Translations: Chinese 简体中文 繁體中文

John 11:33-57 (web)

The Resurrection of Lazarus: Part II

Jesus Wept

33  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping,
and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
34  and said, "Where have you laid him?"
They told him, "Lord, come and see."
35  Jesus wept.
36  The Jews therefore said, "See how much affection he had for him!"
37  Some of them said, "Couldnít this man,
who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?"
38  Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb.

Take away the Stone

Now 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,
"Didnít I tell you that if you believed, you would see Godís glory?"
41  So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.
Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said,
"Father, I thank you that you listened to me.
42  I know that you always listen to me,
but because of the multitude that stands around I said this,
that they may believe that you sent me."

Lazarus, come out!

43  When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
44  He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings,
and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.
Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go."
45  Therefore many of the Jews,
who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.
46  But some of them went away to the Pharisees,
and told them the things which Jesus had done.

The Reaction of the Religious Leaders

47  The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said,
"What are we doing? For this man does many signs.
48  If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him,
and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
49  But a certain one of them, Caiaphas,
being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,
50  nor do you consider that it is advantageous
for us that one man should die for the people,
and that the whole nation not perish."
51  Now he didnít say this of himself, but being high priest that year,
he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
52  and not for the nation only, but that he might also
gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
53  So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.
54  Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews,
but departed from there into the country near the wilderness,
to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.

55  Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand.
Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.
56  Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another,
as they stood in the temple, "What do you thinkóthat he isnít coming to the feast at all?"
57  Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that
if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.

Discussion Questions

vs 35 Why did Jesus weep?
vs 40 What are two reasons why Jesus rose Lazarus?
vs 39, 44 If we made an allegorically connection between this resurrection and coming to faith in Christ, how might these two verses apply?
vs 47 Though acknowledging his many signs, what implication was the Pharisees not taking into consideration?
vs 48 Were they're political concerns valid? And did killing Christ solve resolve this threat?
vs 50 In what sense did Jesus end up dying for the nation?
vs 54 In running away, was Jesus a coward?


vs 33-38 Verse 35 is the shortest verse in the Bible and a good verse to start on if you think scripture memory is overly challenging. But despite its brevity it offers much meditation. Why did Jesus weep? It's not because Lazarus died. He knew he died long before this and yet showed no such emotion previously. And further he knows that he will come back to life shortly. The crowd misinterpreted him once again. It seems despite presuming to know him, Jesus gets misinterpreted a whole lot. Jesus was empathizing with Mary and her feeling of loss. One aspect of Christ's love is that it is empathetic. Isaiah writes, "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows." Isaiah 53:4 Some reduce God to an imperson wishing machine of which you just have to push the right buttons to get what you want. Or think that God is personal but non-emotional. But the Bible proves otherwise. God has emotions and is influenced by the emotions of his creatures. God cares how you feel.

vs 39-42 In verse 40 Jesus is indicating that he is going to raise Lazarus in view of Martha's faith. Now we understand the sense in which he originally received the message from the sisters. We may also be reminded of his interaction with the Canaanite woman of Matthew 15 in which he seemed reluctant to answer the request, but really was provoking her to reveal the depth of her faith. Thus though God may strengthen our faith through answers to prayer, he can reveal the depth of our faith through unanswered prayer.

Perhaps we may also apply this allegorically to the resurrection of the spiritually dead into a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ, a resurrection which those born of God have already experienced, "we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him." Eph 2:5,6 But those who are dead in their trespasses often have stones in their lives which need to be removed to make way for Christ to raise them from the dead. And that's where we can help as we minister in accordance with the gifts and responsibilities God has given us.

vs 43-46 "Most assuredly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of Godís voice; and those who hear will live." John 5:25  But even having been raised he still needed others to help him be freed. So also when we are made alive in Christ, yet we still need to be sanctified from our sinfulness, but we have other Christians to help us with that. Because of this miracle many believed. It is somewhat implied that those who went to the Pharisees were unbelievers who wanted to stir up trouble for Christ. Either that or they were believers who mocked the Pharisee's with a "see I told you so" attitude. In any case this incident didn't win him any favors among the religious elite, although he became more popular in general.

vs 47-48 Here's a verse that shows just how out of touch or how unclear on the concept they were. They admit that he does many signs, but they don't seem to understand the implications of that fact. As for the Romans taking away their place and nation, just the opposite appeared to be the case. Christ was not hostile to the Romans. They were appointed by God to govern Israel much in the same way as the Assyrians and Babylonians had been in the past.  It was in the rejecting of Christ that led to the Romans taking away their place and their nation. In a similar manner today the unbelievers try to blame Christianity for the world's troubles whereas quite the opposite is true.

vs 50-52 And in the same light of God using unbelievers to further his purpose, here we have a high priest was an unbeliever, but whom God used to prophecy of Christ dying for the nation. "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:5,6 The "children of God scattered abroad" refer to the Gentiles who were believers in the God of Israel.

vs 53 Although they had previously had a mind to kill him as John 7:25 indicates, yet now they were going to actually make plans as to how to carry out the murder. They were forming a conspiracy.

vs 54 Despite his new found popularity, he again withdrew due to his perception of the danger. He would be safer in the crowds during the religious festivals. As I pointed out previously Jesus only exposed himself to danger when it was necessary to do so in accordance with his mission. He was not a thrill seeker, foolishly exposing himself to danger for no good reason. Proverbs 27:12 "The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it."

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Aug 15,2020