The Experience Fall 2020 Edition

J ohn chapter 11 encapsulates a myriad of interesting details that passionate Bible students find captivating – unique First Century narrative elements, climactic salvific theological themes, pure human emotional drama, exhibitions of Jesus’ divine omnipotence, omniscience coupled with human tears, along with the second shortest verse in the Greek New Testament (John 11:35). This stuff captures the attention of avid Bible study students, scholars, and peer- review journal contributors. John chapter 11 contains the description of the moment Jesus’ consummate action puts into motion human activity to precipitate Jesus’ death by crucifixion. Theologically stimulating. Soteriologically significant. Eternally impactful. But that’s just half the story… At this moment in time, the participants of this drama are emotionally stirred, hurt, and confused because their brother just died. They don’t so much care about theological treatises on the most acute points of doctrine – they just need a hug. And they desire answers. They experienced a universal reaction to those hurting during uncertain times. John chapter 11 inserts the reader into a colossal event in the lives of some of Christ’s most faithful followers, Mary and Martha. Jesus did not react to their specific request and respond in accordance to how His followers felt He should have responded, and as a result, their brother, Lazarus, died. They were confused. They had seen Jesus on three occasions respond to mere strangers’ pleas to come and heal their loved one. They saw Jesus call an audible right on the spot and heal each one of them. But Jesus did not extend to them the same courtesy, even though they were His close followers. WHAT WAS JESUS DOING? WHY DIDN’T HE RESPOND TO US THE WAY WE PRAYED TO HIM? WHY IS HE TREATING US SEEMINGLY WORSE? At this moment in the drama, the reader is a bit more enlightened about the person, work, sovereignty, and providence of God than the participants of the drama. We have available to us the entire counsel of God’s Word and have read about the mighty promises of God and Jesus’ divine power and authority given to Him by the Father. We have even read and celebrated scriptures that vividly describe the final days when every knee will bow

I Will Trust

God No Matter What



JOHN 11:40

Ben Gutierrez

Dr. Ben Gutierrez serves as the Senior Pastor/Lead Servant of Grove Avenue Baptist Church, in Richmond, Virginia. He is a frequent lecturer at Word of Life Bible Institute and has authored, co-authored or edited over 12 books throughout his years of ministry. Ben is happily married to his wife, Tammy, and is a proud father of two daughters, Lauren & Emma.


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