Free Bible Commentary
“John 11:1-44”Categories: 50 Days with Jesus
“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer 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, the Jews were just now seeking 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. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.’ This He said, and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.’ The disciples then said to Him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.’ Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.’ Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.’ So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; 1and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary [stayed at the house. Martha then said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.’ When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, ‘See how He loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?’ So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Remove the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.’ When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’”
---End of Scripture verses---
“‘This sickness is not to end in death…” (verse 4) While it is true that Lazarus actually died, that was not the end of the story for him. Jesus intentionally delayed for two days before going to Bethany so that Lazarus would die, but He only did so to set the stage for the most magnificent manifestation of His glory to His followers and His detractors alike by raising him from the dead! Of course Lazarus eventually died a second time because no physical earthly life can endure for very long. But If we believe in and lovingly obey Jesus, we will “live even if” we die, “and everyone who lives and believes in” Him “will never die” (verses 25-26). Jesus “is the Resurrection and the life” (verse 25) and He proved it with this astounding miracle. If we faithfully devote our lives to His teaching we can completely trust that physical death will not be the end of the line for our eternal spirits, and that we will live in glory with Him forevermore.
“If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” (verses 9-10) The Lord spoke these encouraging words to His disciples to assure them that they had no reason to fear the Jewish leaders and their malicious threats as long as they were with Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the world and if we walk with Him daily we have nothing to fear from the intimidation and reproaches of men, even if we should lose our lives in the process. To walk with Jesus is to walk the only true path of spiritual illumination. To choose the path of sin and separation from God is to walk in the darkness of uncertainty, fear and death. “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) Only by walking in the light of His love can we “have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Please read Matthew 21:1-11 for tomorrow – Jesus returns to Jerusalem.
Have a blessed day!