“On account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.”
The word “account” means “by reason of”. It means, Lazarus was the reason many put their trust in Christ. His life and his experiences with Christ were having a magnetic effect; drawing others to consider Christ for themselves.
We use the word account in another way. We refer to our bank account. At the end of every month we receive a statement reminding us of both deposits and withdrawals. Those statements reveal a lot to us about the way we live, and the things that are most important to us. In some ways, our life is like a financial statement. At the end of the month we can look back and see how we have spent our time.
Lazarus was a man who spent his time following Jesus. As a result, his life became a testimony of the goodness of God. We know Him to have been a follower and friend of Jesus. We know His home was a place where the disciples often gathered, and where Jesus was welcomed, worshipped, and served. We also know his life was a walking miracle. The result of his living for Christ, was a spiritual bank account filled with many who believed in Christ.
The miracle of Lazarus’ life was the work of God in him. He did not raise himself from the dead, but he did determine that he would be a follower of Christ; putting himself in a place where Christ could work in him. God desires to give life. We read in John 10:10, Jesus promised abundant life; and in John 1:4, His life was the light that drew men to Himself. The more of our life we allow Jesus to have, the more of His life we will experience, and the greater impact we will have on others for the kingdom of Heaven.
What is on your spiritual spreadsheet? If we were given a glimpse into your spiritual bank account, what would we find? What treasures are you storing up? Have you determined to live your life in a way that affects others for the Kingdom of God? Very few things are more valuable than living to have an impact upon others for eternity. It strikes me, that without ever preaching a sermon, going on a mission trip, or leading a praise band, Lazarus was able to impact the lives of so many for the kingdom of God.
Wouldn’t it be great to read that many believed in Jesus on account of you?
Questions for John 12
- Jesus sits down to have a meal with a family He loves very much and one of the guys at the table has been raised from the dead! What do you think this meal was like? What might they have talked about? How do you think this family felt about Jesus?
- How did Mary demonstrate her love for Jesus? How can you show your love for Him with more than just words?
- Why was Judas upset about Mary pouring out the oil on Jesus? What was his excuse for being upset?
- When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey, He was fulfilling prophecy from Zechariah. According to verse 16, were the disciples completely aware of what was happening? Do you sometimes not see what the Lord is doing until afterward?
- Where will the servant of Jesus be (verse 26)? What will the Father do for the one who serves His Son?
- In this chapter Jesus is just a few days away from the cross. Read verses 31-33. What are some of the results of the work of the cross going to be?
- Ultimately it is faith (trust, believing) that pleases God (see Hebrews 11:6). Note verse 37. What did not produce faith in these people? Look up Romans 10:17 to see what does produce faith.
- Read verse 42-43. Among the Pharisees, some actually believed in Jesus, but what stopped them from going all out for Him? Read the parable of the sower in Luke 8:5-18 and take particular note of verse 14. Is there anything choking out your fruitfulness?
- Read verse 47-50. Why did Jesus come?
- According to Jesus, He came with His Father’s agenda, and spoke only what the Father commanded. What was that command?