The Death of Lazarus 11 1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of l Mary and her sister Martha. 2 m It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, n he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, o “This illness does not lead to death. It is for p the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now q Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus 1 was ill, r he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, s “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, t “Rabbi, u the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, v “Are there not twelve hours in the day? w If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But x if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not x in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus y has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 z So Thomas, called the Twin, 1 said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, a that we may die with him.” I Am the Resurrection and the Life 17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb b four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles 1 off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary c to console them concerning their brother. 20 d So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to e Jesus, “Lord, f if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, g God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 h Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in i the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, j “I am the resurrection and k the life. 1 Whoever believes in me, l though he die, m yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me n shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; o I believe that p you are the Christ, the Son of God, q who is coming into the world.”
11 1 ῏Ην δέ τις ἀσθενῶν, Λάζαρος ἀπὸ Βηθανίας, ἐκ τῆς κώμης Μαρίας καὶ Μάρθας τῆς ἀδελφῆς αὐτῆς. 2 ἦν δὲ Μαριὰμ ἡ ἀλείψασα τὸν κύριον μύρῳ καὶ ἐκμάξασα τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς, ἧς ὁ ἀδελφὸς Λάζαρος ἠσθένει. 3 ἀπέστειλαν οὖν αἱ ἀδελφαὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγουσαι• κύριε, ἴδε ὃν φιλεῖς ἀσθενεῖ. 4 ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν• αὕτη ἡ ἀσθένεια οὐκ ἔστιν πρὸς θάνατον ἀλλʼ ὑπὲρ τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα δοξασθῇ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ διʼ αὐτῆς. 5 ἠγάπα δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν Μάρθαν καὶ τὴν ἀδελφὴν αὐτῆς καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον. 6 ὡς οὖν ἤκουσεν ὅτι ἀσθενεῖ, τότε μὲν ἔμεινεν ἐν ᾧ ἦν τόπῳ δύο ἡμέρας, 7 ἔπειτα μετὰ τοῦτο λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς• ἄγωμεν εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν πάλιν. 8 λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί• ῥαββί, νῦν ἐζήτουν σε λιθάσαι οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, καὶ πάλιν ὑπάγεις ἐκεῖ; 9 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς• οὐχὶ δώδεκα ὧραί εἰσιν τῆς ἡμέρας; ἐάν τις περιπατῇ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, οὐ προσκόπτει, ὅτι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου τούτου βλέπει• 10 ἐὰν δέ τις περιπατῇ ἐν τῇ νυκτί, προσκόπτει, ὅτι τὸ φῶς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν αὐτῷ. 11 Ταῦτα εἶπεν, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο λέγει αὐτοῖς• Λάζαρος ὁ φίλος ἡμῶν κεκοίμηται• ἀλλὰ πορεύομαι ἵνα ἐξυπνίσω αὐτόν. 12 εἶπαν οὖν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτῷ• κύριε, εἰ κεκοίμηται σωθήσεται. 13 εἰρήκει δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς περὶ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ, ἐκεῖνοι δὲ ἔδοξαν ὅτι περὶ τῆς κοιμήσεως τοῦ ὕπνου λέγει. 14 τότε οὖν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς παρρησίᾳ• Λάζαρος ἀπέθανεν, 15 καὶ χαίρω διʼ ὑμᾶς ἵνα πιστεύσητε, ὅτι οὐκ ἤμην ἐκεῖ• ἀλλʼ ἄγωμεν πρὸς αὐτόν. 16 εἶπεν οὖν Θωμᾶς ὁ λεγόμενος Δίδυμος τοῖς συμμαθηταῖς• ἄγωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς ἵνα ἀποθάνωμεν μετʼ αὐτοῦ. 17 Ἐλθὼν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εὗρεν αὐτὸν τέσσαρας ἤδη ἡμέρας ἔχοντα ἐν τῷ μνημείῳ. 18 ἦν δὲ ἡ Βηθανία ἐγγὺς τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων ὡς ἀπὸ σταδίων δεκαπέντε. 19 πολλοὶ δὲ ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐληλύθεισαν πρὸς τὴν Μάρθαν καὶ Μαριὰμ ἵνα παραμυθήσωνται αὐτὰς περὶ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ. 20 ἡ οὖν Μάρθα ὡς ἤκουσεν ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἔρχεται ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ• Μαριὰμ δὲ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ ἐκαθέζετο. 21 εἶπεν οὖν ἡ Μάρθα πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν• κύριε, εἰ ἦς ὧδε οὐκ ἂν ἀπέθανεν ὁ ἀδελφός μου• 22 [ἀλλὰ] καὶ νῦν οἶδα ὅτι ὅσα ἂν αἰτήσῃ τὸν θεὸν δώσει σοι ὁ θεός. 23 λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς• ἀναστήσεται ὁ ἀδελφός σου. 24 λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ Μάρθα• οἶδα ὅτι ἀναστήσεται ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ. 25 εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς• ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἀνάστασις καὶ ἡ ζωή• ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ κἂν ἀποθάνῃ ζήσεται, 26 καὶ πᾶς ὁ ζῶν καὶ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ οὐ μὴ ἀποθάνῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. πιστεύεις τοῦτο; 27 λέγει αὐτῷ• ναὶ κύριε, ἐγὼ πεπίστευκα ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐρχόμενος.
I AM the resurrection and the life Intro This is part 1, and we'll cover part 2 (Lazarus being raised) next week. NB clear transition now away from revealing the Father in the world, to revealing self to disciples. Nurturing their faith and speaking 'plainly' with them. eg v15. Whereas 'unbelief' has been a theme of 1-10, 'belief' is a theme of 11-21. Chapter 11 is the final lever which switches over to definite death for Jesus. Because of his love for his friend. We can relate to Martha's honest question when we suffer: why, Lord? Why did you let this happen when you could have stopped it? 'Life' is a key theme here, along with belief: life is the knowledge of God as our Father, through Jesus his Son (cf 17.3). 1. Jesus deliberately delays going to his sick friend Lazarus, out of love (v1-16) Bethany, archeological evidence of a man named Lazarus, and a Mary and a Martha. v3 the one you love. v4 for the glory of God/that the Son of God may be glorified. I.e., the Father's glory is shown as the Son's glory is revealed. v5-6 one of the must surprising phrases in the NT. He loves Martha, and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he....stayed two days longer. Bit more emphasis in Greek; then indeed he remained where he was two days. Why? We are invited to reflect and learn. v7-8 Let us go to Judea again (where he knows death threats await). Hence his disciples' question. v9-10 mini parable; there is still yet time before the cross for the works the Father has given him. Hence v11, let's go to Lazarus. v11 he's fallen asleep. The timeline matters. Lazarus is sick, and Jesus waits 2 days and then knows that he has died. It's then a four day journey, so by the time he arrives Lazarus has been dead for 4 days (as v17 says). There was a Jewish tradition/superstition at the time that the spirit of a dead person hovered over the body for 3 days before leaving. Jesus is thus showing that he definitively gives resurrection (this is not a resuscitation story). If he left two days earlier, Lazarus would have been dead for 2 days and possibly the miracle dismissed as resuscitation. v12 if he has fallen asleep he will be saved/healed - literally. Do they accept this in the future resurrection sense, as Martha does? No; v13 makes clear they thought he slept. Perhaps they were keen to find a reason not to go to Judea again? v14 Jesus told them confidently/plainly ( which is precisely the term the Jews had asked him to speak with them in last week's passage - 'plainly') v15 the logic here; I am glad in order that you may believe, that I was not there. You will see my glory as a consequence, and you will believe and find life, and Jesus rejoices at his people's faith in him. v16 Thomas: in order that we may die with him. Allegiance to Jesus, recognising the cost of discipleship . 2. Jesus gives life to those who believe in his name (v17-27) 2 miles from Jerusalem. v20 so; presumably she heard Jesus was en route from the crowds of Jews. v21 we relate to this question in our grief. Why?! You could have stopped this from happening? v22 sincere, wonderful, embryonic faith. v23 who on earth would say something like this? v24 a clear Jewish hope - cf Isaiah and Daniel. v25 and Jesus says that he himself is that long-awaited reality: I AM the resurrection and the life. NB the distinction between 'life' and 'resurrection': the one who believes in me, even though he dies he will live [ resurrection from physical death], and all who live and who believe in me should not (emphatic double negative in Greek) die) into the age (i.e., true, eternal life already now, and forever, uninterrupted by physical death). Do you believe this? Martha in this interchange is the proof of what Jesus is in that very moment promising. She believes Jesus, and has life and resurrection (v27, and cf 20.31). v27 what a massive statement. Key line in the book. NB the names she (a woman, grieving at terrible loss) gives Jesus. Yes LORD, I believe (perfect) that you are the CHRIST, the SON of God, who is COMING INTO THE WORLD . (cf John 20.31 - she has life through his name). Glory of God . He is glorified as his Son's glory is shown. He is shown as life itself and resurrection itself, as well as giver of life and resurrection. FCF . Death. H1 . It is the elephant in the room, the core dysfunction which controls everything. Our desperate attempt to add value to ourselves or protect ourselves, control others and cover our shame. H2 . We talk about eternal life and sing about it, yet still desperately fear death and do not experience true life before death. Person of Jesus. He is the resurrection and the life. He is the good friend who loves us and therefore leads us into hard and perplexing things in order to show us his glory and satisfy us in him. He shows the glory of the Father. Work of Jesus . He is the true friend who will willingly give his life for his friend. He goes down into death (the extreme of separation from the Father) in order that we might have life now, before death, and eternal life beyond the grave. Union with Jesus. Those who believe will live, though they die. And those who believe enter into eternal life never to die again. Invitation . Will you believe it today? Confrontation . Will you confront the reality of your death and turn to Jesus? Consolation . Will you accept the Lord's comforting wisdom in the midst of your pain, and allow him to nurture your faith? Wrap up : Jesus' love towards his people, leads him to surprising, mysterious providences, since his loving purpose is to nurture our faith, since knowing and loving him as he truly is really is our greatest good. He nurtures our faith, since through beliving him we receive life. Eg verse 5-6 . And his providence works lovingly to all of his people involved. This is about Lazarus, but more about Mary and Martha and the other Jews, and in particular his disciples.