Notes: November 15, 2009

The Raising Of Lazarus

Yes, Jesus could have prevented the death of Lazarus. But then we would not have witnessed the resurrection.

John 11:38-57

The Event (V. 38-44)

  • Lazarus’ body was laid in a cave/tomb; it was not buried in the earth and covered.
  • When Jesus asked for the stone “door” if the cave to be moved aside, Martha protested that after four days surely the body would stink (v. 39).
  • Nonplused, Jesus reminds her to believe and see the glory of God.
  • Then he prays, for the benefit of those witnessing the proceedings.
  • With a loud voice, Jesus calls Lazarus from the tomb; and Lazarus, still wrapped in a long burial cloth, ambles forth from the dark.  Before others can say anything, Jesus instructs that Lazarus be set free from the grave clothes.

The Effect (V. 45-57)

  • Many of the mourners believed on Jesus. Wouldn’t you?
  • Some of the witnesses reported the miracle to the Pharisees. (Were they being snitches, or were they trying to persuade the Pharisees to believe?)
  • Upon learning of this miraculous raising of the dead, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered in council to discuss what to do with Jesus.
  • The miracle was public and well-attested. The fearful Jews could not deny it.
  • Some expressed concern that the popularity of Jesus would lead to rebellion against Rome—which the Romans would not tolerate. Especially were they concerned that the Jewish leaders would lose the privileges that Rome had granted them.
  • Caiaiphas, the high priest, spoke prophetically that Jesus’ death would be the salvation of the nation. Historically, it wasn’t for another 40 years that the Romans destroyed the nation of Israel.
  • Who understood that the death of Jesus would be for the salvation of Jews and Gentile alike?
  • Acting on the counsel of the high priest, the council undertook, in earnest, plotting the death of Jesus.
  • Jesus withdrew from public ministry in Judea.
  • The upcoming passover stirred speculation about whether Jesus would return to Jerusalem. (Of course he would!)