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I By Mrs. Bessie Wilboti , /'
Scripture: John 11:20-27,38-44
Lesson Background: The teaching in last week’s lesson
, was delivered by Jesus sometime around the feast of
Tabernacles, which was held in October. At that time
Jesus had claimed to be the Good Shepherd who led His
people to food and water and watched over them. He had
also claimed to be the door by which all must come to God.
Those claims had met with mixed reactions from the Jews
Jesus eluded His would-be captors and went across the
Jordan River to the area where John had first carried on
his ministry. Jesus’ reception there in Perea contrasted
sharply with the treatment He had recieved in Jerusalem.
Many of these people remembered what John had taught
about Jesus and were moved to believe in Him.
In the meantime, Lazarus, the brother of Mary and
Martha of Bethany, fell seriously ill. The sisters sent word
to Jesus, but Jesus delayed two days before starting back.
By that time Lazarus was dead. As Jesus and the disciples
started on their journey to Bethany, which was about two
miles from Jerusalem, Thomas, who was quite aware of
the dangers, sounded an orpinous note: “Let us also go,
that we may die with him” (11:1-16).
When Martha heard that Jesus was coining, she wait out
to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. Martha said
to Jesus, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would
not havedied! But I know that even now God will give you
whatever you ask for.”
“Your brother will rise to life,” Jesus told her. “I
know,” she replied, “that he will rise to life on the last
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies; Do
you believe this?” “Yes, Lord!” she answered, “I do
believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was
to come into the world (John 11:20-27).
Martha’s first words were at once an outpouring of her
pent-up grief and at the same time a hint of criticism.
She spoke of a last opportunity. She undoubtedly knew
about and perhaps had evoi witnessed some of Jesus’
healings. She had no doubt that Lazarus could also have
been healed if only Jesus had been there. If there is a bit of
reproach in Martha’s words, let us not be too critical of
her. Most of us are apt to utter words from the depths of
grief that otherwise we would not express.
The flame of hope may have been flickering, but Martha
kept it alive. Martha refused to abandon hope completely.
She may not have fully understood the power that
■' Jesus had, but she was quife convinced that He had access
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Martha’s answer reflected the fact that she had not
caught the full impact of Jesus’ words. Like most devout
Jews of that day, she believed in a last day, a time of
judgement. But her statement implied a subtle, wistful
inquiry: “Do you mean he will rise at the last day? Or do
urn from the dead now?”
tion, and the life” in verse 25 is
■riusive of all Jesus’ “I ams.”
■esses the whole doctrine of the
srs in Him. Though some Old
life and death are rather vague
few seem quite clear (Isaiah
>e Old Testament, this growing
teachings of the Jewish scholar?
ms’ affirmation gave it a firmer
basis. Now they had first hand testimony-testimony that
was about to be confirmed by the resurrection of Lazarus,
and later confirmed by Jesus’ own resurrection.
We live in different times when the intellectual currents
are moving in a different direction. Deep in our minds we
want to believe that there is something beyond this life,
and yet the scientific and humanistic thought of our day
casts a skeptical pall over such faith. But these doubts
evaporate like the mists of morning beneath a bright sun
when we allow Jesus’ words, “I am the resurrection and
the life,” to lodge in our minds.
Our culture has conditioned us to insist that every
affirmation be supported by physical evidence. This
critical attitude has served us very well in the scientific
realm. It has freed us from many hindering superstitions
and allowed us to bring many of the farces of the physical
world under our control.
What works so well in dealing with material things has
also been applied to the spiritual realm, and often with
tragic results. Some, because they cannot see God with
their physical eyes, have argued that He does not exist.
They also conclude that because we cannot see beyond the
grave then nothing exists beyond the grave. How tragic
None of us have firsthand experiences of life after death
and so we must rely upon the testimony of those who have.
Jesus claimed that He was the resurrection and the life. Of
course, anyone could make such a claim, but Jesus backed
up His claim with this tremendous miracle.
Such a resurrection after the dead man had been in the
tomb for four days should have convinced anyone. Such a
miracle should have convinced the most stubborn
objector. But some refused to believe in spite of the
physical evidasoahafsaaMiam. Madam skeptics would be
no more likely kairttoeaafrttay sear emhmmtrarte «r «
dozen such miracles today.
As Christians we believe that there is life after death. If
we accept the Scriptures, we don’t need any further proof '
of it. Indeed, the eternal life promised by our Lord will be
more glorious than we can ever imagine. Amen.
Local Experts Agree
Stereotype Of Two-Year-Olds Often True
By Audrey C. Lodato
Pest Staff Writer
The “terrible two’s.” Are they
really that bad? Patricia Heard,
supervisor at the Center for Human
Development, relates, “I think the
stereotype is true because children
are much more active by age two."
She continues, “Most parents feel
they can manage their children
before then; at two, they can’t
control them as well.”
Before that age, she states, child
ren don’t know to say they don’t
want to do something. At two, the
child begins to feel his or her own
power - the power to move, the
power to say‘no.’ Further, it is also
at age two that children become
aware of their own separateness.
"They realize they can control their
environment and their parents,”
Heard explains, “and they often say
no to test their power, to see how far
they can go.”
Heard, who has nine years experi
ence working with pre-schoolers in
various settings, notes that toilet
training often becomes an issue at
around two. “I think because of
some of the battles parents get into
over this issue, they think it’s a
terrible time;” She goes on to say,
however, that how good or bad the
time is, is based largely on how the
parents set it up. If they approach
toilet training in a positive manner,
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stressing that this Is Just something
that children need to learn as they
grow up, then fewer problems and
fewer power struggles will result.
“One good way for a child to get
you, ” she points out, “is to wait until
you have a house full of company
and then stand in the middle of the
room and mess in their pants.’
Some parents make the mistake of
believing children should be toilet
trained by a particular age, but not
all children are developed enough
physically. Not only is it a matter of
a child’s will; muscle development
is also an important factor.
Social worker and counselor, Ca
role Ricks, of Ricks Resources,
comments on typical two-year-old
behavior. “They’re in constant
motion, always on the move,’’ she
remarks. “It seems they go from
crawling to running, and then they
Ricks recommends parents begin
to set limits and spell out rules of
acceptable behavior at about this
age. While children are still too
young to distinguish between truth
and untruth at two, parents can
begin to teach them what is real and
...From crawling to naming
unreal, she notes. •
“At two,” Ricks states, “children
begin to decide what to cooperate
with and what not to. It’s the
beginning of their need to become
individuals, to establish individual
identitiesandasenseofself. This is
often expressed in negativism,” she
comments. “As early as age two,
they like to help around the house.
Having them participate can give
them a sense of achievement and
help them feel good about them
This is one of the things that
Carolyn Spivey, an experienced
mother of four, doee with her two
and-a-half year old. “jU I’m making
biscuits,” she relates, “I’ll pull a
chair over so Faith can be level with
the counter. I let her help me.”
Other things that Spivey does in
clude getting down on the floor
with her dai^ghter; using time-outs
(sending the child to her room for a
minute or. two until she calms
down); child-proofing rooms (put
ting away breakables, dangerous
items, etc.); and suggesting puzzles
or books to calm her down.
“Two-year-olds can’t express
themselves well, and this can be
frustrating,” Spivey points out as
another reason for difficulties at
It’s important to remember that
“two’s” are Just one step in a child’s
development, albeit an important
step. When parents are having a
hard time coping with their toddlers,
Ricks suggests they call a nursery
school for permission to visit and
observe a group of two-year-olds.
“This way,” she explains, “they can
begin to understand what all two
year-old’s do. It gives them a better
perspective so they can relax more
with their own."
Notes Heard, “It’s easier if pa
rents know what to expect.” Often,
it’s Just the two-year-old’s natural
curiosity that means “trouble’’ for -
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