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THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LAZARUS RAISED AND A DEATH PREDICTED
[“A Sleep to God’s Glory”]
Key Word: Resurrection
John 11:1-4 – Lazarus Sick for God’s Glory
JN11:1 Now there was a certain man who was sick, Lazarus601
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.603
Lazarus: In Hebrew “Eleazar” which means “God Has Helped.” The only other occurrence of the name in the Christian
Bible is at Luke 16:20, 23, 24, 25. The name occurs ten more times in the Gospel of John from here.
See notes on John 1:28. According to Luke this is the village where Jesus ascended to heaven. [Luke 24:50. [Compare Matthew 21:17; 26:6; Mark 11:1, 11, 12; 14:3; Luke 19:29.]
Martha: See Luke 10:38.
was the one who anointed the Master with perfumed oil, and wiped dry his feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick.
Mary: Compare John 12:3. [Matthew 26:7; Mark 14:3]
of this, the sisters sent forth to Jesus, saying: “Master, know that the one for whom you have affection605
The one for whom you have affection: Or, love, hold dear, dear friend.
heard this, Jesus said:
“This sickness does not have death as its purpose, but rather it is because of the glory of The God, so that the Son of The God might be glorified because of it.”
John 11:5-10 – “Walk in the Light”
JN11:5 Now Jesus loved606
Martha and her sister, as well as Lazarus.
Now Jesus loved: Or, BER: was a dear friend to; WMS: held in loving esteem.
when Jesus heard that he was sick, then he actually remained where he was for two [more] days.
JN11:7 Then later Jesus said to the disciples:
“Let us return to the land of Judea.”JN11:8 His disciples said to Jesus: “Rabbi, now the Judeans are seeking to stone you, and you are going to return there?”
JN11:9 Jesus answered:
“Are there not twelve hours in a day? Whenever anyone walks about in the day607
he does not stumble because he sees the Light of this world of humankind.
Anyone walks about in the day: Jesus repeats an analogy similar to John 9:4.
JN11:10However, whenever anyone walks about at night he will stumble because the Light is not in him.”
John 11:11-16 – Death is Sleep
JN11:11 Now after saying these things Jesus said:
“Our friend Lazarus608 has lain down in sleep, but I am going [to him] so that I might awaken him from sleep.”609
Our friend Lazarus: He was a friend to all of the disciples.
JN11:12 His disciples responded to this: “Master, if Lazarus has lain down to sleep he will get well.”610
He will get well: One of the greatest natural healers is sleep and rest.
Jesus had spoken about his death. But, those disciples thought that he was talking about taking rest in sleep.
JN11:14 So then Jesus said to them plainly:
“Lazarus has died!JN11:15I rejoice for you [disciples] that I was not present so that you might believe. However, let us now be going to Lazarus.”JN11:16 Therefore, Thomas,611
the one called Didymos,612
told his fellow disciples: “Let us also now be going so that we might die with Jesus!”613
Thomas: The first mention of him in the Gospel of John. [John 14:5; 20:24, 26, 27, 28; 21:2] Compare Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15.
Didymos: Or, Twin.
So that we might die with Jesus: Such faith later turns to doubt and desertion. Words are never enough in manifesting conviction.
John 11:17-29 – “I Am the Resurrection”
JN11:17 Now having arrived, Jesus found Lazarus already four days in the memorial tomb.614
Memorial tomb: See notes at John 5:28.
JN11:18 Bethany was close
to Jerusalem by about two miles.
JN11:19 So, many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary so that they might console them regarding their brother.
JN11:20 Now when Martha heard that Jesus was arriving she went to meet him, while Mary remained sitting in the house.
JN11:21 So, Martha said to Jesus: “Master, if you had been here it is not likely my brother would have died.
JN11:22 I now realize that whatever you ask The God, The God will give it to you.”
JN11:23 Jesus said to Martha:
“Your brother will rise again.”615
Your brother will rise again: Or, come to life again, rise to life, come back to life. The Greek is ANA-STESETAI and is very similar
to the work for resurrection, ANASTATIS.
JN11:24 Martha said to Jesus: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the Last Day.”616
I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the Last Day: Martha confesses her faith in the resurrection. Jesus has already
used similar language. [John 6:39, 40, 44, 54]
JN11:25 Jesus said to Martha:
“I am the Resurrection and the Life.617 The person who continues
to believe in me, though dying, will live.618
I am the Resurrection and the Life: Compare John 1:4; 5:26-29; 14:6. [Isaiah 9:6, 7]
The person who continues to believe in me, though dying, will live: Or, KJV: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; ASV: though he die, yet
shall he live; RHM: even though he died shall live again; WEY: even if he has died, shall live. Like Paul, Jesus uses the word sleep for death, and the words “live again” for resurrection. The Greek is ZESETAI. [Compare notes on Revelation 20:5.]
JN11:26Also, everyone living who continues to believe in me, will never die619 throughout all future periods of time.620 Do you believe this?”
Throughout all future periods of time: The Greek is OU [not] ME [not] APOTHANE [should die] EIS [unto] TON [the] AIONA [age]. Compare notes on John 8:51.
JN11:27 She said to him: “Yes,
Master! I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of The God,621
the One coming into the world of humankind.”
The Son of The God: In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist is the first to call Jesus such. [John 1:34] Then Nathaniel. [John 1:49]
Then Jesus alludes to such. [John 5:25; 11:4] Finally, John gives his own conclusion and testimony. [John 20:31] Martha is the only woman to ever call Jesus “the Son of God.” The demons address Jesus as the Son of God. [Mark 3:11; Luke 4:41]
JN11:28 Having said this, Martha left and called for Mary her sister, saying to her in private: “The Teacher is present and he is calling for you.”
JN11:29 Now when Mary heard this she rose quickly and left to approach Jesus.
John 11:30-37 – Jesus Wept
JN11:30 Jesus had not yet arrived into the village, but he was still in the place where Martha had met him.
JN11:31 So, the Jews with Mary in the house who had been consoling her, when they saw her rise suddenly and leave, they followed her, thinking that she was withdrawing to the memorial tomb so that she might weep
JN11:32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was, seeing him, she fell before him at his feet,622
saying, “Master, if you had been here my brother would never have died!”
She fell before him at his feet: Or, BEC: she bowed down at his feet; TCN: she threw herself at his feet. The reaction is similar
to the word that describes a respectful prostration at the feet in the Greek, PROSKUNEO. However, the construction is completely different. We see her face, covered in tears, craning upward at the Nazarene with a pleading expression.
JN11:33 So, as he saw Mary weeping – as well as all those Jews who came with her weeping – Jesus groaned to the Pneuma623
and was himself troubled.624
Jesus groaned to the Pneuma: This is the literal Greek, though most render this: “he groaned in the spirit.” Likely meaning
his own inner being, that is he “groaned within himself.” [See verse 38.] He is overcome himself by the great sadness among so many people. It is also possible he begins to muster that pneumatic pressure given him by his Father to accomplish mighty
And was himself troubled: Or, greatly distressed, visibly distressed, deeply moved, great agitation.
And no wonder, no one has ever raised a person dead for four days.
JN11:34 Then he said:
“Where have you put Lazarus?”
They said to him: “Master, come and see!”
JN11:35 Jesus began to cry.625
Jesus began to cry: Or, shed tears, wept, burst into tears, was weeping. The shortest verse in the KJV.
JN11:36 Because of this the Jews were saying: “See how much affection he had for him!”
JN11:37 Some from among them said: “Could not this person,626
who opened the eyes of a blind person, not also make it so that this man should not die?”
Could not this person: No matter what
there is always someone with a negative attitude. They are about to be shocked out of their negativity!
John 11:38-44 – “Lazarus, Come Out!”
JN11:38 So, Jesus again groaning within himself,627
arrived at the memorial tomb. Now it was a cave and a stone was lying against [the entrance].
Groaning within himself: Or, NAS: deeply moved within; RIE: shaken by emotion. Possibly this explains and qualifies the phrase in
JN11:39 Jesus said:
“All of you remove the stone.”
Martha, the sister of the deceased person, said to Jesus: “Master, already he smells for it is the fourth day!”628
It is the fourth day: Note Revelation 11:9.
JN11:40 Jesus said
“Did I not tell you that if you should believe you would see the glory of The God?”JN11:41 So, they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes upward and said:
“Father, I thank You that You listen to me.629
Father, I thank You that You listen to me: One of the most godly ways to begin a prayer, full of conviction.
JN11:42I know You always hear me. But, because of the crowd standing around I said [this] so that they should believe that You sent me forth.”JN11:43 Now, having said these things, Jesus cried out:
“Lazarus, come out!”630
Lazarus, come out: The “voice” of John 5:28. Compare also 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.
JN11:44 The man formerly died came out with his feet and hands bound with [burial] wrappings, and his face bound with a cloth. Jesus told them:
“Unwrap him and let him go and withdraw.”
John 11:45-53 – A Priest’s Prediction
JN11:45 As a result, many of the Jews from there – having arrived with Mary and having viewed as they did – believed in Jesus.
JN11:46 However, some from among them631
went off toward the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.
Some from among them: The two reactions to the marvelous sign of the Messiah. Some believed, but others – whom no sign would
ever convince – run to the Jewish hierarchy.
JN11:47 So, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered [the] Sanhedrin632
together, and they asked: “What are we going to do with this person doing so many signs?
The chief priests and the Pharisees gathered [the] Sanhedrin: That “evil [Jewish] synagogue” of Psalm 22:16. [LXX]
JN11:48 If we continue to let him off this way, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and remove us, this place, and this nation [of Israel]!”
JN11:49 But, one from among them, Caiaphas – being the chief priest that year – said to them: “You know nothing!
JN11:50 Think this over! It is to your own benefit for one person to die in behalf of the people,633
so that the whole nation [of Israel] should not be destroyed.”
One person to die in behalf of the people: John is to go on and explain that this was a true prophecy, so the Jewish hierarchy were
aware of this vicarious death, though their motives may have been elsewhere. Though the prophecy was true, they have in mind more political implications.
JN11:51 (However, Caiaphas did not
say this of his own originality, but rather, as the chief priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die in behalf of the nation [of Israel].
JN11:52 And not only in behalf of the nation [of Israel], but also so that the children of The God who are scattered everywhere might be gathered together into one.634)
The children of The God who are scattered everywhere might be gathered together into one: Or, NOR: on body, one fold. This is likely
an echo of Isaiah 49:6 and the regathering of spiritual Israel. Whether John has in mind only the Jewish people it is not clear. Judging from John 10:16 it is possible he may also mean both Jews and non-Jews gathered together into the “one body”
of Christ. See notes on John 10:16. [Isaiah 58:6; Ephesians 2:11ff] Compare James 1:1.
JN11:53 So, because of that they took counsel from that day so that they might kill Jesus.635
From that day so that they might kill Jesus:
Though this motivation has been ongoing, it is probably now for the first time such becomes official. There can be no doubt the Jewish hierarchy were behind the death of the Master.
John 11:54-57 – “What Is Your Opinion?”
JN11:54 As a result, Jesus would no longer what about in public among the Jews, but rather he withdrew from there into the desert country to the city that is called Ephraim.636
There he remained with the disciples.
Ephraim: A town about 3.5 miles ENE of Bethel. It is now called et-Taiyiba and is mentioned by Josephus. [The Jewish War, IV, 551
(ix, 9)] Compare 2 Chronicles 13:19.
JN11:55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near,637
and many went up into Jerusalem from the countryside before the Passover in order to purify themselves.
Now the Passover of the Jews was near: As before John sometimes leaps many months or more to the next important event. It is now the spring of 33 AD.
JN11:56 So they went looking for Jesus and standing around in the Temple area were asking one another: “What do you think? Will he ever come to the festival?”
JN11:57 However, the chief priests and the Pharisees had given commands so that if anyone ever became aware where Jesus was, they should reveal it, so that they might grab Jesus.