Christ Hears Human Cries

KEY VERSE: “[They] were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” —Mark 7:37

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Mark 7:32-37; 10:46-52

ALL the miracles Jesus performed, including the two in today’s lesson, were for the purpose of giving authenticity to his ministry and to demonstrate the power of God that was to be exercised on behalf of the people in the kingdom. As our key verse suggests, the people were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah and the crowds that followed him became more and more vocal in their support of him. Near the end of his ministry he performed his most outstanding and dramatic miracle, that of resurrecting Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, from the dead. It was this miracle that crystallized the intense opposition of the scribes and Pharisees. “From that day forth they took counsel together for to put him [Jesus] to death.” (John 11:53) But they were afraid of the people.

Jesus, who was with his disciples some distance from Bethany, received word that Lazarus was ill. Jesus delayed returning to Bethany until Lazarus had died, because he recognized God’s hand in the matter. Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (John 11:4) When Lazarus had died Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep.” (John 11:11) Jesus, in this instance, compared death to a sleep, which was a very appropriate metaphor because from sleep we all awaken. Likewise Jesus taught that all who are in their graves are going to be awakened from the sleep of death.—John 5:28, 29, RSV

When Jesus and the disciples arrived at Bethany, a large crowd of people had gathered to give comfort to Martha and Mary. Jesus learned that the body of Lazarus had lain in the grave four days already. (John 11:17,39) This was undoubtedly arranged by the Lord to remove any doubt about Lazarus’ being dead. When Martha spoke to Jesus, she mildly rebuked him for not coming when he had heard Lazarus was ill. Jesus said, “Thy brother shall rise again.” (vss. 21-23) Then Martha stated one of the great fundamental truths of the Bible, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (vs. 24) Martha spoke of the resurrection when “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth.” (John 5:28,29; I Cor. 15:12-28) But Martha was interested in the circumstances then at hand. And so Jesus reassured her saying, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (vs. 25) Then Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth.”—vss. 43,44

Many of the Jews who were present believed on Jesus, but some went to the scribes and Pharisees who were alarmed by the number of people that followed him. Because of this, Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews until the time of the Passover when he knew he must die in order to fulfill the prophecies concerning himself.—John 13:1

The raising of Lazarus was the last great miracle Jesus performed to demonstrate to the people he was their long-promised Messiah. Five days before the Passover, on the 10th of Nisan, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy concerning himself as recorded in Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” The account reads, “Much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: blessed is the king of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy king cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.”—John 12:12-15

We know that this enthusiasm for Jesus as their Messiah was short-lived, for at the appointed time, on the Passover, Jesus was crucified as the real Passover Lamb who will take away the sin of the world. Jesus said of the Jews, “If thou hadst known, even those, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! But now are they hid from thine eyes … because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”—Luke 19:42-44

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |