Lesson Eight


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Memory Verse: John 5:28, 29
Further Study: John 11:1-44; The Desire of Ages, pp. 524-536; The Bible Story, vol. 9, pp. 22-27

Most have heard of The Wizard of Oz, either the book or the movie. It tells the story of Dorothy, a Kansas farm girl, who was swept by a tornado into a new and different land. She joins three other friends and they go on an adventure in search of a wizard who apparently will supply whatever they are lacking. Dorothy wore ruby slippers that mysteriously found their way to her feet.

They arrived in Oz, discovered the wizard and while he was able to supply the needs of her traveling companions, he could do nothing for Dorothy, whose only desire was to be sent home. It was then she was told that she could always go home; the power was with her all along; all she needed to do was to tap the heels of her ruby slippers three times.

All she needed to do was to tap the heels of her ruby slippers three times. 

Some have created an entire transformational psychology from this notion of the ruby slippers—the idea that we always have the power to do whatever we need to do. Perhaps those in the story of Lazarus might have benefited from a similar idea—not a psychological perspective, but a spiritual one.

Jesus waited outside Bethany, where first Martha, and then Mary came to see Him. With Mary came an entire entourage of mourners, both genuine and professional, who wept and wailed for the loss of Lazarus. Jesus cried too, but not for the same reason (read Digging Deeper).

Amazingly, it occurred to no one—not the mourners, the family, or the disciples—to ask Jesus to resurrect Lazarus. Not only did no one ask, but Martha even interfered (John 11:39). Jesus had previously raised two people from the dead, both times with disciples as witnesses. If they didn’t believe that, surely they could remember Elijah and Elisha, both who raised someone from the dead. Yet here was the Creator and Authority of Heaven—complete and absolute power in their midst—but they didn’t recognize Him.

Here was the Creator and Authority of Heaven—complete and absolute power in the midst—but they didn’t recognize Him. 

Dorothy had to be told about the slippers. She had walked and danced all the way to Oz in slippers that could have taken her home, but she didn’t realize it until someone told her. There are those around us living life similarly. They bounce, trudge, plod, or race through life not realizing that Jesus is readily available to lift their burdens and ease their pain. Someone has to tell them.

We also need to be reminded that Jesus is with us—full power, full authority, and fully willing to be an integral part of our lives. Let’s not forget to tap into His Power today and be renewed.

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Digging Deeper 

As we read this story it would be natural as we read the shortest Bible verse, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) to believe that Jesus is weeping for the loss of Lazarus. But remember Jesus knew He was going to resurrect Lazarus. He had purposely stayed away long enough so that no one could question this resurrection. Lazarus was dead and had been for several days. There was no reason to weep for someone who would be alive very soon. Here are some reasons for His weeping:

  1. He recognized that some of those weeping alongside Mary and Martha were not manifesting genuine sorrow. These same individuals would soon be planning the death of Jesus as well as Lazarus.
  2. He wept because no one recognized that He had the power to raise Lazarus. This was not a selfish motivation, but in sorrow that He had so much to offer, yet hearts were not open to receive Him or understand His relationship to them.
  3. His tears were from a human heart that is sympathetic to those who mourn.
  4. He wept for those who would forever be lost because they chose not to believe in Him.
  5. He saw the future destruction of Jerusalem and some of those standing at the tomb would die as a result and in their death, there was no hope.
  6. Jesus carried the weight of grief for the world upon Him. He saw the effects of sin upon the history of the world beginning with Abel and going down through history.
  7. He wept because He longed to relieve the distress of souls throughout the ages who would weep and mourn because of what sin has caused.

For a full reading, see The Desire of Ages, pp. 533-534.

Making it Real

Tapping into God’s power is something we need to do every day. The best way to illustrate this is to take something that needs batteries to operate such as a flashlight. Take the batteries out of the flashlight (make sure they are fully charged). Then put the flashlight back together. Ask your child to turn the flashlight on. Obviously, it will not work. Turn out all the lights and talk about how useful this flashlight would be if it was dark and there was no power.

Then give the batteries to your child(ren) and talk about the power they bring to the flashlight because of the power stored in them. Place the batteries into the flashlight, put it back together, and do the same thing turning it on and using it in a dark room.

How is God’s power like the batteries in the flashlight? Discuss how the batteries are with the flashlight like Jesus is with us. Talk about how we can plug into His power every day.



Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, who’s delighting everyone with her smiles. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.


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