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Thirty-Eight Observations on John 11

1. My sickness can be for God’s glory (v. 4).
2. A delayed or denied healing does not mean God loves us less (v. 6).
3. There is something far more important than preventing one of Jesus’ followers from dying (v. 6).
4. Jesus allows the dying process to reach its conclusion, knowing it was a temporary condition (v. 6).
5. Jesus has the power to wake up the dead! (v. 11).
6. Metaphors can sometimes muddle the message (v. 12).
7. Jesus was glad that He was not there to prevent His friend Lazarus’ death (v. 15). “Boy, I’m glad I wasn’t there to keep my friend from stepping in front of a bus!”
8. Lazarus’ death provides strong evidence that ought to lead to belief in Jesus (v. 15).
9. Going “with” Jesus might entail dying with Him (v. 16).
10. What’s the Jewish significance of being in the grave four days? (v. 17)
11. Jesus’ delay was not due to geography (Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem) (v. 18).
11. The different actions of Martha & Mary here (Martha going out to meet Jesus; Mary staying at home) remind us of Lk. 10:41 (v. 20).
12. Martha’s despairing declaration (v. 21). Great faith in Jesus!
13. Martha’s hopeful expression (v. 22).
14. Jesus’ transition from an event (the resurrection) to a Person (Himself: “I am the resurrection and the life”) (vv. 24-26).
15. There is more than one meaning to the term “die” (v. 25).
Living by believing in Jesus = never dying! (v. 26).
16. Martha’s declaration of faith (v. 27).
17. We should assume that Martha isn’t lying when she says that Jesus is asking for Mary. She is doing what He requested (v. 28).
18. Why has Jesus not yet entered the village? His purpose — or He didn’t have the chance to? (v. 30)
19. Mary’s declaration (“Lord, if you had been here . . .”) is almost identical to Martha’s (v. 32). The only difference is in word order and the tense of the verb ἀποθνῄσκω. Mary uses the 2nd Aorist. Some Greek versions have ἐτεθνήκει; others have απεθανεν for Martha’s statement? This verb ἐτεθνήκει is a pluperfect!!!
20. Jesus sees our tears — and weeps with us! (vv. 33-35).
21. Our weeping shows our love (v. 36).
22. There is always room for the doubters of our love and our actions (v. 37).
23. Real love, they thought, would have keep Lazarus from dying! (v. 37).
24. Jesus is “once more deeply moved” (v. 38). The 1st time was with their weeping. This time by the tragedy of death?
25. The refreshing candor of the Bible: “Lord, by this time he stinketh!” (v. 39).
26. We believe what Jesus says even when life STINKS! (v. 40). 27. And believing Him in those circumstances will allow us to see THE GLORY OF GOD! (v. 40).
28. Jesus had an active prayer life with the Father, showing His genuine humanity (v. 41).
29. The Father had already answered His prayer (v. 41)?
30. All of this — Lazarus dying, Jesus delaying coming, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead — was for the purpose of people believing that the Father sent the Son (v. 42).
31. Jesus calls Lazarus out by name! Some suggest that if He hadn’t, all the dead would have come forth (v. 43)!
32. Can’t you see Lazarus hopping out of the tomb? (v. 44)
33. Imagine being one of those whose job it was to unwrap Lazarus! (v. 44)
34. This miracle directly led to many of the Jews believing in Jesus (v. 45).
35 But the opposition to Jesus grows among the leaders (vv. 46-48).
36 Caiaphas, the high priest, prophesies that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation and “for the scattered children of God” (vv. 49-52). Here is a use of “children of God” that is not a reference to salvation.
37. Jesus has to take steps to withdraw for His own safety (vv. 53-54).
38. The plot to execute Jesus grows (vv. 55-57).

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2021 in John 11

 

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My Notes on John 11 . . .

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2021 in John 11

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 25

As we look at this last section of John 11, we see that His intention in allowing His friend Lazarus to die (and then be gloriously raised to life by Jesus) resulted in two reactions: (1) belief on the part of some; (2) a prophesied plot to take Jesus’ life. Let’s read our section one last time …..

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.

Caiaphas was God’s messenger (without Caiaphas’ awareness or permission) in predicting the death of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has to withdraw from the public, spending time with His disciples.

Many tried to see whether Jesus would attend the Passover. But Jesus was a wanted man. The chief priests and the Pharisees wanted Jesus’ presence reported so He could be arrested.

And so ends John 11. We read in the next chapter of John: “9Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.”  Jesus’ plan worked to perfection! Many were believing in Him. Not all. But many. At the cost of Lazarus’ earthly life and at the cost of Jesus’ sacrificial death, belief in the Lord was the result. For some.

The religious leaders’ hatred of Jesus was so strong that now they wanted to kill Lazarus as well. Presumably, this man did die a second time, either at their hands or through “natural” death.  But it was well worth it.

 

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2017 in John 11

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 24

In our previous post, we used our “sanctified imagination” to speculate about the Father and Lazarus having a conversation in heaven.  Let’s return to our text and notice the last section of this amazing story …..

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.

There was a clear reaction to Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. Some “believed in him” (v. 45). Others reported Jesus’ action to the religious leaders who then called a special meeting of the Sanhedrin (vv. 46-47).

We get to listen in on their deliberations. They acknowledge Jesus’ “many signs” and fear the Romans will step in and limit the freedoms they enjoyed from their occupiers.

Caiaphas, that year’s high priest, makes an incredible statement: “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (v. 50).

God’s Spirit has power even over those who would seek to destroy the Lord! This miracle of raising Lazarus seems to be the work of Jesus which seals His fate. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in John 11

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 23

I believe there is a place for what I call sanctified imagination. If Christians are right about their immediately going to be “with the Lord” upon death, wouldn’t it be the case that Lazarus has just spent several days with His Lord? In heaven?

I know. I know. Some believers think that the Old Testament saints went to a kind of pre-heaven, a holding tank where they awaited the Lord Jesus’ completing the work of atonement and then they would be transferred into heaven proper.

I know the theory. I don’t buy it. I don’t think David and Moses and Abraham were in a lesser state of existence after they died simply because they were Old Testament believers.

So, if we assume Lazarus had been with the Father in heaven, let’s go one step further and imagine a conversation the two had together:

The Father: “Lazarus, it is so good to have you here!”

Lazarus: “Yes, Lord. That sickness was awful and I thought Your Son would save me from death, but I’m sure He had His reasons for staying away.”

The Father: “Yes, Lazarus. About that. We have a plan, but we need your help.”

Lazarus: “My help? I’m dead, Lord.”

The Father: “Yes, yes. I know. And I’m sure you are enjoying the sights and sounds here in heaven with me.”

Lazarus: “Absolutely. It makes death almost welcome to be here with You!”

The Father: “Lazarus, there was something far more important for my Son than His keeping you from dying.”

Lazarus: “Whatever could that be, Lord?

The Father: “Raising you from the dead, as a public event, would provide a significant proof of my Son’s identity and that I sent Him to planet earth on His mission.”

Lazarus: “I’m more than glad to help, Father. But wouldn’t that mean . . .”

The Father: “Yes, Lazarus. I’m afraid so. I need you to go back and get resurrected.”

Lazarus: “Father, I will do it. I want Your Son brought glory more than anything else. More than I want to be with You here in heaven!”

The next voice Lazarus heard was Jesus’ — and it was shouting, “Lazarus, come out!”  (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2017 in John 11

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 22

Let’s look at our next section of this amazing miracle …

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

Jesus has the onlookers get involved in this resurrection event. He commands them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (v. 44).

I’m sure it is a sacrilege to try to imagine that scene in the following way, but I can’t help it. I picture Lazarus having to spin around so that the burial wrappings could be removed. Some of you have played that game in which you hold the small end of a baseball bat and put the large end on the ground and you spin around three times real fast and then let go of the bat and promptly stagger around like you’re drunk and you then fall to the ground? That’s how I picture what’s happened to the new Lazarus!

He is now free. He is now alive again. He is now, uh, naked. Mostly. But who cares about propriety at such a time as this? He’s back with his family. I wonder what he experienced just before Jesus raised him from the dead? (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in resurrection

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 21

What have we seen in this tremendous chapter? We have seen a strange response by Jesus to a dying friend. He lets him die. We have seen Jesus and His disciples risking their lives to go to this family’s side after Lazarus has passed away, when it was “too late,” one might say.

We have heard a lot of words from Jesus about this catastrophe not ending in death. But Lazarus was clearly dead and had been in the grave for four days. There has been a discussion of eschatology, specifically a future resurrection of Jesus’ dead friend. And the Lord has focused upon the cruciality of belief. Let’s notice what happens next . . .

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

We read that, after He had prayed to the Father, Jesus spoke. Rather He shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” (v. 43). The tomb is open, the stone already having been removed. And the text tells us that “The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.” (v. 44).

Hopping. He must have been hopping, for his feet were probably wrapped together. And he couldn’t see. His face was covered with a cloth. Maybe he bumped against the sides of the cave a couple of times.  His hands weren’t free to reach out and feel his way as he exited the tomb.  What an awkward way for Lazarus to meet his Lord!

Jesus merely spoke or shouted the words, “Lazarus, come out!” What powerful words from the Word of God! Jesus could have (days before) kept His friend from dying. And right now He could have simply thought His friend out of the tomb. But Jesus spoke. He didn’t have to use His words. But those observing needed to see the connection between Jesus and a dead man being raised from the dead. His words are powerful. What power do His words have in your life? (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2017 in John 11

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 20

Willing to risk the stench of a decaying human body, Jesus tells those in charge of Lazarus’ tomb to “take away the stone.” Let’s continue thinking through this chapter and read our next section of John 11 …

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

How critical is prayer? Well, for the Lord Jesus, prayer served a variety of purposes (see our previous series of posts on John 17 entitled “What Did Jesus Pray About?”).

Here, just as the stone is removed from Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus prays. He says, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” (vv. 41-42).

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the young seminarian who was asked to open the church service in prayer. He prayed a long, complicated, deep prayer and then said, “Amen.” The pastor, who was not always the most gracious, whispered to him, “I have never heard a better and more eloquent prayer — prayed to people!”

Jesus must have prayed this prayer out loud, for it was for the people. Not to impress them. But to challenge them to believe. Where else in our study of this chapter does Jesus emphasize belief? (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2017 in prayer

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 19

“Take away the stone,” Jesus commanded. The barrier that kept wild animals away from Lazarus’ corpse also sealed his body in that place of death. Let’s go over our section once more …

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Don’t you just love the unembellished logic of Martha? When Jesus says, “Take away the stone,” she replies, “Uh, Lord, you might need to hold your nose. There’s going to be a four-day-old stench!”

I’m told there is almost nothing that reeks as badly as a dead human body. But Jesus’ response to Martha’s warning is a mild rebuke: “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (v. 4). The glory of God! A divine promise — with a condition: “if you believe.”

What nature and sin had taken Jesus was going to restore — to the glory of God. A glory that could be seen. Don’t you wish you had been there? (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2017 in GLORY OF GOD

 

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Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! (A Study of John 11) Part 18

Jesus’ weeping at Lazarus’ tomb produced two reactions from the Jews who were observing. Some said, “See how He loved him!” Others said, “Why didn’t He keep him from dying? He opened the eyes of the blind man!” Let’s look at this section of John 11 once more …

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

There is no record of Jesus responding to those two reactions, either His love for Lazarus or His inaction in preventing him from dying.

We do read the following: “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.” (v. 38). I had never noticed the “once more deeply moved” before.

This seems to indicate that Jesus broke down and wept before He went to Lazarus’ tomb and a second time when He arrived there. John the gospel writer could have written, “And Jesus wept a second time,” couldn’t he?

We aren’t told the details of Jesus’ “once-more-being-deeply-moved,” but perhaps it was more than tears of sympathy. Perhaps there was also anger at the devastation that death had brought to those He loved.

But this was not the time for explanations. This was the time for action and Jesus commands those at the tomb, “Take away the stone.” (v. 39).

Not to over-spiritualize, but I’ve got some stones that keep me in a kind of deadness of unbelief. How about you? When things happen to me or my family that Jesus could have prevented, the easiest course of action is to doubt the Lord and His love for me. Am I the only one with these kinds of stones? (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2017 in doubt

 

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