John Lesson 15 Day 2
(Lazarus’) resurrection took place four days after his death. (John 11:17)
“It’s interesting that such a miraculous event as Lazarus being raised from the dead after four days was omitted by the other Gospel writers. It is thought by many scholars that this is because when they were writing their Gospels, Lazarus and his sisters were still alive. It is recorded here in John that after Jesus’ resurrection the Jews sought to kill Lazarus too, so possibly the other Gospel writers did this to protect Lazarus and his sisters. But by the time John wrote his Gospel, they were dead and he therefore felt free to include this miraculous event.
“According to Luke, Bethany was the town or area from which Jesus ascended into heaven (Luke 24:50-51 and Acts 1:12). The Mount of Olives will be the place to which He returns at His Second Coming. A village by the name of al-Eizariya (“Place of Lazarus”) still exists on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives today and is the probable site of ancient Bethany.” Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
Bethany is a little less than two miles southeast of Jerusalem on the road to Jericho. (IVP New Testament Commentaries)
3. a. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus
“Jesus had a close relationship with this family. When Lazarus was sick, it was natural for them to bring their need to Jesus. It was expected that if He miraculously met the needs of so many others, He would meet their need also.” EnduringWord.com
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were siblings and good friends of Jesus. In fact, Jesus deeply loved them. (John 11:5) They lived in Bethany near Jerusalem.
This Mary is the woman who poured fragrant oil on Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. (John 12:3)
Mary also sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching, frustrating her sister Martha. (Luke 10:39)
“During the final week before the Crucifixion, Jesus spent considerable time there with His friend Lazarus.” (Footnote on John 11:1 in Spirit Filled Life Bible, Copyright 1991 by Tomas Nelson, Inc.)
b. “This sickness is not fatal.”
“When the messengers told Jesus that his dear friend was sick, Jesus said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” (MSG)
Jesus was saying that the end result of this sickness would not be death but the glory of God because He knew God’s plan was to raise Lazarus from the dead. “There is no parallel whatever for the raising of a man who had been dead for four days and whose body had begun to putrefy.” (Barclay)
God’s glory and power are revealed—Just like the healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-12), raising Lazarus reveals the glory and power of God.
“Even though they suffered for a while, their sorrow was turned into unbelievable joy. As a woman forgets the pain of childbirth for joy that a child has been born, so they soon forgot the confusion and grief of those four days.” Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
This miracle provides additional confirmation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
c. To God be the glory
Trial—A test of faith, patience or stamina by suffering or temptation.
If I do the following regardless on my circumstances, I bring glory to God:
- Rejoice—Count it all joy (James 1:2)
- Be patient.
- Be steadfast.
- Be humble.
- Be gentle.
- Bear with the weaknesses of others. (Romans 15:1)
- Pray. (Romans 12:12)
- Continue in faith.
- Resist temptation.
- Love my neighbors as I love myself.
- Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. (Romans 8:35)
- Jesus overcame the world. (John 16:33)
4. a. Two more days
“Lord, he whom you love is ill.” John:11:3 ESV
The sisters addressed the message to LORD. “Strong’s 2962: Lord, master, sir; the Lord. From kuros; supreme in authority, i.e. controller; by implication, Master.”
Their message was brief and to the point. They knew that Jesus and His disciples would put themselves in danger by coming, and they knew Jesus only had to send His word. (see Matthew 8:8)
Lazarus was probably already dead by the time the messenger found Jesus.
b. Jesus waited because he knew God’s perfect timing.
Jesus taught consistently that He only acted in obedience to His Father. Neither the need of His sick friend nor the threat of facing enemies who wanted to kill Him determined His decision.
According to a Jewish tradition, a man’s soul hovers near the body for three days and then leaves without any possibility of return. By raising Lazarus after four days, not only was his body decaying, his soul could not be reunited with his body. This miracle, like healing the man born blind, was indisputable evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. No other prophet or rabbi worked miracles like this.
It also seems Jesus waited two more days because he loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
John 11:5-6 (WuestNT)
5 Now Jesus was loving Martha and her sister and Lazarus with a love divine in its essence and self-sacrificial in its nature. Therefore, when He heard that he was ill, at that time He remained in the place where He was, two days. Then after this He says to the disciples, Let us be going into Judaea again. The disciples say to Him, Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and again are you going there? Answered Jesus, Are there not twelve hours of daytime? If a person is walking about in the day he does not stumble because the light of this world he sees. But if a person is walking about in the night, he stumbles, because the light just mentioned is not in him.
Jesus’ beloved friends became participants in this spectacular miracle.
c. When Jesus doesn’t show up as soon as I expect Him to.
A close family member has suffered from an unidentified, chronic illness for many years. We’ve won battles, but the war continues.
Waiting and wondering is tough. It’s easy to feel unheard and unloved.
Jesus’ love for Lazarus and his sisters teaches us that our faith in God’s love, even in the midst of adversity, is well grounded. Even those especially dear to God must endure such things (cf. Chrysostom In John 62.1). “The one sick, the others sad, all of them beloved: but He who loved them was both the Savior of the sick, nay more, the Raiser of the dead and the Comforter of the sad” (Augustine In John 49.7). (IVP NT Commentaries)
I’m learning to say, “Whatever it looks like, whatever it feels like, I trust you.”
I want my heart to be right with him—Learn to rest in him. Ask him to lead me how to intercede, and believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
26 In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.
28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. (Romans 8:26-28 AMP)
5. John 11:9-10
The disciples are shocked that Jesus would consider returning to Judea.
When they remind Jesus it is dangerous to go back, they are looking at the circumstances. After all, some of the Jews were trying to stone Jesus the last time he was there. He answers them with a short parable.
“Are there not twelve hours in the day? Anyone who walks about in the daytime does not stumble, because he sees [by] the light of this world.” John 11:9 AMPC
“Jesus is saying that a man must finish the day’s work within the day, for the night comes when work is ended.” (Barclay) Morrison adds, “Get done what God has sent you hereto do.” (EnduringWord.com)
“But if anyone walks about in the night, he does stumble, because there is no light in him [the light is lacking to him].” John 11:10 AMPC
Jesus is saying, “I have a fixed time during which to work, appointed me by my Father; during that time I feel no danger, I walk in His light, even as the traveler in the light of this world by day.” (Alford)
God lights the way if we are in his will. Walking in the night means following the path outside his will. The Light of the World, Jesus, will be with them.
“Here is a word of assurance and a call to all believers to take their bearings from God and not from their circumstances.” (IVP)
6. Thomas said, “Let us go too, that we may die along with Him.”
“Church tradition says that Thomas was called “the Twin” because he looked like Jesus, putting him at special risk. If any among the disciples of Jesus were potential targets of persecution it would be the one who looked like Jesus.” EnduringWord.com
Thomas displays “bold faith.” (Guzik) He was willing to go even though it might result in his death.
My answers to BSF study questions on John Lesson 15 Day 2 John 11:1-16