John 11:1-44 NIV
11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus Delays His Coming (vv. 1-16)
- “Lord, the one you love is sick” (v. 3) Jesus is known to have had a close relationship with Lazarus and his sisters (cf. Luke 10:38-42)
- “It is for God’s glory” (v. 4) Jesus foreshadowed how He would eventually raise Lazarus so as to glorify God before all present (cf. v. 40)
- “Let us go to Judea” (v. 7) Jesus was returning to the place where only recently they tried to kill him (cf. 10:39-40)
- “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?” (v. 9) When Jesus resolved to return to Judea, it was do His Father’s will at the appointed time; daytime is the time to work (cf. 9:4)
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
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 Comforts the Sisters (vv. 17-37)
- “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (vv. 21, 32) The sisters express disappointment as Jesus’ apparent aloofness in His absence
- “Martha answered” (vv. 21-27) Martha’s exchange with Jesus reveals her deep faith in Him, His supremacy over life and death, and the future resurrection of the dead (cf. 1:4-5)
- “Mary… fell at his feet” (v. 32) Mary’s response to Jesus reveals her trust in a different way, not so much seeking answers or solutions, but to be comforted by His presence
- “Jesus wept” (v. 35) Jesus was probably moved by a mixture of compassion and indignation at the impact of sin and death on humanity
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.”
Jesus Raises Lazarus (vv. 38-44)
- “He has been there four days” (v. 39) While Jesus had previously raised the dead, it may have been believed that at four days, a person’s soul was gone from their body, rendering them unresurrectable.
- “Father, I thank that you have heard me” (vv. 41-42) Jesus prayed aloud to give glory to God and to prove that He was sent from God
- “Lazarus, come out!” (vv. 43-44) A preview of the resurrection to come, when the dead will be raised at Jesus’ call (cf. 5:28)