John 11: Resurrection of Lazarus

Who was Lazarus?

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John 11:1–2 A man named Lazarus lived in Bethany, where his sisters, Mary and Martha, lived. He was sick. This is the same Mary who later anointed Jesus with expensive perfume and wiped his feet with her hair.
King James
John 11:1–2 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

How did Mary and Martha know where Jesus was? Who took the message?

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John 11:3–4 The two sisters sent word to Jesus, saying, “Sir, your dear friend Lazarus is sick.”
When Jesus received the message, he said, “The purpose of his sickness is not to cause his death but to bring God glory, that the Son of God may be exalted.”
King James
John 11:3–4 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Who heard Jesus’ message about God’s purpose for Lazarus’s sickness? How comforting were those words?

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John 11:4 When Jesus received the message, he said, “The purpose of his sickness is not to cause his death but to bring God glory, that the Son of God may be exalted.”
King James
John 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Why didn’t Jesus leave for Bethany the moment he received news about Lazarus?

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John 11:5–8 Although he loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and had heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. After that, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”
“Why?” they said. “Not long ago, the Jewish leaders tried to stone you, and you want to go there again?”
King James
John 11:5–8 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

How did walking in twelve hours of daylight explain to the disciples why Jesus needed to leave now?

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John 11:9–10 “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks during the day, he can walk safely because he has the sunlight. But if he walks at night, he stumbles because there is no light with which to see.”
King James
John 11:9–10 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

Why did Jesus say Lazarus was asleep instead of saying he was dead?

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John 11:11–15 “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, and I must go to wake him.”
The disciples said, “Sir, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better.” They thought Lazarus was resting comfortably.
But Jesus meant he had died, so he had to tell them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. I am glad I was not there. This is good for your sake, so you will believe. Let’s go to him.”
King James
John 11:11–15 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. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

Why did Thomas think it was suicide to go to Bethany?

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John 11:16 Thomas, the one called Twin, said to the others, “Sure, let’s go too. We can all die with him.”
11:18 They were only a couple of miles from Jerusalem,
King James
John 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
11:18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

Did Jesus already know Lazarus had been dead for four days, before anyone told him? Why?

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John 11:17 At Bethany, Jesus learned that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days.
King James
John 11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

What made Lazarus so important that many Jewish leaders came to mourn his death?

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John 11:18–19 They were only a couple of miles from Jerusalem, so many of the Jewish leaders had come to the house of Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.
King James
John 11:18–19 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

How did Martha learn that Jesus was coming? Why did Martha run to meet him, but Mary did not?

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John 11:20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she ran to meet him, but Mary stayed at the house.
King James
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.

Why did Martha think her brother didn’t have to have died? Did she resent Jesus not coming sooner? Why?

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John 11:21–22 “Sir,” Martha said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died, but nevertheless, I know God will give you whatever you ask of him.”
King James
John 11:21–22 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

Why didn’t Mary believe Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead?

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John 11:23–24 “Your brother will rise to life.”
“Yes, I know,” she said. “He will rise to life in the resurrection at the last day.”
King James
John 11:23–24 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

How does believing in Jesus keep people from dying? What did Martha believe about eternal life?

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John 11:25–27 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even if they have died, and those who are living and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, sir. I know you are the Messiah, the son of God, who was to come into the world.”
King James
John 11:25–27 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Why did Martha need to tell her sister in private that Jesus was coming? Why did Mary leave to see Jesus then, when she didn’t go before?

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John 11:28–30 Martha went home and talked to her sister privately. “The Teacher is coming, and he is asking for you.”
Immediately Mary went to him.
Jesus had not yet entered the town, but was waiting at the same place where Martha had met him.
King James
John 11:28–30 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

Who was present when Mary fell at Jesus’ feet?

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John 11:31–32 In the house, the Jewish leaders who had come to provide comfort saw Mary rush out, and they followed. They assumed that she was headed to the tomb to mourn.
When Mary arrived, she fell at Jesus’ feet. “Sir, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
King James
John 11:31–32 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

If Jesus knew that he would raise Lazarus from the dead, why was he crying? With so many other crying, why did Jewish leaders say Jesus must have a great love for Lazarus?

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John 11:33–36 As Jesus saw her crying and saw the Jews also crying, he was deeply distressed in his spirit. “Where have you laid him?”
“Sir, come and see,” they said.
Jesus started crying.
Seeing him, the Jewish leaders said, “My, how much he loved him.”
King James
John 11:33–36 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

Why did the Jewish leaders think Jesus could have prevented Lazarus’s death?

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John 11:37 Some of them said, “He healed the blind man. Surely he could have kept this man from dying.”
King James
John 11:37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

What was the reason for Jesus being deeply moved as he approached the tomb?

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John 11:38 Again deeply moved, Jesus came to the tomb, a cave with a stone covering the entrance.
King James
John 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

When did Martha leave the house to see Jesus a second time? What did her faith have to do with the resurrection of her brother?

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John 11:39–40 “Take away the stone.”
“But sir,” Martha said, “he has been dead four days. By now, his body stinks from decay.”
“Didn’t I say, if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
King James
John 11:39–40 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

Why did the Father always hear Jesus? If that was true, why did he need to shout, “Lazarus come out”?

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John 11:41–43 When they removed the stone from the entrance, Jesus looked toward the sky and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I say this so others around me may believe you have sent me.” With a booming voice, he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
King James
John 11:41–43 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

Being dead, how did Lazarus hear Jesus command?

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John 11:44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with grave clothes, a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”
King James
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

What were the feelings of those who freed Lazarus from his grave clothes?

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John 11:44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with grave clothes, a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”
King James
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

How many of the unbelieving Jewish leaders changed their minds after seeing the resurrection? How many did not?

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John 11:45–46 Many of the Jewish leaders believed because they had been with Mary and saw what Jesus did, but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what had happened.
King James
John 11:45–46 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

What was the purpose of the council meeting? Who was present?

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John 11:47–48 The chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the council. “What shall we do?” they said. “This man is performing many miracles. If we allow him to continue, everyone will believe in him. The Romans will take away our authority and destroy our nation.”
King James
John 11:47–48 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

Why was the high priest inspired to prophesy?

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John 11:49–52 Caiaphas, the high priest, said, “You do not understand what must happen, for God is saying one man must die for the people so the whole nation will not be destroyed.” He spoke, not as a man, but as the high priest, prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation, not just for those in Israel, but for the gathering of all God’s children scattered abroad.
King James
John 11:49–52 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

Compared to other times, what was different about this decision to kill Jesus?

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John 11:53 From that day on, the council planned to kill Jesus.
King James
John 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

Where was the town of Ephraim? With Jesus being so popular among the people and considering how rapidly news could spread, how could he be safe, even in a desolate town?

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John 11:54 Therefore, Jesus no longer appeared publicly among the Jews but went to a desolate town called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
King James
John 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

At Passover, what percentage of the people were from foreign countries? Why were people asking whether Jesus would be in Jerusalem?

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John 11:55–57 With the Jewish feast time approaching, many people from around the country went up to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. Looking for Jesus, they stood in the Temple and said to one another, “Do you think he will show up or not?” The chief priests and Pharisees had given orders for anyone who saw Jesus to let them know. Then they could arrest him.
King James
John 11:55–57 And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.