Hey friends! Welcome to my little Bible study here on the blog. If you’re new, this is just a place where I write out any notes, thoughts and/or revelations that come to me when reading my Bible. My hope is that this would help you to understand the word more, encourage you to spend alone time with Jesus, and just have a space where we can come together as a community in this little corner of the internet. If you have any notes of your own on this passage, leave them in the comments so we can study together ☺️ If you want more faith talk, listen to my podcast (The Good Good Podcast) on iTunes, Spotify, etc!
John 11 – The Raising of Lazarus
11 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”
4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days. 7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” 8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”
9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world.10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” 11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” 12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” 13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.
14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”…17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. 18 Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, 19 and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. 20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” 25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” 29 So Mary immediately went to him.
30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him.31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
This story is so powerful in so many different ways. Raising someone from the dead is arguably one of Jesus’ most awe-inspiring miracles performed while here on earth. But that’s not even the entire point of the story.
Imagine being Mary and Martha. They came to Jesus, who they trust and believe in, to tell Him that their brother is sick. Jesus looked them in the eyes and said that “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” Okay, I imagine it’s pretty easy when the person you believe is the Son of God looks you in the eyes and says that your brother will not die from his sickness. Then, imagine what it felt like a few hours later when their brother takes his final breath. I don’t know about you, but I feel like it would be pretty easy to be filled with anger, doubt and resentment. “How could He lie to me? Is He really who He says He is? Does He even love us? Why would He allow us to feel such pain?” – these are only a few of the thoughts that come to mind.
But did they loose their faith/trust in Jesus? No. The Bible says when Jesus came to see them – and keep in mind this was four days later; four long, heart breaking days that allow plenty of time for doubt to creep in – Martha said “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Even now, after her brother died when Jesus said he wouldn’t, she believes God is good. I want that kind of faith. I want the kind of faith that, even when it looks like Gods promises weren’t kept, I’m not filled with anger, but instead with hope in knowing that God is still good. I want the kind of faith that when things seem unfair, I don’t turn against God, but I turn to God.
Another part of the story that I loved was when Jesus saw Mary. It says that “Jesus saw her weeping” and then “a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.” Shortly after it says that Jesus himself wept too. God sees us weeping. He sees us when we’re hurting. He sees us when it feels like everything is crumbling beneath us. He sees us when we’re crying in our bedroom at midnight. When life seems so unfair and we feel so alone. We’re not alone, He is with us.
And does he just sit back and watch while you’re in pain? No. When he hurt, He hurts. Jesus was filled with a “deep anger” when he saw His daughter crying and he even wept for her. When you cry, Jesus cries for you. No matter what you’re going through right now, you’re not alone. God sees your heart and he knows what you’re going though. And the best part? He makes all things good. He will use whatever you’re going through and make something good come from it. No matter how bad it may seem.
Then it’s time for the miracle. Jesus walks to the tomb, thanks God for listening to his prayers and commands Lazarus to get up. Do you think it was an accident that Jesus let Lazarus die that day? That he waited four days to let the finality of death really set in? Not a chance. If you remember at the beginning of the story, Jesus said that Lazarus’ sickness “happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”
Jesus let Lazarus die so the people could see that death really has no power. If you keep reading John, you’ll see that this miracle brought so many people to Jesus – the word spread that He raised a man who was dead for four days and so many people came to believe. Mary and Marthas situation, although it seemed unfair and painful at the time, was used for something so much greater than themselves. It brought countless people to Jesus. To show them, and us now today, that death has absolutely no power over God. And I don’t know about you, but I want to be like Mary and Martha who believed in Jesus even before the miracle. Who believed just because of who Jesus is, not because of what he did.
I hope you guys liked this little Bible study! If you have any thoughts on this story or prayer requests, leave them down below. I hope you guys have the best day! 💕