Meeting the Seemingly Impossible
Hello friend, I’m J. Mark Horst, your host and I welcome you to Hope for Today. The program you’re listening to is produced by Heralds of Hope. We’re an international Gospel media ministry. Each week our Bible teaching broadcasts circle the globe in English and 22 other major languages. Tens of thousands tune in each week for spiritual nourishment and blessing.
If you listen to this program regularly, I’m alerting you to expect some changes to our programming in the next several weeks. At Heralds of Hope, we are a growing and changing ministry. We are expanding our audience, we are adding new personnel, and we are updating our content. Eventually, you will hear a new musical intro to the program as well as some other cosmetic changes. But one thing that won’t change is our commitment to teaching God’s Word!
Why? Because God’s Word is the standard by which all people will be judged. Listen to these verses from Hebrews 9:27 and 28. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
So, all men will die and face judgment for their deeds. But there will be a difference between the judgment faced by those who know Jesus and those who don’t. Christ-followers will have their works judged that will determine their rewards. In fact, the Hebrew writer says these people are eagerly awaiting Jesus to return. But unbelievers will face eternal judgment because they have rejected Jesus as the only means of salvation. We don’t want that to be your fate and that is why we come to you each week with this Bible teaching program.
If you’ve been tuning in regularly to Hope for Today, you know that we’re studying from John’s Gospel. Our Bible teacher for this series is the late Dr. J. Otis Yoder, founder, and president of Heralds of Hope. Here he is with today’s teaching; “Meeting the Seemingly Impossible.” And our Scripture portion is John 11:38 to 46.
Perhaps you too have had to meet a situation where the way through seemed almost impossible. I have had such situations. But I have learned from the counsel of another, every problem carries the clue to its own solution. It’s like a stone mason. He can tell how to strike the chisel to shape the stone. Just by looking at the stone he knows where to strike it. That is learned by experience and accomplished stone masons do very nice work.
It is so in life. We must seek the solution by a careful examination of the problem. Jesus was especially able to meet the seemingly impossible. So, I want to share with you from John 11:3846 and we will see Jesus MEETING THE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE.
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 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.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
Here Jesus met the seemingly impossible. As He did the several STAGES of His plan emerge. These will strengthen our faith in Him.
First there was The Command.
“Take away the stone.” Preparation had to be made for what was about to follow. Therefore, Jesus gave the command to take the stone away. But Martha’s objection opened her heart wide, didn’t it? She said, Lord, it’s too late. “Lord, by this time he stinks.” The decomposition, the rotting of his body had already begun. It’s too late, Lord.
Oh, how many times we object to the clear command of the Lord because we think we know better. So, it was with Martha. But Jesus had given the command to take away the stone and He replied to her, “If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” Don’t argue. Obey, believe, do what the Lord says. When the command is clear, do not falter. Proceed.
The second stage is The Commitment.
So, they removed the stone. The preparation was made. Not all of it because Jesus made a commitment unto God in His prayer. Notice carefully in the Scripture just how Jesus prayed. Read the prayer again, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent
Right there, my friend, is a real commitment on the part of Jesus. His prayer first of all contains thanksgiving to God. Then it contains trust because Jesus said, “I knew that thou doest hear me always”. Then there is a petition for the people. I’m saying this so that the people standing around here may believe.
Oh yes, I am impressed with this second stage of meeting the seemingly impossible. Because, you see, Jesus committed it all to the Father so that when He was facing this seemingly impossible situation, He made it clear that He was trusting in God.
The third stage is The Call.
Now notice the preparation: the stone has been taken away; the prayer has been offered; the commitment has been made. Then the call came to Lazarus, the dead man. The Bible tells us that Jesus called with a loud voice saying, “Lazarus, come forth”. And the dead man came forth. What else could He do. The Creator had called him forth. Because the Creator had called him forth, he responded. And he came, bound with grave clothes, hand, and foot, with a handkerchief about his face. He came like they had placed him there. But he came because the Creator had called him.
Then to the people Jesus said, “Loose him, and let him go.” The result of this was that many believed on Him.
The call came to Lazarus, the dead man. The command to untie him came to those who stood by. But as I pointed out to you, many believed when they saw what Jesus had done. Jesus the Son of God met the seemingly impossible with great power, even overcoming death.
We can trust Him today, as well. These stages tell us He can do as He wills: the command, “Take away the stone”; the commitment, “Father, I thank thee”; the call, “Lazarus, come forth”.
My friend, complete trust in Jesus will help you meet what seems impossible. I am not suggesting that Jesus will raise the dead for you. But, my friend, He is able to see you through what appears totally impossible. I urge you to trust Him.
Oh God, our heavenly Father, with humble thanksgiving we bless Thy Name for all Thy goodness. Oh, help my listeners and me to really trust Jesus as we face what really seems to be impossible because we know…
Most of us have faced situations in life that looked impossible. But our God, Jehovah, the Creator of all, is a God who can do the impossible. What a blessing to be able to call Him our Father and to know that He loves and cares for us in every circumstance of life.
My friend, I hope this teaching has blessed you. If you’d like a copy, either in print or on an audio CD, just contact us and ask for it by the title, “Meeting the Seemingly Impossible.”
The quickest way for you to contact us is to send an e-mail to email@example.com. That e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you may write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember, you can request a printed manuscript or an audio CD of this teaching, “Meeting the Seemingly Impossible.” We’d be happy to send one to you.
And when you contact us, you can request our newest publication, Hope Herald. It is a study guide that follows these radio programs and will help you learn more about what we are studying from John’s Gospel. So, ask for your free copy of Hope Herald today.
Here’s the contact information again. The quickest way to reach us is by at this address; email@example.com. Or write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember; you can request a free copy of this teaching, “Meeting the Seemingly Impossible.” It’s available in print or on an audio CD. And you can also request a free copy of our newest publication, Hope Herald. It will help you gain more value from our study in John.
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Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Dr. Yoder continues our study from John’s Gospel with an important message titled “Facing the Facts.” You won’t want to miss it. And until then, I urge you to keep looking for that blessed HOPE.