Frankie Mazzapica - Go Find Jesus
Thank you for tuning in today, my name's Frankie Mazzapica, the title of the message is "Go Find Jesus," Go Find Jesus. Let me just lay the scriptural foundation right away. It's in John chapter 11, verses 1, 2, and 3, and this is how it starts. Now there was a man named Lazarus who was sick. He lived in Bethany, in the village of Mary and Martha. Now, this Mary, the sister of Lazarus, is the same Mary who anointed Jesus's feet with perfume and dried it with her hair. Now, these two sisters sent a message to Jesus, and said, "Lord, the one you love is sick".
Now, Jesus had been to Bethany, Bethany is not a big town, so he knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew him. But notice that the sister said, "The one you love, the one who loves you," that's the one who's sick. And Jesus didn't need to know his name, he already knew who they were talking about, because the Bible makes it crystal clear in Proverbs chapter 8, verse 17, where he says, "I love those who love me". So there was a man in Bethany who expressed his love to Jesus in a way that no one else did. And so when Mary and Martha said, "The one who loves you, the one you love," there was nobody else that did that. Everybody else, if they did love him, they didn't express it, if they did, it was trapped in their mind.
All of us know that one person who, you know they love you, but they don't ever say it, they don't express it. There's no embrace, there's no hug, but you know deep down inside they love you, but they don't express it. And so consequently, you don't express it, and that becomes the culture of the relationship. They don't express it, you don't express it, and you start doubting the love. And Jesus says this, "Those who love me, I love them". You cannot love without expressing love. If you love someone, you express it, otherwise the relationship cannot flourish. So Jesus knew exactly who Mary and Martha were talking about.
Now, what's fascinating is that Lazarus, according To the Archko Volumes, within The Archko Volumes, it's an ancient Jewish writing that took place during the same time that Jesus was living. It's not part of the Scripture or the canon, but it's a book of history, and it talks about how Jesus would spend time with Lazarus and Mary and Martha, The two sisters and a brother, he would go to their house and have meals, he would pass through all the time, and Jesus and Lazarus were very close friends. And one time, the sisters were talking to a man who was chronicling Jesus's life, and they said that Jesus would often go to the wilderness or go into the mountains with Lazarus, and Lazarus would talk about how wild animals would come walking up to Jesus and they would rub against his leg, and Jesus would pet them.
There was something in an animal that knew, that they felt safe, they felt love, they were drawn to him. I'm sure these animals didn't calculate this, but there was something in here that drew the animals to him, and Jesus would just pet them until he pushed them off. Lazarus said this, he said, "There was never a moment where I was afraid. there was never a moment where I felt fear". And as they walked along, Jesus would point at different rocks, tell them how they got there, tell them about the rocks. As he would walk through the grass or the flowers, it was like they knew he was there and they would just kind of point and lean towards him.
I was walking in my backyard the other day and this thought came to my mind, "Lord, everything that grows on the earth grows towards you". The trees point to their creator, grass points to their creator, flowers point to their creator. And it's like, "Oh God, all of nature is crying out for you". That's exactly what the Bible says, all of nature is crying out to their creator. And the Bible goes so further to say that if we don't worship him, then the rocks will cry out before him. When you are the creator of, like, some "Play-Doh" thing, you can just move it and shape it, but it cannot communicate with you, there's no affection towards this little creation, this "Play-Doh" thing.
But when there is a living, breathing soul, it longs for God. If there's nothing in this world that can satisfy you, that means you have been created for another place, he's drawing you to himself. And so he walked around with Lazarus, he was close with Lazarus, and so it was perplexing to Mary and Martha that after they said word, "The one you love is sick," that he didn't show up straight away, that he didn't drop what he was doing and show up.
I have three major points for you. The first point is when Lazarus said, "Go find Jesus". The second point is when Lazarus just let go, he just backed off, he was too tired to hang on. And then the third point is how faithful Jesus is. So let's just dive right into the first point, where Lazarus says, "Go find Jesus". Now, if Mary and Martha sent the message to Jesus that he was sick, then you have to know that he had been sick. At some point, Lazarus decided to confess, "I'm not feeling good". And you have to wonder what took you so long? But why did you cover that up? Why did you say, "I'll get through this on my own"?
How long has this been going on, that you've been carrying this, that you've been feeling this, that you've been wrestling with this? You know, I look at you, today, the one common denominator that we all have is that every single one of us has a miracle that we're believing God for. And the question is now posed to you, how long have you had this miracle? How long have you had this need? And have you said, "Go find Jesus, I need to find Jesus, I need him to be involved"?
I have a daughter named Presley, and she's going to college in a couple months, a couple of weeks, my gosh, it's sneaking up on me. And just imagine this, if you would, because as a father and her mother, we're no longer standing 5 ft next to her, figuratively speaking, to make sure that everything's okay, and she's 5 ft from us and can just tell us if everything is okay. And if it's not, then we can get involved.
Can you imagine if she came home for Thanksgiving? We're all sitting around the table and we're talking, and all of a sudden, Presley pipes up and she says, "You guys are never gonna believe what happened, I was off at school, I was driving around 9 o'clock back to my dorm, and my tire blew out. And I was on a highway and I didn't know what to do, I didn't know to call roadside services, I didn't have the phone number. And I didn't know what to do and so I was out there for four or five hours trying to figure out who to call, and I ended up walking several miles before I could find someone".
If that were to ever happen, I'd be sitting at that table and I would say, "Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa, okay, I need you to back up like 10 minutes, I think I missed something, tell the whole story all over again". "Okay, well, I was driving down the road in the middle of the night, my tire blew out. Four or five hours later". "Go back a little bit more," because I would not be able to wrap my head around why I wasn't the first phone call within the first 10 minutes, I wouldn't be able to get it.
I would sit there and go, "If I didn't love you, I would send you out of the house right now, I'm gonna pick up my cup of water and dump it, I'm the one who needs to be involved straight away, right away, you call me first, I'll call, you know, whatever services to come help you, I'll figure it out, I wanna be involved right away, I don't want you hesitating". In the same way, I believe that Lazarus, I think he waited too long to reach out to the Lord, he should have called out to him straight away. Can I say to you? Don't hesitate to call on God, don't hold it in your head, don't lock it up in your mouth, don't live in secret, don't try to get through this season by yourself.
The second thing I wanna talk about is when Lazarus finally let go, he finally said, "I can't do this anymore". He was laying in bed, trying to hang on to health, he's fighting. You know what it's like to be sick, I'm sure, where you're rolling around in bed, and some of us have been so sick that just rolling over hurts. It's a sickness, it's when you're sick and you're fighting, you're trying Gatorade, you're trying water, and then you're just like, "Nothing's working," and you're just. And I believe that Lazarus was just like, "I can't fight this anymore, like, I can't fight it, I just need to just go ahead and allow whatever needs to happen to happen".
And that's when he just passed away. And from what I understand, what I've experienced is when people are laying in their death bed and I'm standing next to their bed, that's exactly what happens, there's like this peace that comes over them, and then they just let go and they stop fighting. You know, there's a peace. Let me say it this way, there is a peace when you release. There's a peace when you just put your hands up and you say, "God, I can't figure this out, I'm overwhelmed, I'm stressed out, I can't do this anymore. And if this is how my life is going to be, if you're not going to intervene, if you're not gonna step in, then that's just the way it is, I can't fight this anymore, I'm done".
I don't know if you've ever been there before, I've been there many times, I can't fight this anymore. For some of us it is health, for others it's a marriage, for others it's emotions, for others it's a financial situation. I can't bear it anymore and I'm going to stop fighting, I'm gonna stop striving. If this is my life, then let it be so. I want to encourage you on one thought that, that Lazarus was reaching out to the Lord even while he was sick. There was a guy, I was at the hospital, this was early in my ministry. He had to have open heart surgery and I don't know why they had to keep him awake during the surgery, I'm not a doctor, I don't understand it. But while he was laying in the bed, and he told me this story after the procedure, he said, "I was laying there and it was hurting so bad".
And my friend, he was a true Texan, right? Just rough and tough. And finally, he just said to the doctor, "All right, doc, you're hurting me, you're hurting me now," and when he told me that story, my heart was just filled with compassion, I couldn't imagine that ever happening. And so I told him, I said, Look, I'm gonna spend the night in your room. Now, this is embarrassing. But, to me, at that moment, it was a major sacrifice, not to stay in his room, not to be with him, I didn't mind any of that, what I mind are the couches that are in the room. I honestly believe that when the hospital staff go shopping for furniture, they look at it and they say, "Can we find anything more uncomfortable? This looks a little comfortable and we can't have that".
I believe that they look at couches and they say, "No, we can't get that one because the seat is bigger and longer than a two-by-four board. No-no-no-no, we gotta go look for something else". To make matters worse is my friend's room didn't have a couch, it had a chair, and they looked high and low looking for a chair that has no padding, and they succeeded. There were two chairs in there and I pushed them together to try to make a bed. I'm 6'2", it was a problem, but nevertheless I'm in it to win it. I get me one of those flat pillows that they blew up, there's not a piece of padding in there. If you work for the hospital, pass the word along, they need to increase the budget on pillows.
But anyway, I'm laying there and I woke up in the middle of the night because I could hear my friend talking. All I heard him saying was, "I love you Jesus, I love you Jesus, I love you Jesus". Can I say this? In those moments where you're just saying, "I'm letting go, I can't do this anymore," don't stop saying, "I love you Jesus". You may be exhausted, you may be overwhelmed, it may feel like you're just trying to push the waves back into the ocean and you just, finally, "I quit, just let him overtake me, I can't do it anymore". I just want you to just keep on saying, "I love you Jesus, I love you Jesus". He has compassion, he looks at you and he says, "Look, I'm here for you and I love you," he backs up.
And what I love is that there is a Scripture, in Isaiah 49, verse 16, verse 16, where it says, "I have your name inscribed on my hand". In one verse of the Bible, it says tattooed. Now, I'll tell you, it's very fascinating to me when people put tattoos of other people's names. And what I know to be true is when somebody does that, they're saying, "I don't ever want to forget this person, this person is dear to me, I love this person, I don't ever want to forget them".
Now, what I've always seen is sometimes somebody will put a tattoo on their back and they can never see it but it's on their back. Sometimes they put it on their shoulder and they can see it all the time except for when they wear a shirt, sometimes it's on their bicep, and if it's a short sleeve shirt, they can see half of it, but not all of it. Sometimes the tattoo will go all the way down to their wrist, they can see all of it unless they wear a long sleeve shirt. Sometimes they put it on the top of their hand, but what I find fascinating dating is that the Lord tattoos your name on the palm of his hand. Maybe, you know somebody who has a tattoo on their palm, I've never met someone who has it on their palm.
The reason why I love it that Jesus put the tattoo on his palm is he can always see it. You don't grab a bottle of water like this, you don't grab a fork like this, you don't clap your hands like this. But, when your hands have your tattoo, there's never a moment where you don't see the inside of your hand, there's never a moment where he doesn't see your name, there's never a moment when he's not thinking about you. And can I just say that in those moments when you want to let go and you do let go, I can't fight anymore, don't stop saying, "I love you Jesus, I love you Jesus, I love you Jesus"? Because he's there, he's there. Will you say real loud three times, come on, say it loud, "He's there". 1-2-3, "He's there," he's always there.
Let me go on to the third point, that he's faithful. You know the end of the story, you probably know the end of the story anyway. He shows up four days later, he shouts, "Lazarus, come forth," Lazarus starts walking out of the grave. Now before I get too far into that, notice that he said, "Lazarus, come forth". Now, what if Lazarus would have been like, "I'm not coming forth, you gotta come get me"? He would still be in that grave right now, but because the Lord is saying, "I love you, I'm coming all the way to you, but I need you to do something. I need you to do something, raise your hands when you worship me, tell me with your voice that you worship me, do something".
People who do not do anything are always disappointed with their relationship with God, you have to express your love in order to experience the fullness of his love. You have to raise your hands, you have to say to the Lord, "I love you," you have to pursue him, because you cannot drift into his presence, you have to make the mental decision to actually pursue his presence. And so when he said, "Lazarus, come forth," here he comes. It may be uncomfortable to pursue him, it may be uncomfortable, but we got to overcome being uncomfortable. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, he says, "I don't like raising my hands during church". I said, "Hey, look, go at your own pace with that, but at some point, you're gonna have to answer the question, do you want to worship him the way he wants to be worshiped or the way you want to worship him"?
In 1 Timothy chapter 2, verse 8, it says in every place of worship, people should raise their hands unto God. It's a sign of surrender, it's a sign of desire, and it's this moment where, yes, it's uncomfortable, yes, it's uncomfortable to worship him that way, yes, it's uncomfortable to keep your mouth shut in the moments that you should but you wanna say something, yes, it's uncomfortable to choose righteousness over unrighteousness. But if you just move forward, you just do it anyway, what you'll find is that there's a miracle just behind your uncomfort. And so you know the story, he lived and there was a great celebration and the Lord proved to be faithful. And that's the end of the message, that's the end of the story, that's the end of the narrative.
If you read it in your Bible, the story is over, that's it. But you can almost miss something if you're not careful, there two words buried in the narrative, that if you read it too fast, you could almost miss it. It's something Jesus said and it's there, when you look at it, you can miss it, but when you think about it, it's overwhelming. In John chapter 11, in verse 35, it's a famous verse, "Jesus wept". When he showed up to the tomb, he looked at everyone, he saw them crying and he wept. And why did he weep? There's lots of reasons why, the theologians and the commentaries have said it, but what I feel in my heart burning is that he was weeping because they were weeping.
When you're going through a tough time, there's compassion there. "If you, being," sinful, "Know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more," does the God who's full of righteousness wanna come to your rescue and lift you up? How much more? Can I say? When you're hurting, he's hurting, when you need compassion, you have more compassion than what you'll ever know, he loves you beyond what you will ever discover, it's too far and it's too deep. Does anybody love God for that? Come on, put your hands together for that.