by Robert E. Guenther
Continuing our review of the Gospel of John, Chapter 11:11-20. Our Lord is using the death of Lazarus to help His disciples understand the truth about resurrection.
Vs John 11:11 “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” Our Lord is going to explain what he means, that Lazarus will be restored to life so that he may live a few more days on this earth.
Vs John 11:12 “Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.” The disciples need to understand that our Lord uses the word sleep to mean dead as he does in this context.
Vs John 11:13 “Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.” Our Lord is using this opportunity to explain the need of resurrection so Lazarus can live again.
Vs John 11:14 “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” In a very real sense we are all dead without NeShamah (BREATH) His Spirit keeping us alive. Without His breath in us, we are all dead.
Vs John 11:15 “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.” Our Lord uses certain circumstances to speak to believers the deeper truths that they need to hear and believe. This truth of raising the dead proves that Jesus is the Christ.
Vs John 11:16 “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.” The Lord knew that Lazarus’ resurrection was going to be a greater miracle and harder to believe the truth of his rising if it was delayed. Thomas shows us a willingness to die for the Lord even though He is not asking him to die at this time.
Vs John 11:17 “Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.” There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Lazarus is dead. Four days is sufficient proof that there is no longer life in his body. This makes the resurrection to be more meaningful. I think we should consider that our Lord is going to be giving up His life for the world very soon after this raising of Lazarus occurs.
Vs John 11:18 “Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:” The distance is probably about one and three quarter miles away.
Vs John 11:19 “And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.” This family is loved and well known to this city. This explains why so many came to comfort them.
Vs John 11:20 “Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.” We have no real explanation of why Martha went to meet the Lord immediately. We read that Mary sat or stayed in the house. We read a little later that Mary went to meet the Lord. ........to be continued.
by Robert E. Guenther