Death of Lazarus - by Jeff Byerley

The Study - John 11:1-37 Death of Lazarus

Many of the chapters in john's Gospel are long.
We felt it best to first study these 37 verses as enclosed.

11:1-6 Jesus delays heading off to the ill Lazarus.

Lazarus means "God is my helper".
The sisters message was simply "Lord, he whom you love is ill".
Their expectation was that Jesus would immediately come to his aid.
But Jesus delayed leaving the Jordan for two days.
Jesus would bring Glory to God by raising Lazarus from the dead.

11:7-16 The Disciples' reactions.

When Jesus announced that he was going to Lazarus, the disciples were afraid.
They knew Jesus had only just escaped being stoned in Judea (Ch.10).
Yet when it is clear that Jesus is going, they join him despite the danger.
Here at least they show true courage.

Jesus points out there is only 12 hours of daylight to walk in.

After that there it is dark and no longer safe to walk.
Various meanings have been attributed to this.
Certainly we must walk in Jesus' light whilst we can in this life.
We should not squander our time and leave things until it is too late.

11:17-27 Jesus says "I am the resurrection and the life".

Jesus makes it clear that a believer has eternal life (v26).
Not even physical death can extinguish this ultimate certainty (v.25).

Martha show exemplary faith.

She sadly reflects that if Jesus had come earlier Lazarus would not have died.
However, she believes that if Jesus wills, a miracle can still happen (v.22).
Martha affirms that Jesus is "the Christ the Son of God, he who is coming into the world" (v.27).

11:28-37 Other Reactions

Mary focuses on Jesus lateness (v.28-32).
Jesus is moved by the mourners' unrestrained wailing (v.33-36).
Some still quietly express criticism at Jesus' delay (v.37).

Our Reflections

Sometimes God's answers are often different to our expectations.
But Jesus is always working for His Father's glory.
So should that be paramount in our lives.
The answers are also the best working out for our good (Rom. 8:28).
God's timing is always perfect, even though we may wish it to be sooner.

Next week we will study the resurrection of Lazarus!
Then we will have a study sleep for two weeks (school holidays).
We will then arise again to meet (the Lord willing).

Persevere in Christ!