The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus
1Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from #Two cities named Bethany are mentioned in the NT. This one is located on the east side of the Mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho; the other city is “Bethany across the Jordan” (1:28) in Perea.Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, he [our brother and Your friend] whom You love is sick.” 4When Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death; but [on the contrary it is] for the glory and honor of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” 5Now Jesus loved and was concerned about Martha and her sister and Lazarus [and considered them dear friends]. 6#The delay by Jesus was to assure everyone that Lazarus was truly dead, as the context which follows makes clear.So [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed in the same place two more days. 7Then He said to His disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), the Jews were only recently going to stone You, and You are [thinking of] going back there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours [of light] in the day? Anyone who walks in the daytime does not stumble, because he sees [by] the light of this world. 10But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.” 11He said this, and after that said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him.” 12The disciples answered, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13However, Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was referring to natural sleep. 14So then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15And for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Then Thomas, who was called Didymus (the twin), said to his fellow disciples, “Let us go too, that we may die with Him.”
17So when Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb #Jesus purposefully stayed away for four days after Lazarus’ death. The Jews believed the soul hovered around the body for three days during which there was still hope. After four days all hope was gone.four days. 18Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away; 19and many of the Jews had come to see Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning [the loss of] their brother. 20So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. 21Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give to You.” 23Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise [from the dead].” 24Martha replied, “I know that he will rise [from the dead] in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “#The fifth of the memorable “I am” statements. See note 6:35.I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies; 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me [as Savior] will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed and continue to believe that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God, #The Coming One was a Messianic title.He who was [destined and promised] to come into the world [and it is for You that the world has waited].”
28After she had said this, she left and called her sister Mary, privately whispering [to her], “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” 29And when she heard this, she got up quickly and went to Him.
30Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him. 31So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her, saw how quickly Mary got up and left, they followed her, assuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came [to the place] where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was #In Greek this term suggests an emotional indignation or sternness. Jesus was angry at the sorrow caused by death. It occurs four more times in the NT in reference to Jesus’ words or His feelings. See Matt 9:30; Mark 1:43; John 11:38; 13:21.deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled, 34and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus wept. 36So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him [as a close friend]!” 37But some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the blind man’s eyes, have kept this man from dying?”
38So Jesus, again deeply moved within [to the point of anger], approached the tomb. It was a cave, and a boulder was lying against it [to cover the entrance]. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days! [It is hopeless!]” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe [in Me], you will see the glory of God [the expression of His excellence]?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes [toward heaven] and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42I knew that You always hear Me and listen to Me; but I have said this because of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You have sent Me [and that You have made Me Your representative].” 43When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44Out came the man who had been dead, his hands and feet tightly wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and release him.”
45So then, many of the Jews who had come to [be with] Mary and who were eyewitnesses to what Jesus had done, believed in Him. 46But some of them went back to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
Conspiracy to Kill Jesus
47So the chief priests and Pharisees convened a council [of the leaders in Israel], and said, “What are we doing? For this man performs many signs (attesting miracles). 48If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our [holy] place (the temple) and our nation.” 49But one of them, #High priest from a.d. 18-36. Annas, his father-in-law, was officially high priest only from a.d. 7-14, but he exercised great influence and power during the term of Caiaphas.Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year [the year of Christ’s crucifixion], said to them, “You know nothing at all! 50Nor do you understand that it is expedient and politically advantageous for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51Now he did not say this [simply] on his own initiative; but being the high priest that year, he [was unknowingly used by God and] prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52and not only for the nation, but also for the purpose of gathering together into one body the children of God who have been scattered abroad. 53So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
54For that reason Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but left there and went to the district that borders on the uninhabited wilderness, to a town called Ephraim; and He stayed there with the disciples.
55Now the Passover of the Jews was approaching, and many from the country went up to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves [ceremonially, so that they would be able to participate in the feast]. 56So they were looking for Jesus as they stood in the temple [area], and saying among themselves, “What do you think? Will He not come to the feast at all?” 57Now the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it so that they might arrest Him.
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