came back. It was by obedience of faith that he was able to see the remedy and it was by enabling grace, by persuasion, by hearing the word, that he was persuaded to do and to obey.
So it was when Jesus commanded Martha to take away the stone. This was not obeyed at first until He told Martha, "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" He reproved her; He rebuked her for her unbelief. He said, "Isnt this what I told you? You are not listening." the power that was in that Word had the same effect as the power that was in the Word when He said, "Lazarus, come forth." It is the power of the Word that brings us into submission and grants enabling grace. "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"
That stone was a symbol of unbelief. It stood in the way of the performing of the miracle, and they had to obey. They had to first obey what Christ had told them to do. He told them to remove the stone, and Martha stood and argued with Him. In other words, in her human reasoning it wasnt logical to remove that stone.
Now watch what we see in JOH 11:41, ""Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. [What happened?] And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me." He immediately performed the miracle of raising Lazarus from the grave. Then they saw the glory of God because of obedience of faith. The stone was removed, the stone of unbelief. That unbelief must be removed before we will ever have the hand of faith to reach forth and take the blessings. That is only possible by Gods enabling grace.
Now, is this not characteristic of a sheep? How often they become the very obstacles to their own good! How often they will do the exact opposite of what is for their good. Lazarus own sister would become an obstacle in the way of the manifestation of Christ's glory. The one whom Jesus loved, the one for whom Jesus came there to raise her brother from the grave was Martha. She would have become the very obstacle to the blessing that God was about to grant to the manifestation of the glory of Christ.
Now, our text was a sharp rebuke to Martha's unbelief, and it is very important that we understand that that stone of unbelief is the obstacle that stood in the way of receiving Gods blessing. We are so filled with all the reasons why we believe that it isnt for us. That stone must be removed. The Lord Jesus said unto her, "Roll ye away the stone." It is you and I who must do this. It is you and I who must roll away the stone. We must remove that obstacle of unbelief. This was a sharp rebuke. "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"
So, this was the message she received from the messenger she had sent to tell Jesus that Lazarus was sick. Jesus had told her that she would see the glory of God. The message that the messengers were sent back to her is in JOH 11:4, "When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." He had sent her that message that she should see the glory of God. This sickness is not unto death.
How can she accept that? It comes against all human reasoning. He had told her that this sickness is not unto death, but here he was in the grave four days. Do you see why she was not able to remove that stone of her own strength? She could not comprehend what Jesus was saying. That is why she argued with Him. She could not understand how the Son of Man might be glorified thereby. She did not comprehend the significance of what He told her. This is why that stone was such an obstacle.
Seeing the glory of God gives peace in the soul. Where we are going to see the glory of God? We will see it in the face of human impossibility, against all human reasoning, even though all logic says, "No."
That is what Moses prayed for in a time of confusion. In a time when Moses was facing such confusion of how the Lord had said that He would destroy Israel, and He would make Him a great nation. Moses said in EXO 33:18, "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory." In such times of confusion is when the soul has such a desire to see the glory of God.
Now, wherein was Moses given to see God's glory? He was given to see it in more than one instance. In the first instance we look to EXO 33:19 to see the glory of God. "And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy." Now, He shows him His sovereign pleasure in which He will show mercy. Doesnt that run parallel to what we see in the case scenario in JOH 11? He had caused all His goodness to go before Israel. They had witnessed and they had seen all His wonderful works as we see in JOH 10:37-38. He had shown them all His mighty works. They had seen His glory, but their eyes were withholden. They didnt see it. In other words He said, "All my goodness shall pass before thee."
In the second instance, Moses saw God's goodness in the eternal nature of the resting-place he had in Christ. In other words, in that crucified and resurrected Christ as we see in EXO 33:22. "And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by." In other words, He showed Moses that His true rest and His true glory would be in that crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our hiding place is in the cleft of that Rock.
Now, the greatest revelation of the glory of God is how He brought forth life out of death. This is what He showed Moses; in other words, that life will come forth out of death, thereby restoring the purpose of God's creation. That purpose is to restore the image of God in the human nature of Gods elect. As life is restored, He restores that perfect image of God out of the state of death, spiritual death. That is where the glory of God is seen.
Now, look at HEB 1:3, and I want you to see that the Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect image of the Father in our human nature. That is where God is now fulfilling the purpose of His creation, that He might be glorified in His creation of man. "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." HEB 1:3. Jesus was the express image of the person of God. He was the brightness of His glory in our human nature. Out of our death, our spiritual death, as we are in the Fall, out of our human nature, He brought forth the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person.
So, it is through Christ in our human nature that we can receive a right understanding of the glory of God. We see this in 2CO 4:6, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." That is where the glory of God reflects, and the glory of God will be seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
Now, there is something to very clearly understand, and this, I believe, our text points out so powerfully. It is not our unworthiness that is a hindrance to our salvation. It is not our ignorance or lack of knowledge of what the Bible teaches that is a hindrance, or is it our inability that is a hindrance, that stands in the way of seeing the glory of God. It is unbelief.
Unbelief destroyed Israel in the wilderness. What is unbelief? They were not willing to obey. They had so many reasons figured out in their human reasoning why they ought not to go forward when God told them to go into the land of Canaan and take possession. They could see the giants, and they could see all the obstacles, but they forgot the wonders of God that they had already witnessed because unbelief and disobedience hindered them.
This is the message of our text. The Lord Jesus told Martha to remove the stone, and Martha argued with Him. She did not obey, and He reproved her. In JOH 11:40 we read, "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" It was Marthas unbelief that Jesus rebuked.
This rebuke was a reminder of what Jesus had told her before. This admonition is synonymous with what we read in HEB 4:1-2, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." That in effect is what our text is teaching us.
So, this Fourth Gospel reveals so much of the glory of God in the blending of Christ's Divine nature and His human perfection. There is such a perfect harmony. Therein we see the Son of God as co-equal with the Father. He is the GREAT "I AM," He is the great Jehovah, the Creator of all things, as we see in JOH 1:3, in One Person with a perfect human nature. JOH 1:3 says, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
Now I want you to see the mystery of that harmony where that great I AM, Jehovah, co-equal with the Father has with our human nature. He was capable of being "wearied with His journey" as we see in JOH 4:6. "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour."
Jesus was capable of grieving and of groaning as He beheld the grief of those He loved. He had a human heart. He had a heart of tender love. He could sympathize with our infirmities because He was given a body and He was given a human nature that understood what it was to be weary. He understood what it was to groan under the grief of the separation of death. He understood it, because He witnessed and experienced it in our human nature.
Look at JOH 11:33-35, "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept." He was able to so intimately identify with their grief because of that perfect human nature that He had. Do you know what that means? His heart was not only grieved. He was not only troubled, but His heart was weeping with their weeping. He understood their sorrow, and He sorrowed with them. He came to take our grief. He came to take our sorrows, and in His perfect human nature, He could so intimately identify with their grief.
Three times we read that Jesus wept. We see it here. We see it in LUK 19:41, where He wept over Jerusalem, and in the Garden of Gethsemane, and in each case it was connected with the effect and consequences of sin.
Here we see Jesus weeping among those who are weeping over death. In LUK 19:41, we see Him weeping as He told them of the deplorable condition of Jerusalem and that Jerusalem would be destroyed, and that their little ones would be dashed against the stones and that they would suffer and that they would die for their sins.
In the Garden of Gethsemane we see Jesus also weeping over being made to be sin for us. He was carrying the load of sin before His Fathers wrath, and He was left over by His Holy Father to suffer at the hands of the wicked one. Why? It was because He was sent there to take our place, and take what we deserved.
Think of the glory of God revealed in this blending of Christ's divine nature and His human sympathy as He suffers in our stead. Take notice of that in HEB 5:7-9, "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared."
He had that same apprehension of death. He saw death as the monster. He saw it as the penalty and the wages of sin, and He was made to be sin in our behalf, that He might take away the sting of death. He had to suffer the sting of death to remove it for His church.
You and I would never be able to come into the grave, expecting and looking forward to death as a friendly messenger, if it wasnt that the Lord Jesus Christ took the sting of death on our behalf.
The Scripture said, He "was heard in that he feared." He saw the dread of death. He experienced how dreadful it was, and He stepped into death while His Father was withdrawn, as you and I deserve. He had cried out in MAR 15:34, "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
While He was forsaken of His Father, He lay down His life in the most dreadful death that was experienced by any man. Do you know why? That is what you and I deserve, but that is how He removed the dread of death for His people. That is how He took it in our behalf.
HEB 5:8-9 says, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." See how important it is that Jesus is the Author of eternal salvation unto all that obey. That obedience of faith is such an essential element that we must never, never overlook that. We are never going to step over that stone of unbelief and see the glory of God. The only way that you and I will ever see the glory of God is if that stone of unbelief is removed.
The tears of our Saviour at the graveside of Lazarus reveal the truth of HEB 4:15, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities."
His soul grieved. He was filled with sorrow as it says here in Verses 33-35, "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept." He was able to be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
There is evidence of this. It is recorded for our comfort and for our consolation that His heart was moved. His heart was grieved. What does it say in JOH 11:41-42? "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me."
He became weary. He became tired. He became so weak in the flesh that He could identify with all of our trials. HEB 4:15says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
So, the tears of our Saviour at the grave of one whom He loved demonstrated how Jesus heart was "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," as we see from the response of the Jews. I want you to see how the Jews recognized how His heart was touched. They recognized how He loved Him.
Look at JOH 11:36, "Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" So, in our text, "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" Now, even these Jews remembered what she forgot. Jesus is bringing back to their attention. He is reminding her of what she had forgotten, but look at what the Jews remembered. Even these Jews remembered what Jesus had said and what He had done in JOH 11:37-38. "And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind [they remembered the man born blind], have caused that even this man should not have died? [They remembered what He had said and what He had done. They were calculating, He could have.] Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it."
That grievous stone of unbelief lay upon that grave. That grave of spiritual death is sealed with a stone of unbelief, and that unbelief must be removed. It isnt that we can claim that we are too ignorant or that we can claim our inability. It is because we are not willing to believe. "If thou wouldest believe."
In such a time of sorrow these Jews seemed to have more conviction of Jesus power and authority, and more memory of His wonderful works than the sister of Lazarus does. In JOH 11:39 we read of Jesus request to have the stone removed and Marthas objection. The Jews didnt object. They probably would have responded instantly, but it was Martha. It was this one who was grieving. It was the one whom Jesus loved. She could not believe.
After Jesus rebuked that unbelief, that unclean spirit, it came out. Then they took away the stone. As Jesus rebuked her unbelief, He also granted enabling grace to obey. Now, I want you to see in JOH 11:40-41, "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me." Who took the stone away? Did the Lord Jesus remove it? No. This is a point we need to understand. The command is, "Remove ye the stone." The person must obey Jesus command.
The Father heard the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave enabling grace. We need to ask for enabling grace in times of trial. We need to pray, "I believe, help thou my unbelief." They took away the stone, and Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me." The Lord Jesus Christ, as our intercessor, prayed for the gift of faith, and faith was granted.
So, two things seem to reveal a striking contrast throughout this chapterthe glory of Christ, and the failure of man. His perfection is a contrast to man's imperfections.
Jesus had bidden the bystanders "Take ye away the stone." Jesus could have removed that stone by merely speaking the word. That stone was not a hindrance to the Lord Jesus Christ, but we need to see the principle of the gospel here. "Remove ye the stone." In other words, stop dwelling on unbelief. Stop looking at the fiery serpents and raise your eyes by obedience of faith and look unto the Lord Jesus Christ. That is a command. Jesus could have removed it by speaking a word, but herein lay a most important principle of the gospel.
Our text says, "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" The miracle is performed as they obey! "If you would believe, you would see."
Jesus said, "Take ye away the stone," but no one responded! They paused to listen to the objection of the very one whom Jesus loved. That is so typical of man by nature. As the Lord commands us to believe on the name of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and love one another as He has commanded us, no one responds until the Father responds to the intercessory prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ that He would grant faith.
In His infinite wisdom God uses the foolishness of man to reveal some of the most blessed gospel principles. Look at LUK 15:1-2, "Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. [Who was a hindrance? Not the publicans and sinners. It was those professed Christians. Look at Verse 2,] And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." In their murmuring against the Lord Jesus Christ, they spoke one of the most blessed truths of the gospel. This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. What greater comfort could you and I receive than to know that the Lord Jesus Christ receives sinners? What a blessed truth they proclaimed in the form of a murmur.
In response to this blessed truth spoken by the enemies of Christ, our Saviour sets forth the true meaning of repentance, which is the first essential principle of the gospel. Watch how He reproved those scribes and Pharisees by telling them the principles of repentance in a parable.
LUK 15:17-20 says, "And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."
Notice that in LUK 15:17-20 the first principle of repentance is that "he came to himself." In other words, he came to a change in attitude. In Verse 18 as a response of coming to himself, he came to a well-planned repentance, saying, "I will arise and go to my father." We see an immediate determination of action. What is the next thing we see? In Verse 19, and "make me as one of thy hired servants." We see a yearning desire to return into the service of his father. These are the principles of repentance. The final principle of repentance in Verse 20, "And he arose." He acted upon a carefully planned repentance. The Lord Jesus used the occasion of the murmuring scribes and Pharisees as He was with publicans and sinners to draw forth such a blessed description of gospel repentance. The Lord uses even our failures for His glory.
The principle taught by our Saviour in our text is the essential element of the obedience of faith. I want you to see that when this prodigal son had faith to come to himself, he acted upon it. He desired to become a servant and had a plan; and he acted upon it.
The Apostle Paul confessed how his calling to preach depended upon this principle. Look at ROM 1:1-5, "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name." What for? What was the grace and apostleship given to them for? It was for obedience of faith to be shown to all nations for Gods glory.
This teaches that same principle as Jesus set forth in our text in the phrase if thou wouldest. That phrase comes from the Greek word ean, which means, "conditional, in case of, or providing that." Providing that you believe you will see the glory of God. If you are able to take your eyes off the fiery serpents, if you are able to take your eyes off the present circumstances and raise your eyes unto that blessed Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ who was lifted up as the brazen serpent, you shall live. You will see the glory of God. It is conditional, in case of or providing that you believe. The command is to take your eyes off of the present circumstances and look unto Christ. If you believe, if you obey, if you stop murmuring about present circumstances and lift your eyes unto the Lord Jesus Christ, you will see the glory of God.
This mystery of salvation, that obedience of faith comes before the glory of God is seen, must be made known unto the world by the proclamation of the gospel.
Look at ROM 16:25-27 to see that the obedience of faith is the mystery of the gospel. "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for [why is the mystery of the gospel made know unto all nations? For] the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory [how?] through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen." We see the glory of God through the obedience of faith by Jesus Christ.
Now, as they obeyed, the miracle was performed. I want you to see the beauty of this obedience of faith. Jesus had said, "Take ye away the stone," and Martha used human reasoning, and nobody acted upon it. After the Lord Jesus rebuked her lack of faith and her unbelief, the unclean spirit, came out of her. After the Lord rebuked her unbelief, then they obeyed.
Now we see in JOH 11:40-44, "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone."
May this gospel principle come home to each and every one of our hearts. We stop living under unbelief when we remove that stone and take our eyes off of present circumstances to look unto our blessed Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." JOH 11:41.
Now the Lord gives the credit back to His Father. He thanked His Father for hearing Him, and explained He prayed for the sake of those who stand by, that they may believe, that their eyes might be taken away from present circumstances, and that they may be able to lift their eyes up and see the glory of God.
"And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go." Verses 43-44.
The Lord willing, we plan to speak about that next week, and so I dont want to go into that now. The point is, when they believed, when they obeyed, Jesus thanked His Father that He had heard His prayer and had granted faith and now, by faith, by the faith of Jesus Christ and by the power and the authority of His word, they would now see the glory of God.
Our text says, "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" Amen.
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