John 11 Bible Study

John chapter 11 Bible study

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John 11 Bible Study


John 11:25-34 Bible Study: I am the Resurrection and the Life
John 11:35-42 Bible Study: Jesus Wept
John 11:43-57 Bible Study: Lazarus, Come Forth!
JOHN 11:1-19  1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 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.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” 9 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 fifteen stadia away away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

Who were Mary, Martha and Lazarus?
They were siblings of one another and quite close to Jesus: "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus." (John 11:5)

Where did they live?
In Bethany, a village "near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away."(John 11:18)

How far is "fifteen stadia"?
1.7 miles or 2.7 kilometers (see Do not be afraid).

Where was Jesus when He received Mary and Martha's message?
Most likely in Bethabara on the other side of the Jordan river, where He had gone at the end of John chapter 10 when the Jews tried to kill Him.

What was He doing there?
No doubt continuing to teach and to heal, but also waiting for the Passover feast at which He would die, which wasn't far away now.

What was the disciples' reaction when Jesus said to them, “Let us go to Judea again” (John 11:7)?
They warned against it: “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” (John 11:8), and Thomas even expressed that doing so would be a suicide mission: “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” (John 11:16)

What did the sisters' message to Jesus say?
“Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” (John 11:3)

Why be so cryptic instead of precisely saying, "Lord, Lazarus is sick"?
If Jesus' disciples were aware of and feared the Jews' plot against Jesus while two days' journey away from Jerusalem, Mary and Martha, who lived only "two miles" (John 11:18) from Jerusalem, may have been aware of and feared it as well. If so, Mary and Martha may have felt that a precise message ran a higher risk of leaking Jesus' destination to the Jews, who could arrest Jesus en route.

Why did Jesus wait instead of departing for Bethany right away?
"That I may wake him up" (John 11:11) - i.e., raise him from the dead - so "that you may believe." (John 11:15)

Isn't it sadistic to wait so that He can raise a dead man instead of healing him before he dies?

How long had Lazarus been dead when Jesus arrived?
"He had already been in the tomb four days." (John 11:17)

How many days did Jesus wait before leaving for Bethany?
"Two" (John 11:6)

What does this mean?
Had Jesus left for Bethany right away, He would have arrived to find Lazarus already dead for two days; chances are, Lazarus was dying or already dead by the time Jesus received his sisters' message.

But still, why did Jesus delay for two days?
So that there would be no doubt that Lazarus was indeed dead when Jesus resurrects him. Back then, any part of a day was counted as a day, so "two days" could have meant the morning after his death, and people could have said he was never dead. “Four days” meant at least 3 nights, during which decomposition already would have started, so there would be no doubt that Jesus raised someone who had died.

JOHN 11:20-24  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.”

Is it true that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died?
Probably but not necessarily. Jesus has the power to heal anyone and did heal multitudes of sick people. But whether to use that power to heal a particular person still remains His prerogative.

How is that different today?
It isn't.

Does Martha recognize Jesus' deity?
Not yet. At this point, she sees Him as just a "Teacher" (John 11:28 below) close to God: "I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." (John 11:22)

When will her brother "rise again"?
Let's read on.

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