Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Friday, June 15, 2012

John 11 (day 361)

Blogging through the book of John

Chapter 11

(John 11: 1-3) A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 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. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

I think it's very interesting to think of Jesus' friends. We think of him as God's Son so much, and of course he is, but I find the human part of fascinating (if you haven't noticed lol).

So, Lazarus was sick. Actually, he was already dead by the time Jesus got the message, and he already knew it. He also already knew that bringing Lazarus back from the dead would be the miracle that would make his disciples truly believe. It's one thing to turn water into wine, it's another to raise a four day dead man from the dead.
(John 11:4-8) 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.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus,  he stayed where he was for the next two days.  Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”  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?”

Jesus loved these three people very much. They were like family to him, and it still took him four days to answer their cries. When we don't get a prayer answered right away, we get upset and wonder where is Jesus? Jesus proves here that he might not answer when we want him, but he answers when its best. Just think of all of the people who believed in Jesus because he waited to bring Lazarus back instead of healing him before he died? He answered their cries at just the right time. What a good reminder for us all...

(John 11:9-11)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.  But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

The disciples didn't understand. They thought if Lazarus was sleeping then he must be getting better.... But....
(John 11:12-15)The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.
 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.  And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

Jesus knew his time was running out, and he also knew that his disciples still didn't believe fully. For them to fully understand, they would have to see an amazing miracle. Bringing Jesus back from the dead would be that miracle.

(John 11:16) Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”

The disciples didn't think they would get out of Judea alive since the last time they went, people tried to stone Jesus, but they went anyway. Sure they were scared, but they went where Jesus went.

(John 11:17-22)When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem,  and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

Bethany was only 3 miles from where Jesus was. He could have easily walked it in a day. I'm sure when Martha saw him coming four days later, she wondered what had held him up. She believed so much that she knew if he had of been there, he wouldn't have died. But Jesus was going to show her something beyond her wildest imagination.

(John 11:23-29) Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
“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.”  Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him.

Martha thought Jesus was talking about the last day when all the dead will rise. She never imagined that she would ever see Lazarus in her earthly days again. They knew Jesus did miracles, but they had no idea he was even more powerful than death.

(John 11:30-32) Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him.  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.  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.”

It was obvious by the number of mourners that Lazarus' family was very influential. This gave Jesus another opportunity to show who he really was. There were lots of people around to witness this miracle. Jesus knew what he could and would do, but the people had no idea. It bothered him that they woudln't think he could bring Lazarus back.
(John 11:33-37) 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. “Where have you put him?” he asked them.
They told him, “Lord, come and see.”  Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!”  But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
This has the shortest verse in the Bible. Then Jesus Wept. This proves to us that Jesus feels emotions. He feels our pain, our happiness, our suffering. He understands becuase he's been there. He's felt the same emotions we have/are.

The people all around were gossiping (as people tend to do) and asked if he healed the blind man, why coudln't he have kept Lazarus from dying.

(John 11:38-39) Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “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.”
Why was Jesus angry? Why do you think? I think he was angry because people were questioning his power, and maybe some were saying it was his fault that Lazarus was dead-- because he wasn't there.

For whatever reason, Jesus was mad (another emotion we all have... so see, he understands). He ordered the stone to be rolled away, but Martha protested. Lazararus had been in there for 4 days. He'd started to smell.

(John 11:40-44)Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”  So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me.  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.”  Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”  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!”
 Can you imagine being one of those people who saw that? This guy had been dead for four days. And here he walked out! It would have been very hard not to believe in Jesus seeing that.

It was a big time for Jesus' ministry. People were believing, but people were also talking. The Jewish leaders were not happy.

(John 11:45-48) Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. . But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.  Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council] together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. \ If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.”

Certainly the Pharisees didn't like Jesus because he claimed to be the Messiah. They didn't want to lose their power or their authority as Jewish leaders. But there was another reason, a much more political reason  why they wanted him dead...

(John 11:49-50)Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!\You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
At that time, Roman controlled the Jewish nations. They pretty much left them alone as long as they didn't cause too much trouble. Jesus, with his miracles and being God's son, was making trouble. They feared an all out war with the Romans if Jesus got too powerful. Caiaphas told them it was better for one man to die for all than all for one.

(John 11:51-52)He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world.

I'm not going to lie, I don't really understand this. So, does this mean that Caiaphas ordered Jesus to die because of this prophesy? Because he really believed him to be the Messiah?

In any case, the plot to kill Jesus wasn't just one evil sinester plot. There were many things going on. Jesus claimed to be God's son, healed on the Sabbath, disrupted the people which threatened to get Rome's attention, and then we throw this prophesy on top of it.

No matter which was the straw that ultimately decided it for them, the Pharisees began to plot.

(John 11:53-57) So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.
 It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, and many people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the purification ceremony before Passover began.They kept looking for Jesus, but as they stood around in the Temple, they said to each other, “What do you think? He won’t come for Passover, will he?” Meanwhile, the leading priests and Pharisees had publicly ordered that anyone seeing Jesus must report it immediately so they could arrest him.

This is the beginning of the end. Passover is coming. The plot to kill him is already in motion. Jesus knows his time is running out. Events have started rolling that will lead to his death. Next chapter will be Pslam Sunday and Jesus will arrive as a king. He will leave as a criminal.

I truly hope this series is helping you in some way. I know I love reading the book of John. The next post in the series will be Monday. Saturday and Sunday will be Wordless Weekend.

POST 365 is coming SOON (Tuesday to be exact!) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE head over HERE to learn how to enter the giveaway to win one of FOUR GREAT PRIZES (I never thought I'd have to plead for people to win free stuff lol). If you have any questions about it, please let me know.

Prizes include:
a copy of Laura Krokos' Bible Study Beholding Glory Becoming Missional;

A super cute hat from Me Third;

A copy of the Summer 2012 issue of Woman to Woman Magazine;

A Paperback copy of my Ruth Bible Study

Please check it out! :)

Imperfectly Yours,


Other posts in the John Series:
Chapter 10

Chapter 8
Chapter 7
Chapter 6
Chapter 5
Chapter 4
Chapter 3
Chapter 2
Chapter 1

Linked with:Faith Filled Friday @ Beholding Glory (Laura is the one who provided the copy of her bible study for the giveaway! :))

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