“To open your heart to someone means exposing the scars of the past.”
Discuss: Does anybody in you group have a scar? (A physical one) We dare you to tell us about your scar and how you got it! This could be from an accident, a surgery, chicken pox scars etc…
What do you think about when you see the scar?
Let’s read the story of Lazarus from John 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.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
When have you second guess God and doubted that he really was involved in your life?
Have there been times when you doubted God existed because of His delay?
Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. 10It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”
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.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
Can you share a time when you didn’t understand why bad things happened until a month or a year later?
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
Let’s move on the John: 11:21
21“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
We often talk about the sin of judging people in our lives but do you think we ever have a tendancy to judge God? What are some of the judgements people have levied on God?
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Why does it seem illogical or ironic that Jesus wept?
Why did Jesus weep?
Move on to verse 30
“Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Last Sunday Matt asked the following question: What stinks in your life? What has the smell of something dead?
Possible types of answers include:
- A relationship
- A dream
- A health issue
- A family issue
- A financial issue
Move on to verse 41
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
The grave clothes can be seen as a metaphor for those things we surround ourselves in when we are in a dead state. What are some example of spiritual grave clothes?