Text: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily (truly) I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”
Good morning, well known Christian! In the local community in which you live - you are well known. In the local church congregations - you are well known. Concerning the religious, social, and political issues of the day surrounding the area in which you live - your forthright, but balanced, Christian views are well known. Praise God it is so! Praise God for ‘well known Christians’!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
“Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
In today’s Bible passage - in our ‘Journeying With John’ series of Bible expositions - we find that Lazarus, the brother of Mary, a very well known woman in Christian circles, had fallen gravely sick. (Verse 1)
We also learn that Lazarus was ‘…a certain man…’ He was obviously sick, but he was also well known to be ‘…certain…’ concerning what really mattered in his life. He loved Christ Jesus, and Christ Jesus loved him.
In Luke’s Gospel we find that this Lazarus had a sister called Martha who is also described by the Holy Ghost as being ‘…a certain woman named Martha…’, and this ‘…certain…’ family had ‘…received Him (Christ Jesus) into her house…’ (Luke 10:38-39)
Furthermore, from Luke’s Gospel account we find that Lazarus and Martha had a sister called Mary, ‘…which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His Word.’ (Luke 10:39) It is this Mary that is one very ‘well known Christian’ as featured in today’s Bible reading.
In verse two of our selected Bible reading we find that, '...It was this Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet wih her hair, whose borther Lazarus was sick.' (Verse 2) Mary had personal contact with the Living Lord Jesus. This family were in close fellowship with God the Son. "Therefore his sisters..." Mary and Martha, well known followers of Christ Jesus, "...sent unto Him saying, Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." (Verse 3)
This God-fearing family did what all God-fearing families should be doing - not only in times of grave crisis, but at all times - staying in constant contact, daily fellowship, with the Lord God, through our ‘…one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.’ (1 Timothy 2:5) Praise His Name!
Now, let us please try to put ourselves in this family’s position for a moment: They trusted the Lord Jesus and were in close fellowship with Him constantly. They believed, trusted, in Him as the Messiah whose coming had been prophesied for centuries. Now they cried out to Him for miraculous help to redress their dear brother’s grave sickness. They did what was right!
Too often I hear the thoughtless complaint: 'Well, I have been to all the doctors, now all I have left is prayer to God.' What a defeatist attitude!
Our FIRST course of action when sickness, trials, testings come should be to bring it to the Lord in prayer, as the hymn-writer exhorts us to do:
“Have we trials and temptations, take it to the Lord in prayer. In His arms He’ll take and shield us, thou wilt find a solace there…” (Hymn: What a Friend We Have In Jesus)
As we have noted above, this Christian family were well known to Jesus, and especially Mary, who had enjoyed such personal contact with Him as she anointed His feet and wiped his feet with her hair. Being so well known to the Living Lord Jesus, would He then leave them destitute in their hour of deep need? Never! The Lord Jesus has promised never to leave us, nor forsake us in such times. And what God says, God always does!
“Let your conversation (whole lifestyle) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Thought: Let us strive to draw closer to the Lord this morning. The Lord loves to fellowship with ‘…certain…’, well known, Christians.