Tuesday, July 22, 2014

John Chapter 11, I Am the Resurrection and the Life...

Continuing in the Book of John. . .

"Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair,  whose brother Lazarus was ill.  So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill,"  But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death.  It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."  The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?"  Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.  But if anyone walk in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."  After saying these things, he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him."  The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."  Noe Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.  Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you my believe.  But let us go to him."  So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, the many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.  So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.  Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."  Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."  Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?"  She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."

When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."  And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.  When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  Now when Mary came to 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."  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.  And he said, "Where have you laid him?"  They said to him, "Lord, come and see."  Jesus wept.  So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"  But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?"

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb.  It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, "Take away the stone."  Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days."  Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"  So they took away the stone.  And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me."  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazaurs, come out."  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.  So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, "What are we to do?  For this man performs many signs.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."  But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all.  Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish."  He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.  So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephriam, and there he stayed with the disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.  They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think?  That he will not come to the feast at all?"  Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him."  John 11, ESV

Explanation for John 11:1-57; John 11:1; John 11:4; John 11:14-15; John 11:25-26; John 11:27; John 11:49; John 11:50; John 11:51; John 11:52; John 11:53.  From The MacArthur Study Bible pages 1563-1566.

"11:1-57  As ch. 11 begins, Jesus stands in the shadow of facing the cross.  The little time that he had in the area beyond the Jordan (cf. Matt. 19:1-20: 34; Mark 10:1-52; Luke 17:11-19:28) would soon come to an end.  John picked up the story (John 11:55-57) after he moved back into the area of Jerusalem, and his death on the cross was only a few days away.  In those last few days before his death, the scene in John's Gospel changes from hatred and rejection (10:39) to an unmistakable and blessed witness of the glory of Christ.  All the rejection and hatred could not dim his glory as displayed through the resurrection of Lazarus.  That miracle evidences his glory in three ways; 1) it pointed to his deity; 2) it strengthened the faith of the disciples; and 3) it led directly to the cross (12:23).  The chapter can be divided as follows: 1) the preparation for the miracle (11:1-16); 2) the arrival of Jesus (vv. 17-36); 3) the miracle itself (vv. 37-44); and 4) the results of the miracle (vv. 45-57)."

"11:1 Lazarus.  The resurrection of Lazarus is the climactic and most dramatic sign in this Gospel and the capstone of Jesus' public ministry.  Six miracles have already been presented (water into wine [2:1-11], healing of the official's son [4:46-54], restoring the impotent man [5:1-15], multiplying the loaves and fishes [6:1-14], walking on the water [6:15-21], and curing the man born blind [9:1-12].  Lazarus's resurrection is more potent than all those and even more monumental than the raising of the widow's son in Nain (Luke 7:11-16) or Jairus's daughter (Luke 8:40-56) because those two resurrections occurred immediately after death.  Lazarus was raised after four days of being in the grave with the process of decomposition already having started (John 11:39).  Bethany.  This Bethany is different from the other "Bethany across the Jordan" in 1:28 (see note there).  It lies on the east side of the Mount of Olives about 2 miles from Jerusalem (11:18) along the road leading toward Jericho.  Mary. . . Martha.  This is the first mention of this family in John.  John related the story of Mary's anointing of Jesus in 12:1-8, but this reference may indicate that the original readers were already familiar with the event. Cf. Luke 10:38-42."

"11:4  the Son of God may be glorified.  This phrase reveals the real purpose behind Lazarus's sickness, i.e., not death, but that the Son of God might be glorified through his resurrection (cf. v. 4; see note on 9:3)."

"11:14-15  The resurrection of Lazarus was designed to strengthen his disciples' faith in him as the Messiah and Son of God in the face of the strong Jewish rejection of him."

"11:25-26  This is the fifth in a series of seven great "I am" statements of Jesus (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7,9; 10:11, 14).  With this statement, Jesus moved Martha from an abstract belief in the resurrection that will take place "on the last day" (cf. 5:28-29) to a personalized trust in him who alone can raise the dead.  No resurrection or eternal life exists outside of the Son of God.  Time ("on the last day") is no barrier to the One who has the power of resurrection and life (1:4) for he can give life at any time."

"11:27  She said to him.  Martha's confession is representative of the very reason John wrote this inspired Gospel (cf. 20:30-31).  See Peter's confession in Matt. 16:16."

"11:49 Caiaphas.  Caiaphas became high priest c. A.D. 18, being appointed by the Roman prefect Valerius Gratus.  His father-in-law was Annas, who had previously functioned in that same position from c. A.D. 7-14 and who exercised great influence over the office even after his tenure (see 18:12-14).  Caiaphas remained in office until A.D. 36 when, along with Pontius Pilate, he was removed by the Romans.  He took a leading part in the trial and condemnation of Jesus.  In his court or palace, the chief priests (Sadducees) and Pharisees assembled "and plotted together to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him" (see Matt. 26:3-4)."

"11:50 one man should die for the people.  He only meant that Jesus should be executed in order to spare their own positions and nation from Roman reprisals, but Caiaphas unwittingly used sacrifical, substitutionary language and prophesied the death of Christ for sinners. Cf. 2 Cor. 5:21 and 1 Pet. 2:24."

"11:51 he prophesied.  Caiaphas did not realize the implications of what he spoke.  While he uttered blasphemy against Christ, God parodied his statement into truth (cf. Ps. 76:10).  The responsibility for the wicked meaning of his words belonged to Caiaphas, but God's providence directed the choice of words so as to express the heart of God's glorious plan of salvation (Acts 4:27-28).  He actually was used by God as a prophet because he was the high priest and originally the high priest was the means of God's will being revealed (2 Sam. 15:27)."

"11:52 gather into one the children of God.  In context, this had reference to believing Jews of the dispersion who would be gathered together in the Promised Land to share the kingdom of God (Isa. 43:5; Ezek. 34:12).  In a wider sense, this also anticipated the Gentile mission (see John 12:32).  As a result of Christ's sacrifical death and resurrection, both Jew and Gentile have been made into one group, the church (Eph. 2:11-18)." 

"11:53 from that day on.  The phrase indicates that their course of action toward Jesus was then fixed.  It remained only to accomplish it.  Notice that Jesus was not arrested to be tried.  He had already been judged guilty of blasphemy.  The trial was a mere formaltiy for a sentence already passed (Mark 14:1-2)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  Thank You for Your sacrifical death and resurrection.  That those who believe in You should have eternal life.  This is just so nice.  I wish people could see how lovely, awesome and wonderful You are.  I pray that the truth found only in Jesus would touch the hearts of those who do not believe--so that they may believe and have eternal life. I pray for wisdom.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.


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