The Gospel of John 11:11-27 ( Did Jesus’ delay allow Lazarus to die?) – Angelic Wars
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The Gospel of John 11:11-27 ( Did Jesus’ delay allow Lazarus to die?)


 

We continue the Lazarus story at John 11:11-27

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. How do we know that Lazarus was dead when Jesus was first informed of his illness?
  2. Was Martha’s belief that her brother would rise on Resurrection Day a new concept in the Jewish religion?
  3. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” This is a radical departure from Judaism of that day. Why do you think Martha believed in this?



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Rick says April 11, 2024

Rick’s thoughts:

1. How do we know that Lazarus was dead when Jesus was first informed of his illness?

When Jesus arrived at Bethany (outside of Jerusalem), we learned that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. It takes 2 days to walk from Galilee to Bethany. Jesus learned about Lazarus’s illness 2 days before that. Therefore, Jesus did not leave immediately because Lazarus was dead when he first heard of his condition, and the glory of God would be more evident after 4 days of being deceased.

2. Was Martha’s belief that her brother would rise on Resurrection Day a new concept in the Jewish religion?

The Pharisees believed in resurrection after one dies, but not the Sadducees. It is unclear whether the Pharisees believed in bodily (flesh) resurrection. Some say yes, to distinguish them from the Greco-Roman religious beliefs.

3. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” This is a radical departure from Judaism of that day. Why do you think Martha believed in this?

We cannot know why people say what they do, but, Jesus had already proved that he raised the dead. So, one may assume that her belief was grounded from his past miracles.

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