John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 11:2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
Jesus delayed until Lazarus was dead for three days
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. 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 11:6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 11:7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
Christ knew that this illness was for the direct and immediate purpose of demonstrating God’s power and his Messiah-ship; by making it known that HE is the resurrection and the life; the Door of Salvation for humanity. Therefore he waited another two full days so that there would be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Lazarus was truly dead, before going to him.
Lazarus lay dead for three days in the same way that Christ would be in the grave for three full days and three full nights.
Similarly God’s two prophets will lie publicly dead for three and one half full days; so that there will be absolutely NO doubt in anyone’s mind that they are absolutely dead; then when they rise up at God’s call; humanity will know the power of God.
While Jesus loves all people, he also had very close personal friends. His close friends would have been those in agreement with him who loved him and did what he said; who walked together with him in FULL UNITY with Christ the Good Shepherd and God the Father, as Jesus was in total UNITY with God the Father.
Can a man who compromises with Christ’s instructions and with God his Father’s commandments, be a close friend and associate of Christ? NO!
Can people walk together with Christ, if they are not of the same mind? If we refuse his teachings, are we not rejecting the teacher? Consider carefully you who would tolerate sin and refuse the instructions of Christ: For he will reject you, as you have rejected him.
Amos 3:1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt [spiritually; including all those who have been liberated from bondage to sin in the New Covenant], saying, 3:2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
John 11:8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 11:9 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. 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
Christ says that he knows what he must do and that he will not let the fear of any man or group come between him and his duty.
11:11 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. 11:12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
For those who die faithful to God the Father and Jesus Christ; death is but a sleep while awaiting our awakening call. There is no fear of death for those obedient and faithful to Christ the Good Shepherd and God the Father; only the deep peace of absolute trusting faith in God’s Word and promise, that he will raise up those who live by every Word of God and do those things which are pleasing to God.
11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there [to heal Lazarus], to the intent ye may believe [in the resurrection]; nevertheless let us go unto him.
Jesus is glad that he was not there to heal Lazarus before Lazarus died, so that they might see him raise Lazarus from the dead and learn to trust in him to resurrect the dead.
11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
This is a reference to verse eight where they had just escaped from being killed in that city; and Thomas fearing they would succeed in killing Christ wanted to die with his Master.
11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. 11:18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 11:19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 11:20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. 11:21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Martha runs to meet Jesus and communicates her faith to Christ. as Mary mourns her brother
11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
This whole situation of death was allowed by God the Father, to reveal that Christ was the salvation of humanity and could and would raise the dead at their appointed time. Christ knew this, showing that he and God the Father were united in mind and spirit with a full understanding of each other.
11:28 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. 11:29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. 11:30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
11:31 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. 11:32 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.
Mary also says the same thing as Martha when she hears of Christ’s presence and goes out to meet him
11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. 11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 11:35 Jesus wept [at their unbelief].
11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 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? 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
At this point Jesus is moved with deep compassion for the people and for his friend, just as he will raise all the dead in their proper order out of his loving mercies
11:39 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. 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
11:41 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. 11:42 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.
Jesus demonstrates his faith and understanding by thanking God before the fact; and calling out to Lazarus before all the people.
11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 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. 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
Many then did believe, although some would not believe even then. The religious establishment of the day felt threatened and rather than repent they sought ways to fight.
11:46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 11:48 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.
Here the religious leaders reveal their fear; which is for their positions [their places] among the people. They would not repent and follow Messiah lest they be rejected by their peers; and they feared being rejected by the people and overthrown by the Romans, so they fought Christ.
It is the same today, as the religious establishment will not exalt Christ and be faithful to him, repenting of laxity and sin; lest they be rejected by their peers and face trials from worldly society. If they do not quickly repent they shall face a tribulation as these men did in Jerusalem 66 to 70 A.D.
11:49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 11:51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
Caiaphas the high priest then called for the death of Yeshua [Jesus Christ]; fulfilling the prophets concerning Messiah.
11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. 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.
The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread now begin to arrive
11:55 And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.
11:56 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 [of Passover and Unleavened Bread]? 11:57 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.