John 11:1-55 (I am the Resurrection and the Life)


Here in  Ch. 11 – John comes to the 7th sign miracle –

7th and final before the crucifixion

1)Water to wine in Cana of Galilee Ch.2

2)Healing of the Nobleman’s son Ch.4

3) The man at pool of Bethesda  Ch.5

4) Feeding of the 5000 Ch.6

5) Walking on the water  Ch.6

6) Healing of the Blind man in Jn 9


And then this - #7  Raising Lazarus from the dead.


Each of those things Christ is giving a sign – None of them are a miracle in and of themselves

but each one preaches its own sermon – each one is meant to illustrate something.


Jesus elaborates on the purpose of each one – that is John’s theme –

 that is why John says at the end of his gospel


And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; if it was all written the books could not contain them -31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.


So each miracle is the stage for a message for a truth that John is going to illustrate about the Deity of Jesus

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

The Name Lazarus is the Aramaic for Eleazor –which means God is our help – that is a good name for a man who is about to die.


Lazarus of Bethany two sisters – Mary and Martha – they are in the inner circle of Jesus –

they are close friends Jesus spends time at their house


2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. { we will See this in the next Chapter


Matthew and Mark when they wrote about Mary anointing Jesus – they don’t name her –

they wrote during a time when the Church was undergoing persecution – so her name is not given


they tell us that what She did was going to be a memorial for generations but they don’t tell us who she is –


John writing MUCH later – most likely after Mary is dead – He names her –

he tells us who the woman was who anointed Jesus for Burial


3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick."


This is interesting – TAKE note of this, This is  a home in Bethany where Jesus came and rested –

He would stay there they were hospitable to him

Which was no small task – when he came he brought at least 12 guys with him

                           Like thanksgiving every time they came


He loved this family – he was close to this family he was intimately acquainted with this family. Godly home

It is a home where Jesus is welcome BUT there is sickness there.


Lazarus – is sick – and the sisters send message to Jesus – The one that you love is sick – 

They use the word Love here in the Greek – Phileo – the one you are fond of.


Note not the one that loves you –even though that was true – but they say – the one you love is sick


Take note of that because there are those who will wrongly suggest – that if you walk in a close proximity to Jesus – you are going to be free from sickness.

That is false – sickness suffering and death will come to every home – even a godly home.


How can that be – He is the Shepherd who leads us into the Valley of the Shadow of death


Remember Paul’s testimony 2 Cor 4:8-9

8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair ; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed

Paul was not thinking about Suicide here – he had committed suicide a long time ago.


Gal 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.


No what Paul was saying was even when following Jesus – there are Valley of the shadow of death – there are dark times


And Here is a family that Jesus loves and cares about – and yet they are going thru a dark time

Please take courage in that


Now I also think it is worth noting that the sisters don’t prescribe anything –

they know that it is good for Jesus to know – that is good enough – they don’t offer up suggestions as to what he should do. –


“Hurry up Lord and get here so you can put your hand on him”


4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, Those listening might have ran back – hey don’t sweat it this sickness is not unto death – going to be ok

but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." 


5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

Loved is a different word here – Agape – Agapeo – Divine love { This is stronger –

We are going to see Jesus He loves this family with an intense love – and yet he is going to delay his coming


There are households here tonight – with suffering and sickness – He loves you.

Sometimes we go thru these mental gymnastics about why this is happening – God is punishing me – out to get me –


No – God punished Jesus 2000 yrs ago on the cross for all of your sins – He is not punishing you now.

Does he discipline us – yes because he loves us!


His discipline is to correct to restore – not to punish or simply just be mean


So Jesus loves Lazarus with a Divine love and still there is suffering there.

6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.


Now this seems like a contradiction – He hears Lazarus is sick you would think that he would have ran down there – but instead he waited – the Love of God tarrying


The sentence structure here is amazing – he loved them in v. 5 and in v.6 He heard they were sick and waited – WHAT ?


7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."  8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?"

YOU WANT TO GO BACK – are you crazy!


9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?

Now we know that there is 24hrs in a day – he is talking about the light -12 hrs of daylight

If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 

10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." 


To the Hebrews, every day was arranged around a period of daylight and a period of night.

Jesus was telling His disciples, "Don't you realize that a day can't finish until it's over with?


God has prescribed the bounds of My life. By all your concern for My safety, you can't lengthen it for the same reason the rejection of the Jewish leaders can't shorten it.


What have we got to fear? God has fixed the calendar.

Let us live out the day to the fullest because night is coming, during which no man can work (Jn. 9:4).


 Jesus often said, "Mine hour is not yet come" (e.g. Jn. 2:4), referring to the climax of the crucifixion. He knew His time wasn't up yet; He was on a divine time schedule.

11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." 

12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. 


To God a believer is sleeping –

It is as easy for God to wake up a believer as it is for us to wake up our kids for school in the morning –

                                                                     Actually Easier


The believer in the NT is sleeping{ His body- not soul sleep

Not even in the Bible { Elijah went and laid on the widows son – and His soul came back to him- it wasn’t sleeping – it wasn’t there- it was in another realm and came back


Jesus told the story of another Lazarus the poor man who died and also a rich man – the angels came and carried him away – not his body – they carried away his soul.


To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord


Lazarus is sleeping because his physical body is dead.  The real Him is very much alive


The Disciples say – great – He is sleeping let him sleep that is good for sick people –

                                       Jesus speaks plainly – He is dead!

For the unbeliever  Death  is the great end all–all down hill from there.

End of life – end of relationships – end of everything meaningful and worthwhile


Article in World Mag 93% of Americans die in the hospital – talking about how death has been removed from the family environment – how it is so estranged from it


Still Death is the ultimate invader for a family especially one that doesn’t know the Lord –


Still the #1 thing that doctors struggle with – telling a family that their loved one has died.

Or to tell a patient they have a terminal illness –


             Never easy – Never comfortable


It is the #1 fear and struggle in the unbelieving world – and it is painful enough for the believer –

But Paul says we don’t weep as those who have no hope – not a hopeless sorrow


We sorrow for our loss – but there is a hope attached to it – they are in a better place – we are going to see them again


For the believer it is not the end – it is just the opposite it is not the end but the beginning really –

New relationships – can’t wait to sit down with Caleb David Abe Moses – Peter


For us life gets better – stronger fuller richer after death

So as painful as it is we can embrace it a little because we know our loved one has gone to a better place.


So Jesus tells his disciples that Lazarus is dead.


15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Jesus was glad for our sakes as well that He was not there – so that we have this record our faith strengthen

Nevertheless let us go to him." 

16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."


Thomas funny – Eyeore – “let us go that we may die with him” –

Thomas is called the twin but it is interesting that we are never told who his twin is –


 I think the reason might be is because I am his twin – you are his twin – we can be this way too.


Interesting – Thomas is called – Doubting Thomas – but here he is DEVOTED Thomas –

None of the other disciples said let us go with him so we can die with him. They don’t say it but Thomas does –


But he is just the  negative Disciple – There are some Christians like that – Eyeore Christians –I  don’t like Eyeore’s

I would rather be like a Child – Naively trust the Lord

V.17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany [Bethany = House of Grace] was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.


Imagine the scene – Martha – serving one – she was probably in charge of the funeral arrangements –

Mary is more contemplative – she wondering – where was Jesus and what Now.


House is full of Mourners – Custom -


20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. [Evidently had not heard He was coming ]

21 Now Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.


She had been thinking this for more than 4 days – she had been thinking this before he died –

“When is he going to show up – We sent the message – days ago ? – Lord you heal other people what about us? We are your friends.”


You bless everyone else – but what about us – please get here Lord please – and after Lazarus dies –


She is even more distraught – If only He would have got here – There is a hint of disappointment in his voice.


This is hard because Mary and Martha had witnessed to people in their community – told people about Jesus –

how they believed that He was the Messiah – encouraged others to follow him – seek him –


Told about the miracles – but now when they are in need of a miracle –

He is no where to be found – they sent for him and he didn’t come.

Sure they were disappointed – sure they were struggling


V.22 IS remarkable

22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."

What is she saying – Is she saying Lord I believe that you can raise the dead? – I don’t think so – because – when


Jesus says move the stone she says Lord by now – He stinks it has been 4 days –


23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 

24 Martha said to Him,"I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."


She is in that place of struggling between theology and reality.

Ever struggle with that – I know what the Word says Lord – I have my theology down –


But everything in my reality is saying something different – I can struggle WITH THAT BIG TIME

Martha is struggling there – between theology and reality and that is what makes what Jesus says – so Beautiful and powerful


25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 


Martha I am the Rez – The very Principle of Rez is in me

The Principle of Rez Life is in me –

Resurrection isn’t coming Martha – No I am the Resurrection


This the 7th of His I am statements – of Deity


DO you believe this ?– That question separates – those who believe and those who don’t believe – those who have hope and those who don’t believe –


So Martha do you believe this

27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."


Martha is struggling here – but at the same time she is starting to hope

V.28And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you."


29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there."  

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, [You can tell these sisters had been talking]"Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."


Mary falls down at his feet –

There is a lesson here in Mary every time we see here she is sitting at the feet of Jesus


In blessing we find Mary at His feet – but also in times of difficulty –


There is a consistency that here with Mary-

 In the next chapter we will see HER in Devotion at His meet – here we see her in MOURNING – at his feet


33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.


Groaned in the same word is the same word for indignation when in gospel the disciples tried to keep the kids from coming to him and he was filled with anger – indignation


The word troubled carries the idea of being distressed.


Jesus sees this scene – the Last time Jesus saw Mary was in Luke 10 she was at his feet – drinking in deeply from his word – as he spoke and there was a great sincerity in her eyes


But now those eyes are filled with despair – with sorrow – He groans over it / his heart is troubled.

34 And He said, "Where have you laid him?"

They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept.

Shortest verse in the Bible – yet so power packed Jesus wept


We find him weeping in Lk 19 over Jerusalem – that is audible – he is convulsing

But it is different word that is used here – It says in Gethsemane that He wept –


Different word – speaks of tears bursting forth- that is the word used here- tears start to flow

It is evident enough that the people respond 36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"


But He is not weeping for Lazarus – He is going to wake him up –

He is weeping because of the effects of Sin and death – what it does to humanity – it wasn’t supposed to be this way.


He weeps over the repercussions of sin

And He looks at the pain in your life – he looks at what you are going thru right now –

He weeps he gets indignant inside and troubled – because He loves us.


He gets angry in the same way that we would if someone was hurting our Children

Here he is weeping over the repercussions of Sin that brings death –


We don’t know how to handle death – not wired that way - We search for answers – how to handle the loss – and it doesn’t come –


We don’t know what to say – death is a foreigner it is an invader – it has no right to us.


Jesus weeps as he looks at the pain that these people are going thru –


He never laughs – isn’t that interesting –

Never recorded in the Bible Jesus laughing –


Although I believe he did – Liked celebrations – but it never records him laughing – why?

 I think if it had said in one place that Jesus laughed it would have separated him from someone


Every celebration there is someone who is suffering


But when it says that He weeps it KNITS HIM to us

It Knits Him to our broken hearts


37 And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?"

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. 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."


Sounds funny but that is the point – He stinks – that is the point –

this is not Jairus and his daughter that have been dead for an hour or so Time – she was fresh –


We are used to watching ER they get one that fresh – put the paddles on them – Boom – Clear when they are that fresh

the widow of Nains son – he was fresh –


Lazarus was dead 4 days – already buried

There are certain things that happen to a body that has been dead that long –


With in a certain amount of hrs rigormortis sets in everything begins to stiffen up –

but then because of the things that are dying in the body everything begins to loosen again

All of the blood separates into a clear serum and all of the corpuscles all of the sandy stuff in the body settles toward the body – so that there is just this clear fluid


The whole top of the body is if he is laying on his back has turned a Yellowish white –

the whole back of his body is a bluish purple because everything is sinking to the bottom


The abdomen is all swollen because of gases as it much of the rest of the body


The eyes have sunk back down to nothing all of the soft organs have melted –

This is dead – this is the whole point of the passages he stinks – He is rotting


But that is what makes this so wonderful in relationship to what happens here.


40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"  41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."


Talking out loud for the sake of those who were listening –


43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"

Puritans writers – hadn’t said his name Lazarus the who graveyard would have come forth


Now you have to understand the command is imperative – Come forth – Here now or front and center


Understand he is not talking loud so that Lazarus can hear him where Lazarus is you would have to yell a lot louder than this –


He is in another dimension –

He is talking to a personality who has not lost his personality but is on the other side in another realm still the same person still alive just in another place


Abraham’s bosom -  Saints of old – the Lord -


Now he is being called back to his rotting body

Lazarus was probably thinking –

What I am being called back – I am going to kill whoever asked Jesus to do this


In an instant when he called him back it is total regeneration – Complete – rez – Lazarus comes out – faster than most of us get up in the morning !


 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go." 


Loose him – this is what the calling is for all of us

People dead in Sin – Set free – let lose !


45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

Rez produces faith

46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said,"What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation."

49 And 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 expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish."

51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.


Prophesies and doesn’t know it


53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.