Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father…
I. THE PRAYER WHICH JESUS HAD EVIDENTLY OFFERED. It is unrecorded, doubtless because silent.
1. Probably His first feeling on hearing of the sickness of Lazarus was one of sadness (ver. 5).
2. This sadness it would seem soon relieved itself through prayer. By a natural filial instinct His heart rose out of its depression into confident communion with His Father.
3. The practical lesson for us is not to measure the force of prayer by its elaborateness or audibleness. The most effective are frequently unuttered. This should not discourage public, but encourage private devotion.
II. CHRIST'S ASSURANCE THAT HIS PRAYER WAS ANSWERED.
1. To "hear" prayer in Scripture means to answer, he miracle was not wrought, but the Saviour was conscious of His own adequacy and its accomplishment.
2. This hearing was no rare favour. "Always" (Hebrews 5:7).
3. The secret of this was the perfect oneness of Christ's will with the Father's. Many of our prayers are unanswered for the opposite reason (1 John 5:14).
III. CHRIST'S THANKSGIVING FOR GOD'S RESPONSE. Nothing is more noticeable in Christ's prayers than His sense of filial obligation. Although not inferior to the Father He will not stand on His prerogatives, but as man's representative shows His sense of need and His trustful dependence.
1. Let us rejoice in this proof of Christ's complete assumption of our humanity.
2. Let us learn to gratefully acknowledge God's goodness in answering our prayers (Psalm 116:1, 2).
IV. CHRIST'S PURPOSE IN THIS THANKSGIVING. Had Christ wished simply to thank God audible words would have been unnecessary. That were as pleasing to God as the unspoken prayer. But Christ wanted to show others that His claim to be the Son of God was no arrogant assumption, and that His works were wrought by no diabolical aid. In this also Jesus is our exemplar. We must not only have the thankful feeling, but express it (Psalm 66:16, 17). We should be careful as to —
1. The sincerity of our praises.
2. Their propriety.
3. Their earnestness.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.