Simple Obedience By Pastor Kevin Stephens 0

Obey – to follow the commands or guidance of.  To conform to or comply with.

John 11:37-41 KJV

“And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 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.  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.”

How many times do we ask, no, need a miracle, and when God shows up to perform it we tell Him why we can’t or won’t do our part?

“Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha… therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick”

They sent for Him, they sent for Jesus.  Recognize that point.

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give [it] thee.”

They had faith in him.  Recognize that point.

“Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

They confessed Him.  Recognize that point.

But when it came to His simple request:

“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”

In that time, limited by her own understanding, she would not move on a simple request.

And now through time, through all of these years, the “stinketh” has come to us.

Stink in this usage is an action word, a verb like obey. To emit a strong foul odor. To be highly offensive or abhorrent. To be in extremely bad repute.

So, was this woman trying to keep Jesus from being offended by Lazarus?  I don’t believe that the dead man had as much offensive power as the living at that point.  The spiritual offense of disobeying the one she kept calling Lord was stinking right then.  Disobedience is a refusal or failure to obey.  And her stink at the time was not a simple failure to obey, it was a deliberate refusal, with a justification of her own to go along with it.

The scripture tells us in Proverbs 14:12,

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

The thought, the way seemed right to her but the end thereof, if Jesus was not as compassionate as he was, would have meant continued death for Lazarus.  I think this is a driving point for us more seasoned believers.  We are accustomed to a certain point to hearing the Lord.  That’s great for us; and to a certain point somewhat dangerous.  Could it be that our ability to converse with Him makes it possible that we might hesitate?  Make us ask for more clarity we say, to perform his wishes properly? Or are we hesitating while we wait for a more comfortable request?

Was she protecting Him from offense, or herself?

As you go through today, be open and willing to hear form the lord.  About be willing to respond to him, even when the request doesn’t make natural sense.  Remember that you are dealing with a supernatural God who may ask you to do something against the norms. Don’t rely on your thoughts or understanding but rather, rely on an obedient heart.

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