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Bible Commentaries
John 11

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1 ) "Now a certain man was sick," (en de tis asthenon) "Then there was a certain man ailing," or sick, physically ill, It became an occasion for Jesus to leave Perea to return to Judea, in the area of Jerusalem.

2) "Named Lazarus, of Bethany," (Lazaros apo Bethanias) "Lazarus from Bethany;- The name "Lazarus" Greek form of the Hebrew Eleazar, means "God is my help," as used both here and Luke 16:20. The term(Gk. apo) here used denotes his "residence in Bethany," his birth place of Bethany. The term is also used this way – John 1:45; John 13:24; Luke 24:50.

3) "The town of Mary and her sister Martha." (ek tes komes Marias kai Marthas tes adelphes autes) "Out of and from the village of Mary and her sister Martha.’’ Bethany, now known as El’ Aziriyeh, is located on the southeast slope of Olivet near two miles east of Jerusalem, John 11:18. It was also the village, residence, and birthplace of Mary and Martha, and is to be distinguished from Bethabara also known as the Bethany beyond Jordan, John 1:28; John 10:40.

Verse 2

1) “(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment)," (en de Mariam he aleipsasa ton kurion muro) "And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment,’’ as recounted more fully John 12:3. It was an expression of three things, 1) Unity among those there in the home of Simon the leper in Bethany, 2) Love between the one anointed and the one being anointed, and 3) Her memorial tribute to her faith in His coming death and resurrection, Psalms 133:1-3; Mark 14:3; Mark 14:8-9.

2) "And wiped his feet," (kai ekmaksasa tous poclas autou) "And who wiped off his feet," or cleaned His feet, drying them off. The ointment was poured upon His head and ran down over His body, to His feet, the manner of anointing described by David, Psalms 133:2; Matthew 26:6-7; Matthew 26:12-13.

3) "With her hair,’’ (tais thriksin autes)"With her hair," the hairs of her head, her long hair; This deed Jesus called "a good work or ideal work upon me," Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6-7. To do good to Jesus directly took priority over doing good to the poor or impoverished at that time, for there is a time and purpose for "every thing under the sun,’’ Ecclesiastes 3:1.

4) "(Whose brother Lazarus was sick.)" (es ho adelphos Lazaros esthenei) "Whose brother Lazarus ailed," or was physically sick, so severely, critically ill that he died, John 11:3; John 11:14.

Verse 3

1 ) "Therefore his sister sent unto him, saying," (apesteilan oun hoi adelphai pros auton legousai) "Then the sisters (Mary and Martha) sent (a message) to him saying," directly instructing the person authorized to bear the report to Jesus who was in Bethabara (the Bethany) beyond Jordan in Perea, where He had come some thirty miles northeast from Bethany, where Lazarus lay ill, John 1:28; John 10:40.

2) "Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick." (kurie ide on phileis asthenei) "Lord look (this way) the one you love ails," is sick, exists in a physically debilitating condi­tion. The sisters were intimate friends of Jesus and turned to Him, as "friend-to-friend,’’ who "loveth at all times,’’ in this hour of anxious care, Proverbs 17:17.

Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were three of His most devout disciples in Judea, John 7:3. They did not request Him to come, but the message was apparently a veiled desire that He come to them in this crisis hour, John 4:49; For they knew of His power of healing and power over death, Matthew 8:8; Matthew 9:18.

Verse 4

1 ) "When Jesus heard that, he said," (akousas de ho lesous eipen) "Then when Jesus heard (of it) he said," to the disciples who were with Him in Bethabara, inclusive of John, the writer of this story, and the only Gospel writer who recounted the miraculous event, John 20:30-31.

2) "The sickness is not unto death," (aute he astheneia ouk estin pros thanaton) "This ailment (illness) is not (exists not) to death," toward death, John 11:11; It was not to terminal death, permanent physical death, as also expressed of another, Matthew 9:24. Our Lord certified this because He knew what He would do, John 6:6.

3) "But for the glory of God," (all’ huper tes dokses tou theou) "But (it is) on behalf of the glory of God," that God might be glorified, as expressed also John 9:3. Some sickness is caused by one’s own carelessness, some by overwork, some by worry, some by ravages of disease, yet some is simply for the glory of God, See?

4) "That the Son of God might be glorified thereby." (hina doksasthe ho huios tou theou di’ autes) "In order that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Jesus knew what the result of Lazarus’ sickness would be and what He would do, that both He and the Father might be glorified in it, Romans 8:28; Ecclesiastes 3:1; John 13:31. His own death later was also designed to be for both His glory and that of the Father, John 7:39; John 12:16.

Verse 5

1 ) "Now Jesus loved Martha," (egapa de ho lesous ten Marthan) "Now Jesus loved Martha," cared affectionately for Martha, with a spiritual love of good degree. It is believed that she was mentioned first as head of the household, and chief speaker, John 11:20-21; Luke 10:38­,42.

2) "And her sister and Lazarus." (kai ten adelphen autes kai ton Lazaron) ’’And her sister (Mary) and Lazarus." He dearly loved as well; Hence the delay in coming to them was not caused by either indifference or lack of care or concern, John 11:6. He loved them, as a family, John 13:1.

Verse 6

1 ) "When he had heard therefore that he was sick," (hos oun ekousen hoti asthenei) "Then when he heard that he (Lazarus) ailed," was physically ill, in a serious way, John 11:1-4.

2) "He abode." (tote men emeinen) "He then remained or lingered," with purpose and intent regarding His response to the report, Ecclesiastes 3:1; John 6:6. Jesus never became hasty in His actions or conduct in any manner to excite His disciples, 1 Corinthians 14:40.

3) "Two days still in the place where he was." (en ho en topo duo hemeras) "in the (same) place where he was for a period of two days," in Bethabara beyond Jordan, some 28 to 30 miles away in Perea to the northeast, John 1:28; John 10:40. It was a very long day’s journey there and then Jesus lingered two more days before starting up to the town of Bethany, where He was to find Lazarus who had been dead for four days, John 11:39; Matthew 15:23; Luke 18:7.

Verse 7

1 ) "Then after that saith he to his disciples," (epeita meta touto legei tois mathetais) "Then after this (this time of two days) he says directly to the disciples," who had come with Him from Jerusalem into the Perea area and into Bethabara, where He had been laboring, John 10:40­-42].

2) "Let us go into Judea again." (agomen eis ten loudaian palin) "Let us again go into Judea," from where He had come only a few weeks earlier. By this time Lazarus had been buried, John 11:39.

Verse 8

1 ) "His disciples say unto him, Master," (legousin auto hoi mathetai hrabbi) "The disciples say (said) directly to him, Rabbi," or respectful teacher, concerned about His safety and not fully comprehending His mission.

2) "The Jews of late sought to stone thee;” (nun ezetoun se lithasai hoi loudaioi) "Now the Jews were and are seeking to stone you;- They still have it in their hearts to do the very thing they were intent on when we left there only a few weeks ago, John 10:31; John 10:39; as they had previously done also, as recounted John 8:59 and as prophesied, Psalms 2:2.

3) "And goest thou thither again?" (kai palin hupageis ekei) "And are you going out there again?" So soon? They were fearful, both for His life and their own, John 11:16. But Jesus did not count His life dear, selfishly, for Himself alone. As the good shepherd He was willing to give, to lay down His life in behalf of His sheep, John 10:11; John 10:18.

How different this attitude was from that of His own fraternal brothers, John 7:3-5.

Verse 9

1 ) "Jesus answered," (apekrithe lesous) "Jesus responded," to them, to their anxiety over both His welfare and their own.

2) "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (ouchi dodeka horai eisin tes hemeras) "Are there not twelve hours of the day?" Of the day-light when men are to work, to pursue livelihood, in spite of his environment and dangers in pursuit of his labors, John 9:4-5.

3) "If any man walketh in the day, he stumbleth not," lean tis peripate en te hemera ou proskoptei) "If anyone walks around in the daylight hours, he does not stumble." If he walks 1 ) First, at the proper time, while it is light, a time one is less likely to stumble, and 2) Second, while he yet has opportunity to choose and to serve. The time for our Lord’s doing good was while He had opportunity and men cried out to Him for help, John 12:35.

4) "Because he seeth the light of this world." (hoti to phos tou kosmou toutou blepei) "Because he sees the light of this world," of this world order or arrangement, the sun which lights the day, Genesis 1:16. This is the natural order of a physical walk and daily service for one’s own good and that of his fellowman. The light of daytime, of this world order of service, is a parallel to Jesus Christ who was and is the true Light of the world, John 1:4-6.

Verse 10

1 ) "But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth," (ean de tis peripate en te nukte proskoptei) "Yet if anyone walks around in the nighttime, he stumbles," in the night of death, when it is too late. He then tries to walk in the ignorance of procrastination, to do good when it is too late, as the rich man in hell did, Luke 16:19-31; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians 4:18.

2) "Because there is no light in him." (hoti to phos ouk estin en auto) "Because the light does not exist in him." He who closes his eyes against the daily spiritual light, daily revelation of the love, mercy, goodness, and compassionate call of Jesus to salvation and service in life’s day of opportunity, calls too late for himself and others, when death’s darkness falls, Proverbs 1:20-31; Proverbs 29:1; Hebrews 4:7.

Verse 11

1 ) "These things said he:” (tauta eipen) "He said these things," about light and darkness, after His disciples had impulsively reminded Him of the hate of the Jews and their continual resolve to kill Him, John 11:8; John 5:16; John 5:18; John 8:37; John 8:40-59.

2) "And after that he saith unto them," (kai meta touto legei autois) "And after this he says directly to them," after He had led them to reflect that the times and oppor­tunities of life’s services must be rendered while both life and opportunity confronts one, John 4:34; John 5:19; John 5:36; John 17:4; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

3) "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth;” (Lazaros ho philos hemon kekoimetai) ’’Lazarus our friend has fallen asleep," referring to the "sleep of death," of the body, not of the soul, Matthew 9:24; Matthew 27:52; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 15:6; 1 Corinthians 15:51.

4) "But I go that I may awake him out of sleep." (alla poreuomai hina eksupniso auton) "But I am going (to him) in order that I may awaken him, out of sleep." The same power will one day awaken all death-sleepers to an hour of accountability before God, for every personal choice and accountable deed of life, John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:13­,17; Philippians 3:21].

Verse 12

1) "Then said his disciples, Lord," (eipan oun hoi mathetai auto kurie) "Then the disciples said to him, Lord," or Master.

2) "If he sleep," (ei kekoimetai) "if he has fallen asleep," or, if he has drifted into sleep in his serious illness, John 11:3-5.

3) "He shall do well." (sothesetai) "He will be healed," or be well, that is good for him, he will recover, indicating they felt there was no real need for their return to Judea, John 11:11. The disciples were striving to save their Lord from death, John 11:8.

Verse 13

1 ) "Howbeit Jesus spake of his death:- (eirekei de ho lesous peri tou thanatou autou) "However, Jesus had spoken concerning his (Lazarus’) death," John 11:14; John 11:21; John 11:32; John 11:37.

2) "But they thought," (ekeinoi de edoksan) "But those disciples thought," perhaps because of His statement of John 11:4, "This sickness is not unto death."

3) "That he had spoken of taking a rest in sleep." (hoti peri tes koimeseos tou hupnou legei) "That he spoke concerning the sleep of a slumber (kind)," but this term (koimeseos) with two exceptions in the New Testament, is always used with reference to the sleep of death, while the term (Gk. hupnos) translated "sleep" never refers to death, John 11:11.

Verse 14

1) "Then said Jesus unto them plainly," (tote oun eipen autois ho lesous parresia) "Then at that point Jesus told them, his disciples, clearly, distinctly, or plainly," without a metaphor, as in John 11:11; John 10:24.

2) "Lazarus is dead." (Lazaros apethanen) "Lazarus died," has died and is dead, is in a deceased state or condition, that state or condition to which all men shall one day come, Ecclesiastes 9:15; Hebrews 9:27; Romans 5:12-14.

Verse 15

1) "And I am glad for your sakes," (kai chairo di’ humas) "And I rejoice because of you all," instead of grieving at this point, for He knew what He would do. He desired to be glorified and glorify His Father before the disciples in the miracle that was ahead, John 9:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

2) "That I was not there," (hoti ouk hemen ekei) "That I was not out there," in Bethany at the time of his critical illness. For in His presence no man died. And the implica­tion is that Lazarus would not have died had He been there, therefore healing of him would not have had the miraculous influence that raising him from the dead did later, John 11:44-45.

3) "To the intent that ye may believe;”- (hina pisteusete) "in order that you all may believe," or have your present belief strengthened, made firmer, or confirmed. His delay brought extended grief to the sisters of Lazarus but good to so many more, John 11:45. Out of the sorrow of some, others are caused to rejoice, even as in the birth of a child, John 16:21.

4) "Nevertheless let us go to him." (alla agomen pros auton) "But let us go unto him," to ere he is in Bethany, in Judea, John 11:1. He knows the "place where they have laid" every man, and will cause them to come forth one day, just as surely as Lazarus was brought forth from the sleep of death, Philippians 1:21.

Verse 16

1) ’’Then said Thomas; which is called Didymus,’’ (eipen oun Thomas ho legomenos Didumos) "Then said Thomas, the one called twin," Thomas is an Hebrew name and Didymus the Gk. name, meaning a "twin," Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13. He was one of the twelve apostles, known also as the "doubter,’’ John 14:5; John 20:24-25; John 20:28.

2) "Unto his fellow disciples," (tois summathetais) "Directly to his fellow-disciples," who had been with them (the church) from the beginning, John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:21-22. In fervent love, tinged with sorrow and melancholy, despair, and vanished hope for his Lord, he said:

3) "Let us also go, that we may die with him." (agomen kai humeis hina apothanomen met’autou) "Let us also go in order that we may die with him," He was convinced that the trip would be fatal to Jesus. Faith and doubt, like the twins Esau and Jacob, contended with each other in his soul. He was at the same time a loyal disciple and apostle and one of foreboding and fear for the physical welfare of Jesus which proved to be correct.

Verse 17

1) "Then when Jesus came," (elthon oun) "Then when they had come," both Jesus and His band of loyal church ­disciples whom He had called and chosen, who had been with Him from the beginning, John 15:16; John 15:27.

2) "He found that he had lain in the grave four days already." (ho lesous heuren auton tessaras ede hemeras echonta en to mnemeio) "Jesus found him (Lazarus) who had been four days already in the tomb," indicating that no one had passed the word until they arrived in the area of Bethany. According to Jewish custom, burial occurred on the day of death, allowing at least four days to have elapsed from when Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus of the critical illness of Lazarus, John 11:1-3; John 11:39.

Verse 18

1) "Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem," (en de Bethania engus ton lerosolumon) "Now Bethany was near to Jerusalem," on the Eastside, in Judea, John 11:1. It was in walking distance of Jerusalem, so that many Jewish women went out from there to comfort Martha and Mary, John 11:19.

2) "About fifteen furlongs off:" (hos apo stadion dekapente) "About fifteen furlongs away," on the East side of the city. One furlong is one eighth of a mile; This means Bethany was about one and seven eighths miles from the city of Jerusalem; This is the place our Lord blessed His church-disciples for the last time on earth, then from where He ascended into heaven, Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:8-11.

Verse 19

1) "And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary," (polloi de ek ton loudaion elelutheisan pros ten Marthan kai Mariam) "Then many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary," the beloved sisters of Lazarus, John 11:1.

2) "To comfort them," (hina paramuthesontai autas) "in order that they might comfort them," console them, offer condolence in the loss of their brother Lazarus, who was widely known, John 11:31; John 11:33.

3) "Concerning their brother." (peri tou adelphou) "Concerning or relating to their brother," the death of their brother; They comforted them by weeping with them, John 11:33; John 11:35; it was a custom to mourn from seven days up to thirty days for the death of a Jewish friend or relative, Numbers 20:29; 1 Chronicles 7:22; Job 2:11; Job 42:11; Romans 12-15.

Verse 20

1 ) "Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming," (ho oun Martha hos ekousen hoti lesous erchetai) "Then Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus approaches," was coming in response to the message she had sent Him some four days before that; "He whom thou lovest is sick" John 11:3. She had heard perhaps, byword of watchers and comforters who had come to mourn with her, as she anticipated the Lord’s coming to her and her sister Mary, to share this hour of sorrow.

2) "Went and met him:” (hupentesen auto) "Went to meet him," just outside the village, town, or city limits of Bethany, John 11:30. She went out to greet Jesus as the elder sister and mistress of the house, Luke 10:38-40. This going out to meet Him was an expression of greeting and hospitality.

3) "But Mary sat still in the house." (Mariam de en to oiko ekathezeto) "However Mary sat in the house," remained at the residence, receiving condolence from her Jewish friends, Our Lord had approached the village from beyond Jordan to the east, ascending the mount of Olivet to Bethany with a caravan of His disciples and followers who had perhaps been seen from a great way off by those who brought the word to Mary and Martha.

Sitting was an ancient posture women assumed in mourning for friends and relatives, upon the death of one, after the body is carried out of the house, Ezekiel 8:14.

Verse 21

1) "Then said Martha unto Jesus," (eipen oun he Martha pros lesoun) "Then Martha said personally to Jesus;- Like Peter among the twelve apostles, Martha was the energetic, quick spoken, always ready to give advice, and impulsive worker who took advantage of the first opportunity to go out, put people in their place, to greet Jesus, without even letting Mary know He was coming, John 11:28-29.

2) "Lord if thou hadst been here," (kurie ei en hode) "Master if you had been here;- With sorrow and regret, without complaint, she gave this testimony of utter faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Master, 1 Corinthians 12:3. This she did only by the Holy Spirit.

3) "My brother would not have died." (ouk an apethanen ho adelphos mou) "My brother would not have died." This was a mutual faith, expressed by both her and her sister, and later confirmed by many mourners and Jewish friends who had known our Lord’s former labors and miracles among them in Judea, and in the Jerusalem area, John 11:32; John 11:37. Here are three testimonies that Jesus could have kept Lazarus from dying had He been present in his hour of critical illness: 1 ) Martha, John 11:21; John 11:2) Mary, John 11:32; John 11:3) Many Jews, John 11:36-37.

Verse 22

1) "But I know," (kai nun oida) "And now and hereafter I know," realize or comprehend, from previous evidence of His power over death, nature, and by His miracles, John 3:2; John 10:30-31. Martha’s strong faith and testimony was equal to the occasion, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

2) "That even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God," (hoti hosa an aitese ton theon) "That whatsoever you ask (or petition) the true God;- Your Father, within His will, and Jesus would ask only what was right. The whatsoever of "thing" is just as broad as the whosoever of person of John 3:16.

3) "God will give it thee." (dosei soi ho theos) "God will give or grant it to you," give heed and respond to your prayer, and He did. She even believed God could give Him power to call her dead brother Lazarus from the grave, Martha had likely heard of His raising Jarius’ daughter and the widow’s son of Nain and her faith in His goodness and power was unlimited, Mark 5:41-42; Luke 7:13-18.

Verse 23

1) "Jesus saith unto her," (legei aute ho lesous) "Jesus says to her personally or directly," to test her faith, and get a further expression of it, to prepare her for what was to follow.

2) "Thy brother shall rise again." (anastesetai ho adelphos sou) "Your brother will rise again," as He led her to see that He could then raise Lazarus from the dead as surely as in the distant future, because the power had already been given Him by the Father to do so, John 3:35; John 5:21; John 5:25 Jesus spoke of His purpose to raise Lazarus immediately, as a pledge and type of the future resurrection, but Martha did not understand.

Verse 24

1 ) "Martha said unto him," (legei auto he Martha) "Martha replied to him," accepting the general premise of a certain future resurrection.

2) "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection," (oida hoti anastesetai en te anastasei) "I realize that he will rise up in the hour of the resurrection," in the distant future. She had perhaps been reminded of this many times by the devout, mourning Jewish women, during the last four days, as set forth, Job 19:23-27; Daniel 12:2.

3) "At the last day." (en te eschate hemera) "In the last or final day," based on both the Old Testament Scriptures and what He had already taught her on previous occasions, John 5:28-29; John 6:39-40; John 6:51; John 12:48.

Martha was anxious and impulsive however, desiring to have him back from the cold form in the grave, alive, for a warm embrace from him, now, a desire of so many immediately after death of a loved one, for just a few more kind words and another dear embrace.

Verse 25

1) "Jesus said unto her," (eipen auto ho lesous) "Jesus responded to her," to give her a glimpse of what He intended to do for her and her home a few moments later.

2) "I am the resurrection, and the life:” (ego eimi he anatasis kat he zoe) "I am (exist as) the resurrection, and the life;- John 6:40-44; John 12:25; John 12:50. She (Martha) had affirmed that she believed in His prayers to His Father and that He could ask and receive anything He asked of Him, John 11:22. But Jesus desired to make her understand that life, "future life," as well as "present life," existed in Him, John 1:4; John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; Revelation 1:18.

3) "He that believeth in me,’’ (ho pisteuon eis eme) "The one who believes in me," who trusts in me for salvation, liberation, or release from death, from the eternal consequences of sin in him, John 8:24; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43; Romans 1:16; John 8:32; John 8:36.

4) "Though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (kan apothane zesetai) "Even though he should die, he shall live," live again, beyond the experience of physical death, for all men must die, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6; Hebrews 9:27. For Jesus is the way, the way out of physical and spiritual death which is an alienating power away from God, Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:15; John 14:6.

This sentiment is further affirmed Isaiah 26:19; Isaiah 38:16; 1 John 1:2; Romans 4:17.

Verse 26

1) "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me," (kai pas ho zon kai pisteuon eis eme) "And everyone who while living believes into me," or receives me as the source of true life, comes into vital union with me, so that he has my life in Him, John 3:36; John 10:27-28; 1 John 5:12-13; John 5:24.

2) "Shall never die." (ou me apothane eis ton aiona) "Such one by no means dies, even into the age," by the second death, Revelation 2:11; Revelation 20:6, until he enters into the new age, the heaven age itself, Job 19:23-27. For what men call death is a temporal sleep or rest, until soul and body are re-linked, John 3:15; John 4:14; Romans 8:11; Philippians 3:21.

3) "Believest thou this?" (pisteueis touto) "Do you believe this?" Job did, Job 14:13-15; Job 19:23-27. Do you really believe in me both as the Messiah and the one who has power over death, for every believer? Revelation 1:8.

Verse 27

1) "She saith unto him, Yea, Lord," (legei auto nai, kurie) "She replied to him, yes Lord, or Master," I accept this fully, though I may not really know all that it involves, I have full trusted in you, what you say and what you do, Proverbs 3:5-6.

2) "I believe that thou art the Christ," (ego pepisteuka hoti su ei ho Christos) "I have already believed or trusted that you are the Christ,’’ the anointed one, the Messiah, Redeemer, or Deliverer, Matthew 16:16; John 6:68-69, as expressed Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:15; To trust or believe in Christ is The Article of Faith sustaining all hope and assurance, Acts 10:43; Acts 13:39; 1 John 5:13.

3) ’’The Son of God," (ho huios tou theou) "The Son of God,’’ the heir of God, Luke 19:10; Galatians 4:4-5; John 1:14; John 3:16-17.

4) "Which should come into the world." (ho eis ton kosmon erchomenos) "The one who should come into the world," as afore prophesied, Genesis 49:10; Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 18:19; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53:1-11; certified John 5:30; John 5:34; Acts 10:43; Galatians 4:4-5.

Verse 28

1) "And when she had so said," (kai touto eipousa) "And when she had said this," expressed her total faith or trust in Jesus Christ and His word concerning death and life and the resurrection and her deceased brother, Lazarus, John 11:20-27.

2) "She went her way," (apelthen) "She went away," by her own choice, leaving Jesus still behind, outside or at the edge of the town, with the caravan or entourage of His disciples, John 11:30, after the privacy with Jesus, with John the writer of this Gospel by His side.

3) "And called Mary her sister secretly, saying," (kai ephonesen Mariam ten adelphen autes lathra eipousa) "And she called Mary her sister secretly or privately, saying," not willing to receive and enjoy the comfort Jesus had given her alone, but wanting her sister Mary to share it, the proper spirit of every believer, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

4) "The Master is come, and calleth for thee." (ho didaskalos parestin kai phonei se) "The teacher is here and calls for you;- But He sent me to tell you to come to Him for comfort and joy. Martha was a witness to Mary, an helper for Jesus’ sake, and to meet a need of Mary. Every believer is called of the Lord, Master, and Shepherd, who desires the salvation and best of life for every man. The redeemed are to say so, Psalms 107:2; Matthew 5:15-16; Acts 1:8.

It is a beautiful and comforting thought that He comes to, and calls men to Him, in every condition of life, offering help and hope to all who come, of their own volition, at His call, through nature, through some friend, through the providences of life, through the Word, or through the Spirit, Matthew 11:28; John 6:37 b; Mark 10:49; Revelation 22:17.

Verse 29

1) "As soon as she heard that," (ekeine de hos ekousen) "Then that one (Mary) when she heard," the very moment she heard, she resolved to leave her grieving behind and obey the voice of her Lord; She resolved promptly and joyfully "not slothful in business," Romans 14:11.

2) "She arose quickly," (egeiretai tachu) "She rose up quickly," sprang up with elation, gladness, and joy, to abandon her broken hearted grieving. Though Mary was the quiet one of the sisters, quiet ones often have great energies under adversities and in emergencies. She "made haste" to obey, as Zacchaeus had done at the Lord’s bidding, Luke 19:5.

3) "And came unto him." (kai ercheto pros auton) "And approached him," or came to Jesus, of her own volition or will, at His call, a thing every needy soul should do. She acted promptly, at the Master’s call or invitation, as every soul should do, Matthew 11:28-30; Revelation 22:17.

Verse 30

1) "Now Jesus was not yet come into the town," (houpo de eleluthei ho lesous eis ten komen) "However Jesus had not yet come into the village,’’ of Bethany, inside the village, but had delayed outside and nearby. He forces Himself on no one in an hour of trial, but comes near enough to call the weary and needy one, offering His help, but forcing Himself on no one in salvation or service.

2) ’’But was in that place where Martha met him.’’ (all’ hen eit en topo hopou hupentesen auto he Martha) ’’But he was yet in the place near the burial-place, where Martha (had) met him," just outside Bethany, perhaps with the disciples who had journeyed with Him from where He had been laboring in Bethabara (Bethany) of Perea, beyond Jordan, John 1:28; John 10:40-42; John 11:3; John 11:6-7; John 11:20.

Verse 31

1) "The Jews then,’’ (hoi oun loudaioi) "Then the Jews," who had come out from the Jerusalem area to mourn and comfort the sisters, Martha and Mary, John 11:18-19.

2) "Which were with her in the house, and comforted her," (hoi ontes met’ autes en te oikia kai paramuthoumenoi aute) "The ones who were with her (with Mary) in the residence and consoling her,’’ comforting her in her sorrow, the purpose for which they had come to the home or residence of Martha and Mary, John 11:33.

3) "When they saw Mary," (idontes ten Mariam) "Upon seeing Mary," watching her actions after Martha had come into the home and spoken to Mary privately, of the Master’s appearance nearby and His call to see her, John 11:28.

4) "That she rose up hastily and went out,’’ (hoti tacheos aneste kai ekselthen) "That she rose up quickly and went out," from the house, apparently accompanied by Martha, as she left hastily. For "the king’s business requireth haste," 1 Samuel 21:8.

5) "Followed her saying," (ekolouthesan aute doksantes) ’’They followed after her thinking,’’ supposing, or concluding, perhaps repeatedly saying to one another, as they followed her.

6) "She goeth unto the grave to weep there." (hoti hupagei eis to mnemeion hina kalause ekei) ’’That she is going to the tomb, in order that she may weep or grieve out there," or cry loudly with an outburst of tears, not knowing the good news that Martha had brought, "The Master is come and calleth for thee," has need of you, is interested in you, John 11:28.

Verse 32

1) "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was," (he oun Mariam hos elthen hopou hen lesous) "Then Mary as she came where Jesus was," outside the village still, John 11:30.

2) "And saw him, she fell down at his feet," (idousa auton epesen autou pros tous podas) "Upon seeing him, she fell at his feet," prostrate before Him, showing more intensive grief than Martha the counterpart sister of her, who was more like Peter.

3) "Saying unto him, Lord," (legousa auto kurie) "Saying to him intimately, Lord," or Master, supposing in grief that what she was saying was true, expressing her faith in the love of Jesus for Lazarus and his family, John 11:1-3. Her faith was affirmed by Martha, John 11:21 and the Jews John 11:37.

4) "If thou hadst been here," (ei hes hode) "if you had been here," supposing He would have healed him, not let him have died, a less forceful miracle than that He was about to perform. Often life’s greatest victories are snatched from life’s greatest trials and despair of hope.

5) "My brother had not died." (ouk an mou apethanen ho adelphos) "My brother would not have died.-This was an expression of total faith, not a complaint, But He who is able often also purposes to do for men exceeding abundantly above that they are able to ask or think, Ephesians 3:20.

Verse 33

1 ) "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping," (lesous oun hos eiden auten klaiousan) "Then when Jesus saw her weeping," as she came and fell before Him, John 11:32, in great lamentation, with great wailing, as recounted, Acts 8:2.

2) "And the Jews also weeping which came with her," (kai tous sunelthontas aute loudaious klaiontas) "And the Jews who were coming with her weeping," or loudly wailing, lamenting the loss of Lazarus to the family and community.

3) "He groaned in the spirit," (enebrimesato to pneumati) "He groaned in (his) spirit," with a very strong feeling in the spirit, or was strongly moved in His spirit, in His affections, sharing in sincerity, with personal compassion, as the Son of man, the grief of a dear friend, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

4) "And was troubled." (kai etaraksen heauton) "And troubled himself," or disturbed himself. His sympathy, empathy, and compassion for and with the family, and the Jews of His own race, caused this outpouring of His own affections, indicating He did "weep with those who wept," and was tested in all manners like as we are, yet without sin, Romans 12:15; Hebrews 4:15.

Verse 34

1) "And said, Where have ye laid him?" (kai eipen pou tetheikate auton) "And he said, where have you all put him?" Not because He did not know, but for their testimony and invitation for Him to follow them to the tomb.

2) "They said unto him, Lord," (legousin auto kurie) "They responded to him, Lord;- Martha and Mary jointly, followed by the wailing Jewish women witnesses, respectfully addressed Him as Lord, Master of life and death, John 14:6; Revelation 1:18.

3) "Come and see." (erchou kai ede) "Come of your own accord and see for yourself," certainly not expecting the miracle that they were about to see. All that man could do would end with coming to see, but not so with the Lord. For He was the giver of life, and the restorer to life, John 10:18; Not only was He to come forth from death later but He was also to demonstrate for the third time by a miraculous example that He could raise from the dead, as He had previously raised both the widow’s son of Nam and Jarius’ daughter: 1 ) Luke 7:11-17; Luke 7:2) Luke 8:49-56; Luke 8:3) John 11:43-46.

Verse 35

1 ) "Jesus," (ho lesous) "Jesus (the Savior)" the Redeemer, Matthew 1:21. This is the shortest, yet most eloquent, of all verses in the Bible, Isaiah 63:9; He was that Savior and Redeemer.

2) "Wept." (edakrusen) "Shed tears," shed soft tears of human sorrow, touched with the feelings of the infirmity of Martha and Mary, Hebrews 4:15. He was as human as this, and as Divine as this, Luke 19:41; Hebrews 2:16-17.

Verse 36

1) "Then said the Jews," (elegon oun hoi loudaioi) "Then the Jews said," those who had come from around about to mourn and to offer condolence to Martha and Mary, John 11:18-19; John 11:31; John 11:33.

2) "Behold how he loved him!" (ide pos ephilei auton) "Behold how he loved him," with the affection of a dear friend, as expressed in His shedding soft tears, John 11:36, without any hypocrisy or shame. Yes, He loved Lazarus and had let it be known to him and his sisters, John 11:3. So should we express love to friends and one another, before it is too late, John 13:34-35; Hebrews 13:1.

Verse 37

1 ) "And some of them said," (tines de eks auton eipan) "Then certain of them inquired," witnessed aloud, reasoned soundly among themselves.

2) "Could not this man which opened the, eyes of the blind," (ouk eclunato houtos ho anoiksas tous ophthalmos tou tuphlou) "is not this man who opened the eyes of the blind able," or empowered who was empowered enough to open the eyes of the blind, a thing He had recently done, John 9:6-7.

3) "Have caused that," (poiesai hina) "In order that he might cause," or enable to cause, did He not have in Him the strength to do, or to prevent, or He had power to have kept Lazarus from dying, didn’t He?

4) "Even this man should not have died?" (kai houtos me apothane) "That even this one (Lazarus) should not die?" The answer is "yes," but more glory to the Father could and would come by His raising him from the dead, see? For all things do work "together," not "separately," for good to them who love the Lord, to them who are the called according to His purpose, Romans 8:28.

Verse 38

1 ) "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself," (lesous oun palin embrimomenos en heauto) "Then Jesus again while groaning in himself," or being deeply moved, shuddering in emotions, as a man, as we are, Hebrews 4:14 -­16.

2) "Cometh to the grave." (erchetai eis to mnemeion) "Came to the tomb," to the grave by His own choice; The tomb was a cave or cavern, either hewn out of rock or natural, like that which Abraham bought from Ephron in Machpelah at Hebron for a burial place, Genesis 21:9; Genesis 21:16-20. Or it was first a natural cave, cavern, or den, partly hewn in a fitting shape for a burial place.

3) "It was a cave," (hen de spelaion) "Then it was (existed as) a cave," in the earth, not hewn out by man, a natural cave, Though the one where our Lord was soon buried thereafter was a hewn cave belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man, Isaiah 53:9, Matthew 27:60.

4) "And a stone lay upon it." (kai lithos ekeito ep’ auto) "And a stone was lying upon it," upon the entrance to it, on the entrance to prevent wild carnivorous animals from entering to desecrate the body, Matthew 27:60; Matthew 27:66.

The place was apparently a private tomb of the family, which would have implied some family wealth, to claim or purchase it as their own, as Abraham and Joseph of Arimathaea had done.

Verse 39

1) "Jesus said, Take ye away the stone." (legei ho lesous arate ton eithon) "Jesus said, you all lift the stone," from the entrance to the cave that had become the grave of Lazarus. Lift, take, or bear the stone away, the stone entrance, was the command of the Lord; It was a shockingly unusual command. He asked that the people do what they were able, to show obedient faith, John 2:5; James 1:22; John 15:4.

2) "Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him," (legei auto he adelphe tou teteleutekotos Martha) "Martha the sister of the one who had died (of Lazarus) said," as the mistress of the home, the family affairs, always speaking out her opinion, John 11:21; John 11:24; Luke 10:38-42.

3) "Lord, by this time he stinketh:” (kurie ede ozei) "Lord, he already smells," that is, she supposed he did. With her strong faith she was astounded that her Lord would attempt to interfere or come near the dead body of her brother, Lazarus. Contrast this with our Lord who in death saw no corruption, Psalms 16:10; Acts 13:36-37.

4) "For he hath been dead four days." (tetartaios gar estin) "Because it is four days," since he died. He is four days dead, indicating her fear of his exposure to a bad odor of her decomposing, un-embalmed brother. Some believe the precious ointment Mary later used to anoint Jesus had been first bought to anoint Lazarus, but was never used, John 12:3. Those who knew best knew he had died, his death had taken place, witnessed by 1 ) Martha, John 11:21; John 11:39; by 2) Mary, John 11:32; and by 3) the Jews, John 11:37. That he was dead was therefore sustained by incontestable evidence of two or three witnesses, as required to satisfy Jewish law, so that there was no collusion in the reported miracle that followed, though recounted in John’s Gospel only, Deuteronomy 19:15; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

Verse 40

1 ) "Jesus saith unto her," (legei aute ho lesous) "Jesus says to her directly, personally," to Martha, to restrain the struggle and fear in her mind, of what might happen when the stone was taken up and away from the entrance to the tomb, as He had commanded, John 11:39.

2) ’’Said I not unto thee," (ouk eipon soi) "Did I not tell you," explain and certify upon my honor to you, when I spoke to you first, as the head of the family now, when you first came out to meet me, John 11:20-24.

3) "That if thou wouldst believe," (hoti ean pisteuses) "That if you believe," John 11:25. Believers are to believe, when they make petitions to God to do something for them, else the prayer requests are in vain, James 1:6-7. And Jesus had said these things to strengthen Martha’s faith to the visitors of her brother’s resurrection from the grave.

4) "Thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (opse ten doksan theou) "You will see (recognize) the glory of God?" and that your brother would rise again, before you, John 11:23; John 11:25. For this death had happened that Jesus might be glorified, as the Son of God, and might glorify God, John 11:4; John 17:4.

Verse 41

1) "Then they took away the stone," (eran oun ton lithon) "Then they lifted the stone," from its tomb ­covering place, though it was with misgiving and uncertainty on the part of Martha, who stood with Mary in awe and wonder.

2) "From the place where the dead was laid," (Though not contained in many manuscripts) this aptly describes what happened to the sealed or covered entrance to Lazarus’ tomb, at the bidding of Jesus, and anticipation of those who were witnessing the event, inclusive of John, this Gospel writer.

3) "And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said,’’ (ho de lesous heren tous ophthalmous ano kai eipen) "Then Jesus lifted his eyes up (above the grave level) and said," as He prayed a prayer of gratitude to His Father in heaven, from whom and where the rulership of the universe originates.

4) "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me." (pater eucharisto soi hoti ekousas mou) "Father I thank you that you have heard me." This was an open, yet indirect rebuttal to those who had earlier accused Him of being a law-breaking blasphemer because He had told them plainly that God was His Father, John 10:24-25; John 10:29-30; John 10:36-38; John 12:28-30.

Verse 42

1 ) "And I knew that thou hearest me always:”- (ego de edein hoti pantote mou akoueis) "Yet I knew that you always hear me," my petitions, prayers and requests, John 11:22; John 8:29. He was always in union with the Father, doing the will of the Father. And the prayer was for a visual demonstration to the viewers that Divine glory should be given to all that is done by every believer in life.

2) ’’But because of the people which stand by I said it," (alla dia ton ochlon ton periestota eipon) "But because of the crowd standing around about, I said it," for the benefit or help of the people, to teach them that even I sought to glorify the Father. Nothing anyone does should be in vain glory, Philippians 2:5-9; Galatians 5:26, Philippians 2:3-4; John 12:29-30.

3) "That they may believe that thou hast sent me.’’ (hina pisteusosin hoti su me apesteilas) ’’In order that they may believe that you did and have sent, commissioned, or mandated me,’’ to come and do the miracles that I do; That men might believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, with power to save, was the priority purpose He had in His miracle deeds, Mark 2:10-11; John 3:2; John 20:30-31.

Verse 43

1 ) "And when he had thus spoken," (kai tauta eipon) ’’And when he had said these things," or had prayed and spoken these words to His Father, certifying His Sonship from the Father, apart from which no one could be saved, John 3:17; John 8:24, Galatians 4:4, Acts 4:12.

2) "He cried with a loud voice," (phone megale ekraugasen) "He cried out (aloud) with a great voice,’ a strong voice, as a shout to a multitude, that all the witnesses might clearly hear His voice, what He said. It was the voice of an imperative command, for death to surrender to life, and for defeat to turn to victory, as expressed, 1 Corinthians 15:55.

3) "Lazarus, come forth.’’ (Lazare deuro, ekso) "Lazarus come out,’’ come out of and away from the grave! Even as all men shall one day come forth, John 5:28-29; John 12:32. Jesus wept and groaned, as a man, yet He spoke as a God, with royal and regal authority, such as becomes kingly majesty. And His subject, Lazarus, obeyed His command, as death trembled at and released God’s property to His Son, Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:15, Revelation 1:18. Some have conjectured in faith "if He had not called the name Lazarus, all the righteous dead may have joined him in coming forth.’’

Verse 44

1 ) "And he that was dead came forth," (ekselthen ho tethnekos) "The one who had died (the Lazarus) came out," immediately out from the cave-grave where he had been laid, John 11:34; He came forth in obedience to his Lord’s bidding, alive, John 11:23-26.

2) "Bound hand and foot with graveclothes:­(dedemenos tous poclas kai tas cheiras keiriais) "His hands and feet had been bound with bandages," wrapped with and in graveclothes, with each limb separately wrapped with strips of linen, but limiting movement of a living body. He was loosed from the winding linen clothes, much like those wound about the body of Jesus at His burial, John 19:38-42; Matthew 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53.

3) "And his face was bound about with a napkin." (kai he opsis autou soudario periededeto) "And his face had been covered and bound with a napkin," much as that Jesus had when He was wrapped for burial and which was left at the grave after His resurrection, John 20:5-7. This detail indicates an eye-witness and John, this Gospel writer, was an eye-witness of the event, John 21:20; John 21:24; 1 John 1:1.

4) "Jesus said unto them," (legei autois ho lesous) "Jesus said directly to them," to those who had removed the stone entrance at His command, John 11:39; John 11:41.

5) "Loose him, and let him go." (lusate auton kai aphete auton hupagein) "You all loose him or release him, and allow (permit) him to go," to go free from death’s bondage and bandages, that those at hand might both see and touch him, the better to confirm the miracle. Jesus had come to set the captives free, those seized by death, to demonstrate that He was the Son of God, that those believing in Him might be saved, Luke 4:18; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:15; Revelation 1:18.

Verse 45

1) "Then many of the Jews which came to Mary," (polloi oun ek ton loudaion hoi elthontes pros ten Mariam) "Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary," to comfort her and console her, and weep with her, from the Jerusalem area, John 11:18-19; John 11:31; John 11:33.

2) "And had seen the things which Jesus did," (kai theasamenoi ho epoiesen) "And had observed what he did," how He had groaned or shook in the spirit and wept, John 11:33; John 11:35; John 11:38. And how He prayed, called Lazarus to come forth from the grave, and directed that he be loosed of the graveclothes, John 11:39-44.

3) "Believed on him," (episteusan eis auton) "They believed into or on him," as others had done, John 8:30-31; Acts 9:42; And they were saved, trusted in Him, had no question of His Sonship, or that He was the Savior, Acts 10:43; 1 John 5:11; Romans 1:16.

Verse 46

1 ) "But some of them," (tines de eks auton) "However certain ones of them," still blinded by prejudice, or fearful of publicly professing Him, loving the praise of men and their social and religious synagogue ties more than God, John 12:42-43.

2) "Went their ways to the Pharisees," (apelthon pros tous Pharisaious) "Went away directly to the Pharisees," to those who despised Jesus Christ, and had threatened to exclude any person from the synagogue who confessed He was the Christ, the Messiah, or Savior of Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 9:22; John 9:34; John 16:22.

3) "And told them what things Jesus had done." (kai eipan autois ha epoiesen lesous) "And related to them what Jesus had done," John 5:15, of His weeping, His orders that the stone be taken away from Lazarus’ tomb, of His prayer in addressing God as His Father, of His calling Lazarus to come forth, of Lazarus’ response, of His orders that the graveclothes be removed, and that he was a live again, out there with his sisters, Martha and Mary, John 11:34-44.

Verse 47

1 ) "Then gathered the chief priests," (sunegagon oun hoi archiereis) "Then the administrative priests assembled," came together in an orderly meeting, but with ulterior motives against Jesus still, John 5:16; John 5:18; John 7:13; John 7:25; John 8:37; John 8:40; John 8:59.

2) "And the Pharisees and a council," (kai hoi Pharisaioi sunedrion) "And the Pharisees a council," hastily convened to head off what they considered to be a crisis, in fear of and opposition to Jesus Christ, John 11:23; Psalms 2:2; Matthew 26:3.

3) "And said, What do we?" (kai elegon ti poioumen ) "And they said, what are we doing," about this matter, this man (Jesus’) influence? It jeopardized their religious and social positions in the community, and at every reminder they resented it, John 1:11-12.

4) "For this man doeth many miracles." (hoti houtos ho anthropos polla poiei semeia) "Because this man does miracles repeatedly," John 3:19; Acts 4:16, again and again, and yet, they were conniving to stop Him. And they even confessed that the world "the world order" was going after or following Him. The answer is, "that is who He came to seek and to save," and the mission His Father sent Him to do was being fulfilled, even by admission of His most bitter enemies.

Verse 48

1) "If we let him thus alone," (ean aphomen auton houtos) "if we let him go on like this," performing miracles, John 2:10-11; Mark 2:10-11; John 3:2; John 12:19; John 20:30-31; and fulfilling prophecies, as He claims He has done, Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23; Matthew 3:1-8; etc. If we do no more than we have done to stop His miracles or to silence His voice, Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

2) "All men will believe on him:” (pantes pisteusousin eis auton) "All men will believe in him," the masses will turn from us, from the program of Moses’ Law that we espouse, and receive Him, and His New Covenant order of church fellowship and service, so less formal, cold, and ceremonial than ours.

3) "And the Romans will come," (kai eleusontai hoi hromaioi) "And the Romans (Roman government) will come." Yes, they visualized Caesar’s coming and forbidding them to further impose temple tax, synagogue tax, and other oppressive traditions upon the Jewish laity, in favor of Jesus Christ, and His followers. So long as they behaved themselves among themselves, not inciting any insurrection against Rome, Rome cared nothing about their religious differences.

4) "And take away both our place and nation." (kai arousin hemon kai ton topon kai to ethnos) "And they will take away or remove (abolish) both our official religious places, (our jobs) and our nation." Here is the "rub," really; It was their official religious positions of honor that concerned them, not the glory of God. It was love for their nationality, in rebellion against God, to which their loyalty was attached, that led them to reject their own offered Redeemer and His pleas to them, Matthew 23:37.

Verse 49

1) "And one of them, named Caiaphas," (eis de tis eks auton kaiaphas) "Then a certain one of them, Caiaphas­ one of the chief or administrative priests who was in the hastily assembled council, John 11:47; Matthew 26:3. The name Caiaphas was a surname added to the name Joseph who was High Priest AD 18 to 36, when he was deposed by Virellus.

2) "Being the high priest that same year," (archiereus on tou eniautou ekeinou) "Existing as the administrative high priest of that time or period," that same year. Josephus Antiq. 20:10 indicates that there were 28 high priests in Jerusalem over a period of 107 years, at a time of turmoil among the Jews under the Romans.

3) "Said unto them, Ye know nothing at all," (eipen autois humeis ouk oidate ouden) "He said, directly to them, (the chief priests and the Sanhedrin council), you all know not a thing at all," in a contemptuous manner he said it- He simply said half-measures will not meet our need. He had it in His heart to have Jesus assassinated, or slain, at the earliest possible moment, for he was apparently an un-regenerated murderer at heart, John 8:44.

Verse 50

1 ) "Nor consider that it is expedient for us," (oude logizesthe hoti sumpheri humin) "Nor do you calculate, reckon, or realize that it is to our benefit or advantage," to our immediate welfare, and security of our jobs or positions. Here was a wicked priest of Israel advocating job security, through expediency, rather than truth, right, and justice, John 18:14; Acts 4:6; Deuteronomy 10:12; Micah 6:8.

2) "That one should die for the people," (hina heis anthropos apothane huper tou laou) "In order that one should die on behalf of the people," as a political martyr, which Jesus was not, to save a nation from being taken away by the Romans, John 11:48; Isaiah 53:8. The idea is, if our religious positions are taken away by Caesar, because our race of people follow this Jesus man, we will not any longer have a nation, built around the Mosaic law, which was now having its fulfilled worship abolished in Christ, whom they rejected. Yet had they known they were to have a better fellowship or house of worship in Christ, as described Hebrews 3:1-6.

3) "And that the whole nation perish not." (kai me holon to ethnos apoletai) "And that all the nation perish not, "or be destroyed not, at the hands of the Romans. Though they themselves, in rejecting Him as Savior, were destroyers or their own nation, John 1:11-12; Matthew 23:37,­39; Luke 21:24.

Verse 51

1 ) "And this spake he not of himself," (touto de aph’ heautou ouk eipen) "However he did not speak (this) of himself," that he was to die for the nation, but that Christ was to do so, to save the nation from political oblivion. Yet his subtle advice, was in truth a prophecy, that Jesus should die, not for the nation only, but also for the sins of the whole world, Isaiah 53:8; 1 John 2:2.

2) "But being high priest that year," (alla archeireuson ton eniautou ekeinou) "But being or presiding as high priest of that time," when the collusion against Jesus was being further hardened against Jesus, after He had raised Lazarus from the dead, and after many Jews who saw it had believed in Him, John 11:45.

3) "He prophesied that Jesus," (epropheteusen hoti lesous) "He prophesied (to them) that Jesus," the object of their malice and fears, whom they hated without a cause, Hebrews 7:26; Psalms 35:19; Psalms 69:4; John 15:24-25; John 17:14.

4) "Should die for that nation;” (emellen apothneskein) huper tou ethnou) "Was about to die on behalf of the nation," to be put to death, to save the nation from an insurrection, inferring that Jesus was building a political dynasty that if not destroyed, by these religious administrators themselves, would lead to their own demise, as a nation, by the Romans, John 11:48, Caiaphas was saying, accuse Jesus of ulterior political motives against both the Roman government and us. Beat Him at the game; File this complaint with Caesar, and ingratiate ourselves with him, and we will save our nation and our jobs, see? Jesus did die, not only for that nation, but also for the sins of the whole world, thus terminating the office of this Messiah-rejecting-Caiaphas, the high priest, John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4-6; 2 Peter 3:9.

Verse 52

1 ) "And not for that nation only,’’ (kai ouch huper tou ethnous monon) "And not only on behalf of the nation," of Israel or of the Jews only, of that race or nationality only, as prophesied, Isaiah 49:6.

2) "But that also he should gather together," (all’ hina kai sunagage) "But also in order that he might assemble," or gather together, for purposes of worship, as these Jews gathered restrictedly with their own race, excluding Gentiles from their inner worship circle.

3) "In one the children of God," (eis hen ta tekna tou theou) "Into one the children of God," into one fellowship, or New Covenant order of worship in the church, not excluding any race, who was saved, baptized and desired to enter worship and service in His new assembly body, the church, that was better than that church in the wilderness, which Moses built, Acts 7:38; Hebrews 3:1-6; Ephesians 2:14; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 3:8-10; Ephesians 3:21.

4) "That were scattered abroad." (ta dieskorpismena) "Who had been scattered abroad," as the Gentiles, who were believers were debarred from inner worship with the Jews. Jesus not only dies for all people and races, that redemption should be paid for all through His ’’cross-body,’’ but also to purchase His New Covenant ’’church-body" as an assembly that had no middle wall of partition for worship, keeping no one out who would come by salvation into His family, and then by baptism and fellowship, into His house or church-body, which He "built.’’ One is born into the family of God by faith, Galatians 3:26; 1 John 5:1. But no one is born into the church-body, or house of Jesus. It is "built," and built up, by Jesus, as children of God are voluntarily baptized and surrender to become servants of God to do what He has commanded them, in and through His church, Hebrews 3:3; Hebrews 3:6; Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:19-22, John 14:15; John 15:14.

Verse 53

1) "Then from that day forth," (ap’ ekeines oun tes hemeras) "Then from that very, day," when the chief priests, Pharisees, and Caiaphas entered collusion against Jesus, with deliberate, premeditated, malice, ­aforethought, John 11:47-50.

2) "They took counsel together," (ebouleusanto) "Then took council among themselves," or entered collusion among themselves; They plotted and planned; It was the kind of crisis they had long been waiting to take advantage of, John 5:16; John 5:18; John 8:32; John 8:39; John 8:37; John 8:40; John 8:59. Prior to this only the synagogue rulers had entered the threats against His life, but now and hereafter, the council of the Sanhedrin, backed by the high priest, pressed for His arrest, indict­ment and death. So repulsive was the scheme that Joseph of Arimathea withdrew from the council, Luke 23:50-51.

3) "For to put him to death." (hina apokteinosin auton) "In order that they might kill him," or to find occasion to kill Him, Psalms 109:4-5; they sentenced Him to death that day in the courts of their own malicious decree; Peter later charged them openly or publicly with the crime, Acts 5:17; Acts 5:24; Acts 5:29-33.

Verse 54

1) "Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews;” (ho oun lesous ouketi parresia periepatei en tois loudaiois) "Then Jesus walked no more, or no longer, openly among the Jews," for His "hour had not yet come." He had once before withdrawn from them, to avoid stirring up any social or political rebellion among and against the Jewish leaders who had made it known that they intended to liquidate Him, when they felt it was convenient, John 7:25,

2) "But went thence unto a country," (alla apelthen ekeithen eis ten choran) "But he went away from there into the country," to avoid precipitating matters further, leaving Bethany and the Jerusalem area, to the country of Bethaven, a few miles northeast of Jerusalem.

3) "Near to the wilderness," (engus tes ere mou) "Near the desert," or near an uninhabited area.

4) "Into a city called Ephraim," (eis Ephraim legomenen polin) "Into a city that is called Ephraim," now known as Et Taiyebeh, about 13 miles Northeast of the city of Jerusalem, some five or six miles east of Bethel, 2 Chronicles 13:19; 2 Samuel 13:23; Also known as Ophrah, Joshua 18:23.

5) "And there continued with his disciples." (kakei emeinen meta ton matheton) "And he remained out there with the disciples," who had followed Him recently, from beyond Jordan to Bethany, and some of whom had followed Him from the baptism of John, and the beginning of His ministry, John 11:40-41; John 11:7; John 11:16; John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:21-22.

Verse 55

1) "And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand:” (hen de engus to pascha ton loudaion) "Then was near the time of the passover of the Jews," the fourth and last mentioned during our Lord’s ministry, John 5:1; John 6:4.

2) "And many went out of the country up to Jerusalem," (kai anebesan polloi eis lerosoluma ek tes choras) "And many went up into Jerusalem out of the country," from the area of Ephraim where Jesus had retreated, John 11:54.

3) "Before the passover," (pro tou pascha) "Before the time of the passover," to arrive there perhaps at least one week before the Passover, for purposes of purification, required of those who observed the Passover, Numbers 9:1-14; 2 Chronicles 29:34; Exodus 12:3; Exodus 12:6; Exodus 12:18.

4) "To purify themselves." (hina hagnisosin heautous) "In order that they might purify themselves," from Levitical uncleanliness. Some purifications required a full week, while others required only time to shave the head and wash and dry one’s clothes, 2 Chronicles 30:3; Exodus 12:48; John 18:28. The time required for purification lasted from one to six days, Exodus 19:10-11; Acts 21:23-26; Numbers 6:1-10.

Verse 56

1) "Then sought they for Jesus," (ezetoun oun ton lesous) "Then they sought Jesus," looked or searched for Him, those Jews who had believed on Him while He was at Bethany and perhaps other believing Jews; They had come, hoping to see Him at the Passover occasion, John 11:44-45, as they had done on a former occasion, John 7:1-2; John 7:10 -­14.

2) "And spake among themselves," (kai elegon met’ allelon) "And they conversed with one another," spoke favorably and hopefully to one another, Psalms 107:2. John the writer of this Gospel, had moved among them and heard their conversations, John 21:24-25; 1 John 1:1; 1 John 1:3; 1 John 1:5.

3) "As they stood in the temple," (en to hiero hestekotes) "As they were standing in the temple," after their purification, awaiting in suspense, conversing about the possible arrival of Jesus.

4) "What think ye," (ti dokei humin) "What does it seem to you?" or what do you think?" Each wanted to know the opinion of the other, for the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection had become known to all in that area of Judea and the hatred of the religious rulers against Him, even to their death decree against Him, John 11:47-53.

5) "That he will not come to the feast?" (hoti ou me elthe eis ten heorten) "That he will by no means come to the feast?" which He had attended three former times during His public ministry, of the previous three and one half years.

Verse 57

1 ) "Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees," (de hoi archiereis kai hoi Pharisaioi) "However the administrative priests and the Pharisees," who had led the collusion, plotting entrapment for an occasion to seize and put Jesus to death, John 11:47.

2) "Had given a commandment," (dedokeisan entolas) "Had already given commands," or directions, perhaps to punish anyone who would give housing or shelter to Him during the Passover, without informing them where He was, John 11:53.

3) "That, if any man knew where he were," (hina ean tis gno pou estin) "In order that if anyone knew where he was," knew of His presence at all, where He was or might reside. They plotted in secrecy, but were determined to humiliate Him publicly; and Judas Iscariot knew how to aid them in their liquidation collusion, Mark 14:43; Luke 22:47.

4) "He should shew it," (menuse) "He should inform," or make it known to them, disclose it to them, pass the word to them. They dared not seize Jesus in a public place, surrounded by devout people who had been saved, many of whom also had a testimony of healing from Him.

5) "That they might take him." (hopos piasosin auton) "So that they might arrest him," detain Him, so that believers from Galilee, Perea, and Judea might not see Him or gather to praise Him, as the Savior, to embarrass­ment of these chief priests, Pharisees, the council, and Caiaphas, the High Priest. And they did "take Him," seize Him, by night-time, by bribery, paid to Judas Iscariot, Matthew 26:14-16; John 18:2-3.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on John 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/john-11.html. 1985.
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