The Gospel of John V - Lesson 6

                     The Resurrection of Lazarus                                  John 11:1-57

  1. THE SICKNESS NOT UNTO DEATH (John 11:1-10)
    1. The Sickness of Lazarus (John 11:1-2)
      1. The city of Lazarus (John 11:1) – Bethany
        1. On the backside of the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1)
        2. The home of Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6)
      2. The family of Lazarus – Mary and Martha (John 11:1; Luke 10:38-42)
      3. The identity of Mary (John 11:2; John 12:1-3)
    2. The Message of his Sickness (John 11:3)
      1. The sisters sent for Jesus.
      2. The sisters appealed to His love for Lazarus.
    3. The Purpose of his Sickness (John 11:4)
      1. For the glory of God (John 11:4; John 9:3)
      2. For the glory of the Son of God (John 11:4)
      3. For the benefit of the disciples (John 11:14-15)
      4. For the benefit of Martha (John 11:21-23)
      5. For the benefit of Mary (John 11:32)
      6. For the benefit of the Jews (John 11:45)
      7. To reveal Christ’s power of resurrection (John 11:25-26)
    4. The Delay of Christ’s Response (John 11:5-6)
      1. A delay of love (John 11:5; cp. 2 Corinthians 7:8-10)
      2. A delay of two days (John 11:6)
        1. Jesus was beyond Jordan (John 10:40), probably two to three days journey from Bethany.
        2. When He arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four days (John 11:17, 39).
        3. Therefore, Jesus would not have arrived before his death (humanly speaking) even if He had left immediately.
        4. The leisurely pace of Jesus in coming to Bethany:
          1. Demonstrates the confidence of the One who knew all things and could do all things. He, who knew all things and who did all things well, never needed to get in a hurry.
          2. Prepares the scene for a greater miracle. There was less chance for accusation of simple swooning and recovery after four days.
    5. The Return to Judaea (John 11:7-10)
      1. The danger of returning (John 11:7-8)
      2. The daytime ministry of Christ (John 11:9-10)
        1. The twelve hours of the day (John 11:9)
        2. He who walks in the day (John 11:9; Ephesians 5:8, 14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8)
          1. He does not stumble (1 John 2:10).
          2. He sees the light of this world.
        3. He who walks in the night (John 11:10)
          1. He stumbles (Proverbs 4:18-19).
          2. There is no light in him (Luke 11:34-35).
  2. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS DEATH (John 11:11-16)
    1. The Sleep of Lazarus (John 11:11)
      1. Sleep is a biblical synonym for the death of a believer (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).
      2. This and similar passages do not teach soul-sleep (that the soul sleeps, or has no conscious knowledge of its existence from the time of death until the time of resurrection). See 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:21-24.
      3. The sleep of the believer is a picture of several things:
        1. The peacefulness of their death (John 11:12-13; 1 Corinthians 15:6, 18; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
        2. The temporary nature of their death (Mark 5:39-42; 2 Peter 3:4)
        3. A change in state that does not destroy the identity of the person (1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 5:10)
    2. The Misunderstanding of the Disciples (John 11:12-13)
    3. The Explanation of Jesus (John 11:14-15)
      1. Lazarus is dead (John 11:14).
      2. The death of Lazarus is good (John 11:15).
        1. Because of the temporary absence of Christ
        2. Because of the opportunity to increase the faith of the disciples
    4. The Misunderstanding of Thomas (John 11:16)
      1. He thought that Jesus referred to following Lazarus in death.
      2. He proclaimed his willingness to follow in death also.
  3. THE COMFORT GIVEN TO THE FAMILY (John 11:17-27)
    1. The Comfort of Friends (John 11:17-19)
      1. Four days after his death (John 11:17)
      2. Fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem (John 11:18) – that is, about two miles
      3. Many Jews were there to comfort Martha and Mary (John 11:19; Romans 12:15).
    2. The Comfort of Christ’s Presence (John 11:20-22)
      1. The reaction of the sisters (John 11:20)
        1. Martha went to meet Jesus.
        2. Mary sat still at home.
      2. The reasoning of Martha (John 11:21-22)
        1. The presence of Jesus would have kept Lazarus alive (John 11:21, cp. John 11:32, 37; John 4:49; Luke 8:49).
        2. The absence of Jesus does not destroy her faith in Him (John 11:22); this does not mean that she anticipated the resurrection of Lazarus at this time. She was simply affirming that the loss of her brother did not cause her to turn away from Christ.
    3. The Comfort of the Resurrection (John 11:23-27)
      1. The promise of Jesus (John 11:23) – “Thy brother shall live again.”
      2. The understanding of Martha (John 11:24) – at the last day
      3. The declaration of Jesus (John 11:25-26)
        1. His identity as life (John 11:25)
          1. As the life (John 1:4; John 14:6)
          2. As the resurrection
            1. For Himself (John 10:17-18)
            2. For believers (John 6:40; John 14:19)
        2. His offer of life (John 11:25)
          1. An offer to the dead (Ephesians 2:1, 4-6)
          2. An offer through faith (John 20:31)
          3. An offer to life (John 10:10; Romans 8:11)
        3. His power in life (John 11:26)
          1. A life of faith (Romans 10:8-10)
          2. A life in Christ (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:9-10)
          3. An everlasting life (John 5:24)
      4. The faith of Martha (John 11:26-27)
        1. The challenge of Christ (John 11:26)
        2. The confirmation of Martha (John 11:27)
          1. He is the Christ.
          2. He is the Son of God.
          3. He is the One who should come into the world.
  4. THE COMPASSION OF THE SAVIOUR (John 11:28-37)
    1. The Call for Mary (John 11:28-30)
      1. Martha sent for Mary (John 11:28).
        1. She sent secretly; this shows us that Mary is a picture of the private life of the believer.
        2. The Master is come.
        3. The Master calls for you.
      2. Mary responded to the call (John 11:29).
        1. She heard the call.
        2. She arose quickly.
        3. She came to Jesus.
        4. Note: Mary did not come when she heard the news that Jesus had arrived (John 11:20). She evidently took the absence of Jesus at the time of crises as a rejection by Him (John 11:32). Therefore, she waited until He personally called before she came to Him (John 11:29). She did not yet understand that God sometimes does His greatest work at times when we do not sense His presence.
      3. Jesus had not yet entered the town of Bethany (John 11:30).
    2. The Weeping of Mary (John 11:31-32)
      1. The Jews rose up to follow Mary to the grave (John 11:31).
      2. Mary fell down to worship at the feet of Jesus (John 11:32).
      3. Mary voiced her struggles with the ways of her Lord (John 11:32).
    3. The Weeping of Christ (John 11:33-37)
      1. The compassion of Christ (John 11:33-34)
        1. He saw the weeping of Mary and the Jews with her (John 11:33).
        2. He groaned in the spirit and was troubled (John 11:33).
        3. He asked to see the tomb (John 11:34).
      2. The love of Jesus (John 11:35-37)
        1. He wept at the sight of the tomb (John 11:35).
        2. The Jews recognized His love for Lazarus (John 11:36).
        3. The Jews realized that He could have healed Lazarus (John 11:37).
  5. THE MIRACLE OF RESURRECTION (John 11:38-44)
    1. The Command to Remove the Stone (John 11:38-41)
      1. Their obedience requested (John 11:38-39) – “Take ye away the stone.”
      2. Martha’s objection answered (John 11:39-40; Hebrews 11:1).
      3. Note: believing is seeing.
    2. The Command to Come Forth (John 11:41-44)
      1. The prayer of Christ – 37 words (John 11:41-42)
        1. The prayer of Elijah – 63 words (1 Kings 18:36-38)
        2. The warning against vain repetitions (Isaiah 1:15; Matthew 6:7)
      2. The command of Christ (verse 43) – “Lazarus, come forth.”
      3. The obedience of Lazarus (John 11:44, 25; John 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
    3. The Command to Loose Him (John 11:44) – “Loose him, and let him go.”
      1. He was alive but bound.
      2. He needed help from others (Romans 15:1-2).
      3. Note: these three commands are instructive in how God uses man. Jesus commanded the Jews to do the things they could do: remove the stone and loose him. But Christ directly accomplished that which only He could do.
      4. Note: this is a picture of how to reach the lost for Christ. We remove the stone. That is, we are to remove those obstacles that keep the dead man from Jesus. Then, Jesus must give life. Finally, we will find that the newly saved still have many grave clothes wrapped around them. We must work to help them remove these things that hinder their Christian walk.
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 13:2

A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.