The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stri... Read more
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
<< Habakkuk 3:18Habakkuk 3:19Zephaniah 1:1 >> Read less
Vs 5 This verse is an imported piece of background information that John (the writer) gives us so that we understand the close relationship between Je... Read more
Vs 5 This verse is an imported piece of background information that John (the writer) gives us so that we understand the close relationship between Jesus and the 3. This was not a family who came to Him by offchance. They knew Him as a loving friend. They knew Him - so would have known His walk - they would have known how He healed the sick and had performed many niracles before. SO of course they were hopeful that He would come to heal their brother whom He knew and loved.
Why wouldn't He? Read less
Vs 3 Jesus knew of Lazarus sickness!
We know He could heal - the sisters would have known first hand of the miracles He had performed. So they must ... Read more
Vs 3 Jesus knew of Lazarus sickness!
We know He could heal - the sisters would have known first hand of the miracles He had performed. So they must have been filled with a hope that He would save their brother who we are told in verse 5 He loved. Why wouldn't He?
Vs 4 - He is talking to the disciples here. Not to the sisters. At this point He is calling on the 12 to trust and obey in Him. He is giving their clear instructions and is clarifying the reason why He held back 2 days. FOR GOD'S GLORY and that He will be Glorified in this.
Vs 5 At this point His decision to stay is not making sense to anyone! He loved Lazarus. John the writer adds this background information that the reader can be sure to know the relationship between Him and the family. It was a personal and special relationship based upon mutual 'love'. They were not strangers to Him. They were not people who He had just met. They were friends who loved each other. So His decision to stay does not make any sense to the human thinking. Emphasised by the next word -
Vs 6 YET!
He stayed 2 more days! Imagine the womens' reaction. They must have questioned why He chose not to come immediately! They must have questioned His love for them! They must have been bitterly disappointed in Him.
It would be so easy to judge them and their lack of faith as onlookers reading this story. But wouldn't we have reacted in the same way? Wouldn't we give up on Jesus? Wouldn't we lose sight of God and His promises - His love? Their loved one dying before their eyes and the only HOPE they had in him being healed was Jesus who chose not to perform a miracle at this time!
Vs 7 - 8
Then He suddenly announced that they should go back to Judea (about 2 miles from where Mary etc lived in Bethany), but at this point there is no mention of going to Lazarus! Just as they had, in their minds, His Disciples had worked out a possible reasoning for Him to delay going so (that there were those ready to kill Him back there).
The Jews consider one day in terms of light so a day would be just 12 hrs long until the sun had set! Jesus was using this understanding of the natural with the sun in the horizon not being as yet set to suggest what is before Him. In context the Disciples had just reminded Him of those wanting to kill Him! His response was that He was walking by the light of which he sees is before him. He was very aware of the plot to kill Him (John 10:39) and He knew His purpose to go to them and not avoids it;.
So He is saying that as yet it was day with him, His time of life was not yet expired, and walking in the light he had work to do; He did not fear any danger He was was walking into. He knew the time of darkness had not yet come - His time was not yet.
This one speach a powerful reminder of His sovereignty and His control over all things including His own death. Even though men may plot it they were just working out as tools His plan!
Verse 11 - 13
The Disciples are still confused! They are still not sure why He is insisting on going to His certain death! It does not make sense to go to Lazarus who is fine really (in their eyes). He is sleeping which is a good sign. Sleeping aids the healing of the sick. They believe it is a good sign! So why risk your life to go to him now!
Vs 14 SO He tells them plainly - in no uncertain terms, so they could not have any doubt or misunderstanding. LAZARUS IS DEAD!
And then He clearly outlines the reason why He did not go to heal him in sickness. It was for their sake! That they might see His sovereign power over all things (sickness, time and death) and believe.
It is doubting Thomas who speaks up! Mt 10:3; Jn 14:5; 20:24-28; 21:2; Ac 1:13 In faith He leads the others to all go and clearly He understands what it is Jesus is saying. They are not going on another ordinary trip to heal the sick - they are going to Jesus death and their great suffering. They will share in His suffering.
At this point the disciples eyes are being opened to the Truth of Jesus' mission.
John 11:17 - ver 6 and 39. Repetition in Scripture is always for a purpose. The readers are meant to take note and see that Lazarus was dead. No doubt. He was not just sleeping. He was dead. He had been dead for 4 days to emphasize the fact. There was no waking of this man.
Vs18 - 19 For the Jews mourning the dead was and still is today a HUGE thing which could go on for months. People from all around would gather to share in the mourning with the family. There would be professional mourners hired to wail over the grieving. It would be a very busy and noisy time - an open and very public display of grief and despair. This is what Jesus would have found had he gone to the house. So He waited for the sisters to come to Him. ver 31; Job 2:11
Martha went to Jesus but Mary stayed at home. Lk 10:38-42 We do not know why Mary stayed at home. Maybe in the noise and the confusion of the Public Mourning she did not hear of Jesus' arrival.
Vs 21 ver 32,37
The sisters each say this same statement at different times. Clearly it is something that is weighing on their minds. Why did their friend Jesus not come sooner to save Lazarus? In their grief they had to feel some hardness and somewhat confused about this. They had to question Jesus' love at least - His loyalty as a friend? They did not doubt that He could have saved their brother - they knew Jesus and knew of the hundreds of miracles He had performed.
vs 22 ver 41,42; Jn 9:31 So why did He choose not to save their brother? Martha knows even now He only had to turn to God and Lazarus would be risen from the dead. So she already believed he could raise him from the dead.
Da 12:2; Jn 5:28,29; Ac 24:15
Martha is struggling to understand. She is clinging on by a thread to her faith in Him but is no longer 100% certain. She is confused. She is grieving. She is asking why? As we all who have truly loved will in the emotions of mourning a loved one and in our deepest sorrow of loss. Fear; Anger; Resentment; Confusion; She is looking for answers. She is looking for reassurance. Her whole life in the death of her brother has been torn apart - everything she held dear she seemed to have lost. Jn 6:39,40
Vs 25 - 27
John 11:26 - Jn 3:15
John 11:26 - Mt 25:46
John 11:27 - Lk 2:11
John 11:27 - Mt 4:3; Mt 16:16
John 11:27 - Jn 6:14
Jesus reminds her of who He is. He offers her comfort in leading her gently back to her faith in Him. He does not revoke her for questioning Him. He simply tells her "I am." Reassuring her of the truth in what she believed. That is our HOPE too. He is the great "I am".
We are allowed to question Him in times of trouble. He wants us to turn to Him and be real with Him. He knows us better than we know ourselves so to hide the reality of our thoughts is fruitless and not only that it shows a lack of faith and trust in Him. Adam and Eve could not hide from God - no more can we! He wants a relationship with us intimate and close and trust - in full submission of self.
He will not rebuke us when we question Him! Rather He welcomes us with open arms in unconditional love. And He will gently lead us back to our source of HOPE that we have in Him - in His resurrection and in His Spirit that lives in us today. He will use His Word to convice us - the Truth who He is - to bring us back.
No condemnation. Just LOVE because that is who He is! We may not fully understand Him BUT He asks that we trust Him and Believe He is the Son of God, the Messiah, who is the resurrection and the LIfe!
Vs 27 Martha believed. In this one wee statement of belief - a declaration of faith - it is like a weight has been lifted from her. She questions Him no more. She follows His instructions - we are not directly told that Jesus asks for her sister to come BUT in verse 28 we see her immediately getting up and going to her sister to tell her that The Teacher is asking for her.
Martha went to Jesus seeing Him as her friend and walked away seeing Him as her Teacher. The intimate relationship of friend to friend that she entered into this discourse with had changed at that moment - she immediately left knowing Jesus as her Lord and Master. She recognised HIS authority over her and His sovereign power over all things. He is THE Teacher - not a teacher, like each of the Pharisees.
She went to a friend and left with her Messiah! So when she went to her sister she was in awe and in obedience of Him.
It was still a personal and intimate relationship that she had with HIm but in that moment it had changed - it had stepped up a notch! It had become more intense and more real.
She went to Mary in secret - she told her in private of His presence! There seems to be a greater intimacy in this act. Her relationship with Christ was her own to be shared with her sister alone. We do not know what He had instructed her - it was not directly reported here in this chapter BUT we know instructions had followed her confession to Him in verse 27 because of her words here in vs 28 "and is asking for you".
The immediacy of this verse is clear. Her obedience made apparent in the immediacy of her action. Maybe she realised that there was no time to waste. Maybe she went with hope in her heart that He was going to perform a miracle and raise her brother. Immediacy usually means action. Something was about to happen and there was no time to waste.
V2 28-29 Mary's response carries that immediacy into her own actions. She quickly goes to Jesus. There is no hesitation. There seems to be very little conversation between the sisters. Mary knew what it was she should do. When Mary heard this she got up quickly and went to Him. There is a feeling of obedience here. She did not argue it or mull over His request for her to come. She did not go to Him as a friend. She went to Him as her Lord. She went to Him as her Master. Grieving of course! Angry perhaps! Confused, definitely. BUT she went to Him believing that He was the Messiah - THE Teacher! She went in obedience without hesitation. So she went in faith, trusting Him. She went with Hope in her heart!
Vs 31 - she did not leave in secret. She did not go discreetly! The people around her noticed the urgency with which she left and they followed her. They were still acting out the role of professional mourners so assumed that she was going in her grief to the tomb. It was natural that as hired wailers and mourners that they would follow her! It would have been customary for them to remain with the mourning sister, and there is no indication that she instructed them otherwise.
Vs 33 By this point Mary was probably completely oblivious to the people around her. All she saw was her Lord before her and she fell to her knees in an act of humility and worship before Him. A demonstration of obedience and reverence. At that point she was completely in awe and overwhelmed by His majesty.
Throughout Scripture falling to the knees is a mark of worship - when confronted with God in all His majesty, we will simply be overwhelmed that we fall to our knees. Philippians Ch 2: 9-11 in fact says that EVERY man (believer or not) WILL fall upon their knees when he/she comes face to face with HIM.
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Mary's reverent act of bowing before Jesus is as much a confession of Him as Christ (Messiah), the Son of God who has come into the world, as was Martha's words in vs 27.
And then she spoke the very same words that her sister had said to Jesus before - but the tone was different. She spoke bowing before Him as Lord. She spoke in awe making known that she recognised His sovereign power over ALL things, including her brother's death!
Did she understand why? NO! But her's was not to understand but to see that God is in control.
She did not say these words accusing Jesus (unlike her sister). It was just a mere confession before her Lord and Master. SHe went to Him as THE Teacher not as her friend (which He still was), as seen is HIs response to her obedience before HIM and her grief.
Vs 35 Jesus wept! To see why He wept we have to look at the verse before - to see what it was that brought Him to this show of emotion.
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved34 in spirit and troubled.35 34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
We have to keep these verses in context. Verses 33-34 tells us what finally broke Jesus and drove Him to weep!
It was when He saw Mary weeping in grief for the passing of her brother - the hired wailers and mourners weeping and wailing with her, a reminder of her loss and her grief in mourning. It was at that point that He became deeply moved in spirit and he became troubled! He became troubled because even though He knew He would come to wipe away the sister's tears soon He hated that they should go through this pain now. He was full of the mixed emotions that grief brings, along with perhaps a little frustration that the women in their grief are holding onto the thought that He could have prevented such pain!
In reading these verses we have to remember the fully human nature of Jesus at this point. Grieving a lost one is a natural human emotion which He could not deny because He was FULLY man.
We see this also in John Ch 12:27 when He prays in the flesh to His Father, knowing the anguish He is about to experience, to be delivered from this sufffering. For that split moment He feels and fears as a man. Also in John 13:21 when He has to confront the very real emotions of a man about to be betrayed by a friend! Even though as God He knew this was all part of His Father's necessary plan to save mankind, He still felt the fully human emotions of hurt and betrayal.
This is difficult for our human minds to fully grasp - how can He possibly be both FULLY man and FULLY God. But just because we do not understand does not give us the right to reduce Jesus to mans' perception and thinking.
When we profess that we truly believe in Him we acknowledge that we believe in Him in faith and in trust knowing that He will always be the mystery before us as we walk with Him through life on earth. He will give us more and more of a glimpse of His holy character as our relationship grows but there will always be more to know of Him that we have not yet grasped.
SO we see Jesus fully man in these verses. Emotions were flooding over Him as He came to terms with the friends that He loved hurting so greatly, mourning the loss of their brother whom He too loved. Love hurts! Jesus is experiencing the very real hurt of losing a loved one, seeing His loved ones broken in their grief before His eyes as they walk with Him to the tomb where the decayed, stinking, unrecognisable body of their loved one lies.
Vs 36 and 37. The reaction of the many onlookers around is an important detail. "He wept" and some recognised such is this man's humanity - His love and compassion for His loved ones. They did not see Him as God!
There were also those who question who this man Jesus really is. They are still trying to deny Him and they are trying to catch Him out as even a man of God. They try to reduce Him to their own limited and faithless human understanding.
Yet another warning to us that we should not try to do the same. We must not box Jesus in to our own limited wisdom. He cannot be boxed into anything!
He is about to prove them all very wrong (just as He proves us wrong over and over again when we think we have Him summed up).
He is about to perform a miracle - a miracle that could only be of God. In this act He is about to declare to all around and beyond that this man Jesus who weeps and mourns the dead TRULY is God! He is THE Resurrection and THE Life (vs25). They are about to witness this in action.
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Isaac and Abimelech king of the philistines in gerar, isaac said rebekah was his sister, was caught caressing her, confronted, rest of ppl told to sta... Read more
Isaac and Abimelech king of the philistines in gerar, isaac said rebekah was his sister, was caught caressing her, confronted, rest of ppl told to stay away, became powerful, moved away, made a treaty with abimelech Read less