11:1 Now 1 a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the a town of Mary and her sister Martha.
(1) Christ, in restoring the rotting body of his friend to life, shows an example both of his mighty power, and also of his singular good will toward men: and this is also an image of the resurrection to come. 11:6 2 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
(a) Where his sisters dwelt.
(2) In that thing which God sometimes seems to linger in helping us, he does it both for his glory, and for our salvation, as the end result of the matter clearly proves. 11:8 3 [His] disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
(3) This alone is the sure and right way to life, to follow God boldly without fear, who calls us and shines before us in the darkness of this world. 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not c twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
(c) All things happen in a proper way and are brought to pass in their due time. 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus d sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
(d) The Jews used a milder kind of speech and called death "sleep", and this same manner of speech is found in other languages, who call the place of burial where the dead are laid waiting for the resurrection a "sleeping place". 11:19 4 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
(4) God, who is the maker of nature, does not condemn natural emotions, but shows that they ought to be guided by the rule of faith. 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall e rise again.
(e) That is, will recover life again. 11:33 5 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he f groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
(5) Christ took upon himself together with our flesh all affections of man (sin alone excepted), and amongst them especially mercy and compassion. 11:46 6 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
(f) These are signs that he was greatly moved, but yet these signs were without sin: and these affections belong to mans nature.
(6) The last aspect of hard and ironlike stubbornness is to proclaim open war against God, and yet it does not cease to make a pretence both of godliness and of the profit of the nation. 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a g council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
(g) The Jews called the council sanhedrin: and the word that John uses is Synedri. 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all [men] will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and h take away both our place and nation.
(h) That is, take away from us by force: for at that time, though the high priests authority was greatly lessened and weakened, yet there was some type of government left among the Jews. 11:49 7 And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
(7) The raging and angry company of the false church persuade themselves that they cannot be in safety, unless he is taken away, who alone upholds the Church. And the wisdom of the flesh judges in the same way in worldly affairs, which is governed by the spirit of giddiness or madness. 11:51 8 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
(8) Christ sometimes turns the tongues, even of the wicked, so that even in cursing they bless. 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that i were scattered abroad.
(i) For they were not gathered together in one country, as the Jews were, but were to be gathered from all quarters, from the east to the west. 11:54 9 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.
(9) We may give place to the rage of the wicked, when it is expedient to do so, but yet in such a way that we do not swerve from Gods calling.