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Bible Commentaries
John 11

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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The Resurrection of Lazarus John Eleven

We are blessed to know about Jesus and His power. Joh_11:1-57 lets us see both the emotions and the mighty working of our Lord. He wept over the death of Lazarus and He raised him from the dead. Lazarus, Mary and Martha were Jesus' close friends. Lazarus died and when Jesus reached his grave he had already been dead for four days. The humanity of Jesus was seen as He wept at the tomb of His friend. He raised Lazarus with the simple prayer and the command, "Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus came forth from the grave still wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus said, "Loose him, and let him go." Here, in one of His "I Am" statements Jesus identified Himself saying, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." ( Joh_11:25 ) Through the resurrection of Lazarus we are reminded that there will be a general resurrection of all mankind at the end of the world. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." ( Joh_5:28-29 ) Resurrecting Lazarus from the grave after four days was a dramatic demonstration of Christ's power over life and death.

Verses 1-16

The death of Lazarus -- Joh_11:1-16 : Jesus had three special friends in Bethany. They were Mary, Martha and Lazarus. This Mary was the same person who poured perfume on the Lord's head and wiped his feet with her hair. These people loved Jesus and He loved them. Lazarus became very sick. His sisters sent word to Jesus to tell Him that His good friend Lazarus was very sick. Sickness and death are a part of this earthly life. Sickness and death come both to the young and to the old. When Jesus received word concerning Lazarus from the sisters He said that his sickness would not end in death but that God and His Son would be glorified thereby. We must remember that these were people that Jesus loved dearly. Jesus stayed where He was for two more days and then He said to His disciple, "Now we will go back to Judea." The disciples were concerned about Him so they said, "the people there want to stone you to death! Why do you want to go back?" Jesus explained that He had only a short time to do the work of God and that He had to walk in the day. The disciples misunderstood Jesus when He said, "Our friend Lazarus is asleep, and I am going there to wake him up." They thought if he was sleeping that he would get better. Jesus said he was dead and they would see the power of God and this would strengthen their faith in Him. Thomas was willing to go with Jesus and even to die with Him if necessary. He said, "Come on. Let's go, so we can die with him."

Verses 17-34

Jesus at Lazarus' tomb -- Joh_11:17-34 : When Jesus reached Bethany He found out that Lazarus had been in the grave 4 days already. His death had brought many people from Jerusalem to comfort Martha and Mary. When Jesus arrived Martha went quickly to meet Him. Martha either gave a gentle rebuke to Jesus or she made a great statement of faith to Him. She said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." She did have confidence that God would do anything Jesus asked. Jesus promised her that her brother would live again. Martha thought Jesus was talking about the final resurrection. She said, "I know that he will be raised to life on the last day, when all the dead are raised." Jesus said, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." Martha had strong faith in Jesus. She said, "I believe that you are Christ, the Son of God. You are the one we hoped would come into the world." Martha told Mary that Jesus was there and Mary went to Him. She also said the same thing to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus asked about where Lazarus was buried. They replied, "Lord, come and you will see."

Verses 35-44

Jesus brings Lazarus back to life -- Joh_11:35-44 : Jesus was touched emotionally with Lazarus' death. He wept. The people observed how much Jesus loved Lazarus. The people also said, "He gives sight to the blind. Why could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?" He went to the tomb and asked the people to roll away the stone. Martha was hesitant about that saying, "Lord, you know that Lazarus has been dead four days, and there will be a bad smell." Jesus wanted them to understand that this was an opportunity to see the glory of God. "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. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus came alive and came out of the grave wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus said, "Untie him and let him go."

Verses 45-57

The plot to kill Jesus -- Joh_11:45-57 : The miracle caused many to believe in Jesus. Others went and told the Pharisees. The chief priests and the Pharisees called the council together to discuss what to do about Jesus. They said, "This man is working a lot of miracles." They wanted to stop Him so people would not put their faith in Him. They somehow thought it would cause political trouble for the nation if people believed in Jesus. Caiaphas said it would be better for one man to die than for the nation to be destroyed. He did not realize it but he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation. Jesus died for all of God's people. He brought them together in one body, or one church. Jesus went with His disciples to a secret place because of the plots against Him. It was time for the Passover. The chief priests and the Pharisees told the people to let them know if any of them saw Jesus. They were planning to arrest and kill Him. We know Jesus was not murdered but that He was a willing sacrifice for our sins!

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on John 11". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/john-11.html. 2014.
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