(John 12:9-11), “ Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.”
We have been looking at the subject of “what does your heart say about you” by looking at the family of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. The heart is often used as a metaphor to describe the true nature of a person. (Matthew 15:19), “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
In our first lesson we looked at the heart of Lazarus and learned the heart of Lazarus reveals the Gospel because the death and resurrection of Lazarus from the dead in John 11 is a picture of the condition of all sinners before salvation and what happens in salvation. In our second lesson we looked at the heart of Martha and learned the heart of Martha reveals a heart of good works because of her love for the Lord Jesus and her continuous service to Him. In our third lesson we looked at the heart of Mary and learned the heart of Mary reveals a heart of gratitude because she anointed the feet of the Lord Jesus with a very expensive box of ointment. In our last lesson we moved beyond this family and began looking as some others hearts in the Bible and what their heart said about them and we looked first at the heart of Judas Iscariot. From that lesson we learned the heart of Judas reveals a heart of greed because of his excessive desire to have what he didn’t have which is this case was the box of ointment that Mary used to anoint the feet of Jesus.
In this lesson we are going to see the response of the Jewish leaders to Jesus and the raising of Lazarus from the dead who was sitting at the supper that night.
- The Heart of the Jewish Leaders Reveal a Grudge
From our scripture text we learn the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus because of His teachings and miracles. Furthermore, they also wanted to kill Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead because many of the people believed on Jesus because of Lazarus’ resurrection from the dead. In our text we read, “…many of the Jews went away and believed on Jesus.” Because of Jesus and His raising Lazarus from the dead, some of the Jews were leaving the Jewish leaders congregations and the Jewish leaders begrudged Jesus for this. In response to their grudge against Jesus they wanted to destroy Jesus, thinking they could destroy His teachings by destroying Him. And they wanted to destroy any evidence of His miracles by destroying Lazarus. The religious leaders had the attitude, “if we can’t control Jesus, then we will kill Him! They had a grudge.
As sad as it is to say, this attitude is still prevalent in churches today; the attitude of, “if I can’t control it, then I will try and kill it.” There are a lot of used to be good churches that have been destroyed because of a power struggle within the church body. There are a lot of pastors out of the ministry today because of a power struggle within the church body. There are a lot of pastor who are still in the ministry today but they are hurting because of a power struggle within the church body. There are a lot of church members out of church today and many in dead churches today because of a power struggle within the church body. There are a lot of churches divided today because of a power struggle within the church body.
Many good churches, pastors, and Christians have been hurt or destroyed because of grudges and power struggles. I wonder today if there is someone reading this that is bearing a grudge. Perhaps it’s a grudge because you can’t control things in your church and you had rather kill the church rather than humble yourself before the Lord and submit. Perhaps it’s a grudge against God because you can’t control Him and what He’s doing in your life and you had rather sour and die on God rather than trust Him. Perhaps it’s a grudge against someone because you have been offended and you had rather kill somebody’s character than go get it right. I wonder if someone is carrying a grudge that is reading this and instead of getting right you had rather see things die.
If you are carrying a grudge today, I urge you to confess it as sin to God, repent of it, submit yourself to God and pray for those who you are in conflict with. If it is someone who is in authority over you submit to them and prayer for them.
Pastor Allen Jackson