Lazarus’ Death and Resurrection
54 total verses: John 11:1-54
Brief description of action taking place or point being made
200 and 201. Lazarus of Bethany reported sick in John 11:1-6
202. Jesus prepares 12 to go to Judea in John 11:7-16
203. Arrives near Bethany, 2 days later in John 11:17-18
204. Martha meets Jesus in John 11:19-29
205. Mary comes to Jesus in John 11:30-37
206. Jesus comes to the tomb in John 11:38
207. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead in John 11:39-44
208. Unbelievers report to Pharisees in John 11:45-46
209. Conspiracy to kill Jesus in John 11:47-53
210. Jesus goes to Ephraim in John 11:54
1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?
Specific questions on this passage
After Completing the Bible Reading
Broader outline of each section of passage
John 11:1-6. Jesus was a good friend of the siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. So when Lazarus became very ill, the sisters sent for Jesus, because they wanted Jesus to heal Lazarus. Jesus says that the sickness does not lead to death. Jesus stayed 2 more days where he was before he started his journey to Bethany, where the siblings were located.
John 11:7-16. Jesus tells his disciples that they will go to Lazarus. They misunderstand Jesus, because he told them that Lazarus was sleeping. They took it literally, but Jesus used that phrasing to indicate that Lazarus had died. The fact that earlier he said that the illness does not lead to death seems to be a contradiction to what he is now saying. But Jesus seems to have something up his sleeve, because in verse 15, he says, “‘I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe'” (ESV).
Furthermore, the disciples are scared to go, because they got chased out of that area (Bethany is near Jerusalem) just a short while before, and they believed that to return could easily lead to death for Jesus, and them, too.
John 11:17-18. When Jesus arrived, he found out that Lazarus had been in the tomb already for four days.
John 11:19-29. When Martha heard that Jesus had arrived, she went to meet him. When she saw him, she told Jesus that if he had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Jesus tells her that Lazarus will rise, and she thinks Jesus means at the resurrection on the last day. But Jesus says that he is the resurrection, and asks Martha if she believes that — and she does. Then she went to tell Mary that Jesus had arrived.
John 11:30-37. When Mary heard that Jesus had arrived, she got up quickly and went to meet him. All of the mourners who were with her decided to follow her. When she saw Jesus, the first thing she said was the same thing that Martha had said — that if he had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Jesus was moved by all of the weeping, and he himself wept.
John 11:38. Jesus went with them to the tomb.
John 11:39-44. Jesus tells them to roll the stone away from the tomb, which was a cave in which they had laid Lazarus. Martha objects, because Lazarus has been dead for four days, and there should be a nasty odor. But Jesus insists, and they do it. Then Jesus gives thanks to God for having heard his prayer, and then he commands Lazarus to come out, and Lazarus does! He tells the people to unbind him from his grave clothes.
John 11:45-46. Because of this miracle, many who saw it believed in Jesus, but others went and told the Pharisees.
John 11:47-53. The Pharisees called together the council to discuss the problem, because they thought everyone would believe in Jesus, and in their minds this would result in the Romans destroying the nation. Then Caiaphas the high priest prophesied something that was from God, even though he himself did not believe in Jesus. He said that it is better that Jesus would die than the whole nation perish. God’s meaning was that Jesus would die for the Jewish people, and not for them alone, but all those faithful people everywhere. So the council made plans to kill Jesus.
John 11:54. Jesus kept a low profile from that point onward, not teaching openly where the religious leaders could get to him.
My favorite passage and other random thoughts
For my favorite, I chose John 11:25-27 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world'” (NIV).
While the part that Jesus said is packed with meaning, the part I like the most was Martha’s reply (the “she” in the text). Martha was clearly a woman of faith! This is perhaps the richest and most complete confession of who Jesus was that we read in the entire Bible. It is a shame that most people remember her as the woman that was so busy serving Jesus that she didn’t take time to listen to Jesus. But that was just a mistake that we all could make. The truth is, this lady really new who Jesus was and treasured him.