John Chapter 11 Continued
John 11:24 “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
In the last lesson, Jesus has just told Martha “…Thy brother shall rise again.” Martha doesn’t realize that Jesus is speaking of right now. Martha has not seen Jesus raise anyone from death before, and the fact that her brother has begun to decay seems to mean to her that it is too late.
John 11:25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”
(Verses 25 and 26), are the fifth in a series of 7 great “I am” statements of Jesus. With this statement, Jesus moved Martha from an abstract belief in the resurrection that will take place “on the last day” (5:28-29), to a personalized trust in Him who alone can raise the dead. No resurrection or eternal life exists outside of the Son of God.
Time (“on the last day”), is no barrier to the One who has the power of resurrection and life (1:4), for He can give life at any time.
John 11:26 “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
This may be the most encouraging statement in the entire Bible for the Christian. What greater promise could Jesus make than to offer eternal life? The greatest gift that God gave to man was His Son. He is the Christian’s life. The thing that activates this life is our faith in Jesus.
We see above, that Jesus says if you believe in Him, you shall never die. At death my old body goes into the ground and my spirit goes immediately to be with Christ. At the resurrection, my new spiritual body is raised and joins with my sprit; thusly I will just change places of residence from this old flesh (human), body to my new spiritual body.
Let us read of this in (1 Corinthians). Begin reading (at verse 35 through verse 54). I will enclose just (verse 44 here). Read all of the Scripture on this to get a really good understanding of this.
1 Corinthians 15:44 “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
John 11:27 “She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
Martha had no difficulty at all in quickly answering Jesus’ questions. She had seen the miracles, and she knew that Jesus was no mere holy man. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were close friends of Jesus. He stayed in their home many times. They all three were thoroughly convinced of who Jesus was.
Martha’s confession is representative of the very reason John wrote this inspired gospel.
John 11:28 “And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.”
Mary had been sitting in the house alone. Martha called her secretly, because she did not want to reveal to these Jewish leaders (there to mourn Lazarus’ passing), that Jesus was nearby. The Jews hated Jesus, and Mary and Martha thought they might try to take Him.
John 11:29 “As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.”
Mary knew that Jesus loved Lazarus. She knew if anyone could help, it would be Jesus. Jesus did not come into the house or the city, until He first talked to Mary and Martha.
John 11:30 “Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.”
The purpose of Jesus not coming to their home has several possibilities. One reason could be that Jesus wanted to minister to Mary and Martha privately. Possibly, Jesus knew if He came in, the Jews might have caused a scene. The least likely of all is that Jesus’ time had not come, and He did not want to be captured.
John 11:31 “The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.”
Perhaps this group of Jews was not quite as hostile as the Jewish leaders. You know, we read how some of them believed when Jesus opened the blind man’s eyes. They were there to mourn with Mary and Martha. Among the Hebrews, it was not unusual to mourn for a week or more.
This is possibly what these Jews thought Mary was going to do so they followed her. Since Mary and Martha’s conversation about Jesus was private, they could not have known that they went to meet Jesus.
John 11:32 “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
Mary believed as Martha did, that Jesus could have healed Lazarus; and He could have. Her falling at His feet showed Mary worshipping Jesus.
John 11:33 “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,”
According to Jewish oral traditions, the funeral custom indicated that even a poor family must hire at least two flute players and a professional wailing woman to mourn the dead. Because the family may have been well to do, a rather large group appears to be present.
“He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled” or “He was deeply moved in the spirit”. The phrase here does not mean merely that Jesus was deeply touched or moved with sympathy at the sight. The Greek term “deeply moved”; always suggest anger, outrage or emotional indignation. Most likely Jesus was angered at the emotional grief of the people because it implicitly revealed unbelief in the resurrection and the temporary nature of death.
The group was acting like pagans who had no hope. While grief is understandable, the group was acting in despair, thus indicating a tacit denial of the resurrection and the Scripture that promised it. Jesus may also have been angered because He was indignant at the pain and sorrow in death that sin brought into the human condition.
His sorrow was for Mary and Martha that they had to taste of this grief. The Lord has great feeling for His people. He does not enjoy seeing them hurt.
John 11:34 “And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.”
We see here, genuine concern. Of course, Jesus did not need to be shown where Lazarus was, but this was so they would be in attendance when Jesus raises him from the dead. The idea was for them to witness this great miracle, and to realize that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.
John 11:35 “Jesus wept.”
There Greek word here has the connotation of silently bursting into tears in contrast to the loud lament of the group (see verse 33). His tears here were not generated out of mourning, since He was to raise Lazarus, but out of grief for a fallen world entangled in sin-caused sorrow and death. He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”.
This is a very short statement but full of feelings for these two sisters, and in fact, all of humanity for the frailty of the body.
John 11:36 “Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!”
These Jews had misunderstood the tears. They thought Jesus to be crying for Lazarus.
John 11:37 “And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?”
It is apparent that these Jews were not aware of the little girl Jesus raised from the dead, Jairus’ daughter about twelve years old, and the widow’s son that they were taking to be buried.
Mary and Martha both probably knew of these, but in their moment of grief had momentarily forgotten. These Jews were really making a bad remark saying that if Jesus’ power had been real; wouldn’t He have healed His friend?
John 11:38 “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.”
Tombs were in caves in these days. The stone lay upon it to keep animals from wandering in the grave.
John 11:39 “Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”
The Jewish people do not embalm their dead. On the fourth day, the body begins the decaying process and even their countenance changes. Perhaps, Martha did not want the Master to see her brother Lazarus in his decaying condition.
As I said before, in her grief she had forgotten that Jesus had raised two other people from the dead. She had not seen these miracles, but should have known of them.
Although Jews used aromatic spices, their custom was not to embalm the body but to use the spices to counteract the repulsive odors from decomposition. They would wrap the body in linen cloth, adding spice in the layers and folds.
The Jews did not wrap the body tightly like Egyptian mummies, but rather loosely with the head wrapped separately. This is indicated by the fact that Lazarus could move out of the tomb before he was unwrapped.
John 11:40 “Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”
Some of this went on to let Mary and Martha believe with no shadow of turning that Jesus truly will defeat death itself. Notice even when He is speaking to His followers, Mary and Martha, there is a condition. They must believe. Jesus says believe, and I will show you a sample of what belief in Jesus Christ brings. … Life.
John 11:41 “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.” “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.”
Jesus’ prayer was not really a petition, but thanksgiving to the Father. The reason for the miracle was to authenticate His claims to be the Messiah and Son of God.
I see an act of faith, as Mary and Martha had them remove the stone as the Lord had asked. Jesus knew long before He stated to Mary and Martha, that this was to happen to glorify the Father. The Father is glorified in the glory of His Son. It pleases the Father when we believe in His Son.
Jesus knows that Lazarus’ spirit will come back in his body. When He prayed for Lazarus, it was already as well as done. This prayer here, is so that these onlookers will know that Jesus has power on earth to raise the dead and that His will and the Father’s will are one.
There is no question that Lazarus is dead. He has been dead four days. This miracle is the one that leaves no doubt that Jesus is God the Son.
John 11:43 “And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.”
No spirit can deny this voice. Jesus is Lord of all.
Philippians 2:10-11 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This spirit had to come back in Lazarus. It had to obey Jesus.
This was a preview of the power to be fully displayed in the final resurrection when all the dead hear the voice of the Son of God and live.
John 11:44 “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.”
A person cannot unwind the grave clothes himself. Lazarus was alive in the grave clothes. I love the song “Loose Him and Let Him Go”. That is what Jesus has done from the beginning for all of us.
In (verses 45-46), Jesus teachings and actions often divided the Jews. While some believed, others, apparently with malicious intent, informed the Pharisees of Jesus’ action.
John 11:45 “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.”
If any thing could cause a person to believe, this would be it. I am surprised that all of them did not believe.
John Chapter 11 Continued Questions
1. In verse 11, Martha said she knew Lazarus would rise again, when?
2. What makes Martha believe that it is too late for a miracle?
3. In verse 25, Jesus calls Himself two things. What are they?
4. What causes us to live after death?
5. What does the author believe is the most encouraging statement in the Bible to the Christian?
6. What happens at death?
7. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, we realize that there are two kinds of bodies. What are they?
8. When Jesus told Martha she would see the glory of God if she believed, what did she answer?
9. What message did Martha take to Mary?
10. Why did she tell her secretly?
11. What did Mary do when she heard that Jesus had come?
12. Where was Jesus?
13. Where did the Jews think Mary was going?
14. What does verse 35 say about Jesus’ sympathy for Mary and Martha?
15. The Jews criticized Jesus for what in verse 37?
16. Who were two others that Jesus raised from the dead?
17. Where was Lazarus buried?
18. When Jesus said roll away the stone, what did Martha say?
19. How long had Lazarus been dead?
20. What must Martha do to see the glory of God?
21. What did Martha and Mary have done to show that they believed?
22. Why did Jesus pray out loud to the Father?
23. What three words did Jesus speak to Lazarus?
24. In Philippians 2:10-11, who is Jesus Lord of?
25. When Lazarus came forth, what was on his face?
26. What six words did Jesus say for them to do to Lazarus?
27. What effect did this have on these Jews?