Jesus who is the Resurrection and the Life

Posted by admin on 1 April 2024 in 1 Corinthians, John, Luke, Mark, Matthew |

John 11:1–48 (NKJV)

Christ Raises Lazarus

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”

12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

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

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

The Pharisees Plan to Kill Christ

45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

Message

I. Jesus who is omniscient tells the purpose of the sickness of Lazarus (1-7)

See v1-2.

1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

The event of Mary anointing the Lord is written in John 12:1-8, Matthew 26:6-13, and Mark 14:3-9. This Mary’s brother Lazarus was sick.

See v3.

Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

V5 says Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus. They are two sisters and one brother. ‘he’ who is sick is their brother Lazarus.

See v4.

When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

But when Jesus heard about it, he said, “Lazarus’ sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” (NLT) Jesus was omniscient and knew the purpose of the sickness of Lazarus. Jesus also knew the purpose of the blindness of the man who was blind from birth (John 9:3). Lazarus’ sickness and death was to glorify the Son of God Jesus because He was to raise Lazarus from death.

This teaches the problems we face will glorify the Lord when we overcome them by faith (by the power of God).

See v5-7.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

Jesus on purpose delayed going to them so that Lazarus might be dead for a longer time before He would raise him back to life.

II. Choose light or darkness, day or night, Jesus or devil (8-10)

See v8-10.

The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

‘the light of this world’ is Jesus (See John 9:5).

‘twelve hours in the day’ is for those who follow the light. 12 hours are half of 24 hours. The half may indicate there is the chance either to follow the light or to follow the darkness in the world (See John 8:12). As long as we follow Jesus, we are walking in the day and do not stumble. So, they can follow Jesus to go to Bethany in Judea and will be safe. The Jews who sought to stone Him walk in the night. Their action of stoning Him shows they stumbled in darkness. Their hearts have no light because they didn’t accept the light of the world, Jesus. They are provided with two choices: light or darkness, day or night, Jesus or devil.

III. Jesus who sees ‘death’ as ‘sleep’ that can be waken up (11-16)

See v11-13.

11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”

12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

Jesus said, ‘sleep’ instead of saying ‘death’. He can raise the dead as easily as walking them up from sleep.

See v14-16.

14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

Thomas thought ‘going to Lazarus, who was dead’ meant ‘going to the realm of the dead by dying’. He didn’t think of the resurrection of the dead but of the death of the living. We can know how negative our thoughts used to be.

IV. Jesus who is going to raise Lazarus today (17-24)

See v17-19.

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

Jesus delayed His departure for two days (John 11:6) and Lazarus was dead for four days when Jesus arrived (17). The fact that Bethany was near Jerusalem (18) indicates ‘many of the Jews’ (19) may include the Jews from Jerusalem.

See v20-22.

20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

V22 shows Martha knew Jesus was able to raise Lazarus if He would ask God for it.

See v23-24.

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

When Jesus said v23, Martha thought of the resurrection ‘at the last day’ rather than ‘today’. There have been many misunderstandings (11-13, 15-16, 23-24, 35-36) related to this event in chapter 11. Related to ‘death’, our expectation seems negative (See John 11:16), ‘limited’ or ‘low’. In Jesus, we can lift up our expectations.

V. Do you believe in Jesus the resurrection and the life or do you believe in the power of death? (25-40)

See v25-26.

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus is the resurrection. So, he who believes in Jesus, though he may physically die, shall live because he is spiritually alive and lives on, can be physically raised just as Lazarus (43, 44), and shall be raised to have a new spiritual and immortal body (25, 1 Corinthians 15:35-45). Jesus is the life. So, whoever lives and believes in Jesus shall never spiritually die (26).

See v27.

27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Martha’s answer to v25, 26 was ‘Yes’ but probably she couldn’t immediately understand v25, 26. So she said what she believed and knew for sure in v27. Because Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, what He says would be nothing but the truth. Therefore she indicates what Jesus said in v25, 26 must be the truth and she believes it.

See v28-32.

28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Both Martha in v21 and Mary in v32 said the same thing, expressing their regret that Jesus had not been with them before the death of Lazarus. We can imagine that they might experience this incredible sorrow when Lazarus died and was buried. This increased sorrow was to be followed by the greater glory to God. When we experience great sorrow or misery, great glory to God and joy for us may follow in the Light of the world Jesus.

See v33-34.

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

“Come and see” was used in John 1:39, 46 to invite them to Jesus. But here the same expression was used to show the grave. We see the contrast between the light & the darkness, the life & the death. Jesus the resurrection and the life came to change our darkness and death to light and life.

See v35-36.

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

The reason Jesus wept was that Mary and others accepted the death (of Lazarus) as an unchangeable fate and so were helplessly weeping. But they thought Jesus was weeping because Jesus felt sad to lose Lazarus He loved. This is one of many misunderstandings (11-13, 15-16, 23-24, 35-36) related to this event in chapter 11.

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

This shows they used to think the physical death as the irrevocable end. So, they thought that the death should have been prevented but it was too late after the death.

See v38-39.

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

When Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” He was going to raise Lazarus. But Martha had an objection to removing the stone. Her reason was the stench from the corrupted corpse. She told Jesus about this negative information because she probably used to believe in the power of death and might think it was too late. No wonder Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life…” and asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” (25, 26)

See v40.

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

Jesus has already said to Martha that her brother would rise again (23). Then He said, “I am the resurrection and the life … Do you believe this?” (25, 26) But she used to believe in the power of death and advised Jesus that there was a stench from the four-day dead body of Lazarus (39). So, Jesus reminded her of what Jesus had said to her (40).

VI. Jesus who raised the four-day dead Lazarus (41-48)

See v41a.

41a Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.

Often, our obedience to His command is required before Jesus may perform the miracle even if we may not understand (See John 2:7, Luke 5:4-5).

See v41b-42.

41b And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”

Jesus lifted up His eyes toward heaven and spoke out that the Father had heard Him. He has already asked the Father to raise Lazarus. And He knew the Father had heard Him and therefore was going to raise Lazarus. The fact that the Father listens to Jesus shows that the Father sent Him. Jesus spoke out this for them to believe it.

See v43.

43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”

Jesus cried with a loud voice. Raising the four-day dead who have been decaying was the most significant historical moment that the resurrection and the life Jesus prevailed our misery and death.

See v44a.

44a And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.

This verse shows Lazarus was bound with graveclothes and his face was wrapped with a cloth after his death. But the power of the resurrection and the life freed him from the death and raised him back to life.

See v44b.

44b Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

When Lazarus came out of the grave, he was as described in 44a. So, Jesus asked them to loose him so that he could move freely and walk.

See v45-48.

45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

The Jews were expecting the political Messiah who would destroy the Roman Empire and make Israel independent. But Jesus showed the ‘love and sacrifice’ model of Messiahship (See John 6:53-58). Jesus called the Pharisees blind leaders of the blind (Matthew 15:14, 23:16, 17, 19). The Pharisees worried that they would lose the leadership and the Romans would come and take away both their place and nation (48).

“Nothing is too late in Jesus.”

“There is nothing Jesus can’t restore.”

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