2. "It was the Mary who
anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother
Lazarus was sick."
This was the Mary who was to
put expensive, fragrant oil on the feet of Jesus (John 12:3) and she would wipe
His feet with her hair because she loved the Lord.
It was Mary’s brother Lazarus who was sick (see verse 1).
3. "So the sisters sent word to
Him, saying, 'Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.'"
The sisters Mary and Martha
knew Jesus would help them, and they sent someone to tell Him that their brother
Lazarus was sick. Lazarus must have
been a special friend to Jesus, because they called him, “the one whom You
4. "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.'"
A messenger had come to Jesus
and told Him Lazarus was sick. Jesus
told the messenger and his disciples (students) that God did not intent for
Lazarus to end in death at that time. His
sickness had a purpose, which was to bring glory to Jesus Christ, the Son of
5. "Now Jesus loved Martha and
her sister and Lazarus."
How interesting that God the
Son has special friends. Mary and
Martha were close to Him and He loved them very much.
Jesus loves you, too.
6. "So when He heard that he
was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was."
You’d think Jesus would HURRY
to Bethany, when He learned Lazarus was sick.
But instead, He stayed in the place where He was for two more days.
7 Then after this He said to the disciples,
us go to Judea
Finally, after two whole days,
Jesus said to His disciples (students) “Let’s go to Bethany” (which was a
town in the area called Judea).
8. "The disciples said to Him,
'Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there
Jesus’ disciples (students)
were worried. The last time Jesus
went into the area called Judea, the Jewish leaders tried to kill Him by
throwing rocks at Him. They missed
but they might try again.
9. "Jesus answered,
there not twelve hours in the day? If
anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this
There are about 12 hours of
daylight in a day. The people of
that time usually walked around in the daytime (because they could see) but
stayed home at night. They might
fall over something in the dark. Jesus’
disciples (students) wondered what He meant by these words.
People often don’t understand God.
if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."
Jesus was still talking to His
disciples (students), saying that people who walk in the dark will fall, because
they can’t see very well. He was
really talking about the Jewish leaders (verse 8) and meant that the leaders
were in “darkness” because they did not know God.
11. "This He said, and after
that He said to them,
friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of
Jesus was telling His disciples
that Lazarus, their friend, had fallen “asleep.”
If they had been “listening” with the Spirit of God, they would have
understood that the man was dead. But
they were still listening with human understanding only.
12 The disciples then said to Him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will
The disciples did not
understand Jesus, for they thought that Lazarus had just been asleep and they
knew sleep is a good thing for someone who is sick.
Sleep is good but Lazarus was no longer alive.
13. "Now Jesus had spoken of
his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep."
Jesus had been saying that
their friend Lazarus was dead, but His disciples (students) did not understand.
If they had looked to the Holy Spirit of God, they would have understood.
14. "So Jesus then said to them
Jesus finally told His
disciples (students) in plain language: Our
friend Lazarus has died.
I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let
us go to him."
The Lord continued speaking to
the disciples (students) after shocking them with the news that Lazarus had
died. It was actually a good thing,
because they needed to see that Jesus can give us life, even when we are no
16. "Therefore Thomas, who is
called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, 'Let us also go, so that we may
die with Him.'"
Thomas was one of the special
disciples (students) of Jesus. They
called him "Didymus", which means "twin".
He had a twin brother or sister. Thomas
said to the other disciples: "Even
if they kill us in Judea, let's go with Jesus." Thomas
was brave a brave man.
17. "So when Jesus came, He
found that he had already been in the tomb four days."
When Jesus and His disciples
(students) got to the town of Bethany, in Judea, Lazarus had already been dead
and in a tomb (grave) for four days.
was near Jerusalem, about two miles off;"
John the Apostle was the one
who wrote the Book of John, and he wanted to be sure we knew that the town of
Bethany was very near to the City of Jerusalem.
19. "and many of the Jews had
come to Martha and Mary, to console them
concerning their brother."
Lots of the Jewish people in
the area of Bethany, had come to the home of Mary and Martha, to comfort them
because Lazarus their brother, had died. They
were very sad.
20. "Martha therefore, when she
heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the
Martha and Mary heard the news
that Jesus was coming to them and that He was not very far away.
Martha went out to meet Him, but Mary was too upset and she stayed home.
21. "Martha then said to Jesus,
'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.'"
Martha was upset with Jesus.
She had faith in Him and knew that if He had come to Bethany right away,
Lazarus, her brother, would have been healed.
But He did not, and Lazarus had died.
22. "Even now I know that
whatever You ask of God, God will give You."
Martha had a strong faith
(trust) in the Lord. She told Him
she now understood that even after four days in the tomb, Jesus could bring
Lazarus back to life.
23 Jesus said to her,
brother will rise again.'"
Jesus looked at Martha and said
that her brother Lazarus would be brought back to life.
24. "Martha said to Him, 'I
know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.'"
Martha was not happy with
Jesus' words. She wanted her brother
Lazarus to be alive NOW - not only at some time in the future when ALL the dead
will be brought back to life (on "resurrection" day).
25. "Jesus said to her,
am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he
All the dead will be brought
back to life. This happens because
of Jesus Christ. He is LIFE for you
and me. If we trust (believe) in
Him, we will be given LIFE, even if we die for awhile.
The "death" of the body is only temporary for those that
believe in Him.
everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
If we believe in Jesus Christ,
we will never die. Our bodies might
fall away for a time, but we are ALIVE when we trust in Him.
Where it counts we will always be alive when we trust in our Lord.
27. "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.'"
Martha believed in
Jesus. She knew, through the Holy
Spirit of God, that He is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) of God.
He is the One all the world had waited for, since the beginning of time.
28. "When she had said this,
she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, 'The Teacher is here
and is calling for you.'"
Martha was excited and suddenly
ran back to her house in Bethany and told her sister Mary that Jesus ("the
Teacher") was there and was calling for her.
29. "And when she heard it, she
got up quickly and was coming to Him."
Mary heard what Martha had told
her and got up off her couch quickly and went out to meet Jesus.
She saw Martha's excitement and knew something wonderful was about to
30. "Now Jesus had not yet come
into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him."
Jesus had not left the place
where he had talked to Martha. He
was waiting for Mary, and He is also waiting for your and me.
He loves us and is calling to us right now.
31. "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
There were many Jewish people
who were upset that Lazarus had died, and four days later, they were still at
the house of Lazarus' sisters, Mary and Martha.
They saw Mary leave the house quickly, and they followed her, thinking
she was going to Lazarus' tomb (grave).
32. "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.'"
Mary was not going to the tomb
of Lazarus. She was going where we
should go - to Jesus. She fell on
her face at His feet and said the same words her sister had said (in verse 21):
If you had come here quickly, Lord, my brother would be alive!
33. "When Jesus therefore saw
her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in
spirit and was troubled,
Sometimes people cry (weep) and
feel very alone. But note that Jesus
SAW her tears and He CARED for her. He
SEES you when you cry, and just like her, He CARES very much for you.
Your sadness TROUBLES Him because He loves you.
34. "and said,
have you laid him?'
They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.'"
Jesus asked, "Where have
you buried Lazarus?" Bethany
was small and everybody knew where the dead were buried.
Jesus already knows the answer, but will ask you, so that you will answer
Him and take Him to your troubles and fears.
35. "Jesus wept."
This is the shortest and
possibly the best verse in the Bible. It
shows us that Jesus loves us enough to cry when we cry, and care when we are in
need. He loves you and He is touched
by your sorrow.
Verse 36. "So the Jews were saying,
'See how He loved him!'"
The "Jews" thought
Jesus was crying because of His love for Lazarus, and His love for that man was
real. But Jesus' tears were for the
people. He cares when we are sad.
37. "But some of them said, 'Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the
blind man, have kept this man also from dying?'"
The people were upset that
Lazarus had died. They knew that
Jesus had done many miracles, like the blind man who now could SEE!
Most of them did not believe in Jesus, and they wondered, "Why
didn't Jesus come and help Lazarus, the man He loved?"
38. "So Jesus, again being
deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying
Jesus knew what the people were
thinking and He was concerned for them. At
that moment, He got to the tomb (an above-ground grave) of Lazarus.
They had buried him in a cave, and a large, very heavy stone was covering
the door to the tomb.
39. "Jesus said,
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
Jesus told them to take the
large stone away from the entrance to the tomb of Lazarus.
Martha, the sister of the dead man, told Jesus there would be a bad smell
because Lazarus had been dead for four days.
Jesus already knew all that.
40. "Jesus said to her,
I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'"
Jesus had been telling Martha:
"if you believe, you will see the glory of God."
He is telling you the same thing: Believe
in Jesus and you will see His glory. He
did not answer Mary and Martha in the way they expected.
His answers are better than we could think.
41. "So they removed the stone.
Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said,
I thank You that You have heard Me.'"
They followed what Jesus told
them and took the large stone away. Jesus,
God the Son, then spoke (prayed) to God the Father, and thanked Him for hearing
His prayer. Jesus simply stood
there, looked up, prayed, and the Father heard Him.
We do not have to stand, sit or kneel a certain way to be heard by the
42. "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."
Jesus knew that God the Father
always heard His prayers. He thanked
the Father out loud (see verse 41) so that the people listening would
understand. It was important for
them (and you) to see that Jesus was sent by God the Father.
43. "When He had said these
things, He cried out with a loud voice,
Now everybody was listening and
the moment had come. Because of what
would now happen, many would believe in Jesus, God the Son.
He called out, "Lazarus, come out of the tomb!"
If He had not said the name "Lazarus," many others would
have come out of their graves at that time.
44. "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,
him, and let him go.'"
Lazarus had been dead but now
he was alive! He was all tied up in
the clothing placed around him after his death, and he could barely hop, because
so much was wrapped around him. The
people were shocked, but Jesus commanded them, "Untie him, and let Lazarus
45. "Therefore many of the Jews
who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him."
The people did unwrap him.
It was Lazraus! He was alive
again! Jesus had brought him back
from the dead! MANY saw what Jesus
had done and believed in Him, that He is the Son of God, sent to save us from
sin and death!
46. "But some of them went to
the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done."
But some of them, even though
they saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, did not believe.
They went to the "Pharisees" (religious leaders) and told on
Jesus. He had done something
WONDERFUL and they just "tattled" on the Son of God.
47. "Therefore the chief
priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, 'What are we
doing? For this man is performing many signs.'"
The religious leaders met with
each other about Jesus. He had
raised a man (Lazarus) from the dead! This
was incredible, but still most of them did not believe He was the Son of God.
They wanted the people to follow THEM, not Jesus, and so they did not
48. "If we let Him go on like
this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both
our place and our nation."
They (the Jewish religious
leaders) were afraid. Their country,
Israel, belonged to the Roman Empire, and they thought that if Jesus went on
doing good for people and they trusted in Him, the Romans might come and take
away what little they still had.
49. "But one of them, Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year, said to them, 'You know nothing at all,'"
The "high priest" was
a very important man to the Jews and everybody stopped talking when he started
50. "nor do you take into
account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that
the whole nation not perish."
The High Priest wanted to do
terrible things to Jesus (kill Him), and Jesus would die, but not for this man's
wish. Jesus would die for you and
51. "Now he did not say this on
his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus
was going to die for the nation,"
The High Priest thought he was
planning the death of Jesus, and in a way he was.
But it was God the Father that sent Jesus to die for the sins of the
nation Israel. This man, even though
he did not love God, ended up doing Gods will.
52. "and not for the nation
only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of
God who are scattered abroad."
Jesus not only was to die for
the sins of Israel only, but He also was to die for everyone in the world, then
and now - all who will love God.
53. "So from that day on they
planned together to kill Him."
That was the day when the
Jewish leaders really got together and started planning to kill Jesus.
54. "Therefore Jesus no longer
continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the
country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed
with the disciples."
Jesus left the area around
Bethany and Jerusalem and went north to a city called “Ephraim”, which was
named after one of the tribes of Israel
55. "Now the Passover of the
Jews was near, and many went up to
out of the country before the Passover to purify themselves."
The “Passover” was a feast
of the Jews that looked back to the time when the nation Israel was rescued by
God from slavery in Egypt. At
Passover, Jesus would save the whole world from the slavery of sin.
The people were getting ready (“purifying themselves”) for the feast.
56. "So they were seeking for
Jesus, and were saying to one another as they stood in the temple, 'What do you
think; that He will not come to the feast at all?'"
The Jews knew the leaders
wanted to kill Jesus, and they were talking to each other, asking:
“I wonder if Jesus will come to the Passover feast?”
This was all “big news” to them.
57. "Now the chief priests and
the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone
knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they
might seize Him."
The people who would be in the
temple were told that they must report it if they saw Jesus.
The chief priests and Pharisees (religious leaders) wanted to grab Jesus
and kill Him.