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On The Book of John
The Gospel of John Chapter 11
I will do the Gospel of John
Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that
I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what
it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment,
it is NOT Scripture.
John's Gospel Chapter 11
Lazarus Raised from the Dead.
In the first ten chapters, Christ widely revealed Himself: at the wedding of Cana where there were guests and also His disciples, at the Feast of Dedication, He presented Himself to the nation and He was rejected; His works were rejected (Jun.5:165); His Words were rejected (Jn.8:58-59) and His Person was rejected (Jn.10:30-31).
His public ministry is now over and He retreats into a private ministry, with certain individuals, He will no longer reach out to the nation. The events of chapter 11 happen some time between the Feast of Dedication and the Passover which would be sometime between December and April.
WHY did John write this Gospel? He tells us! John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)
Death is a mystery, and so is life. Can Jesus raise the dead? Can he really bring back to life a person who has physically died? What good is this life to us, if we have no hope of being resurrected of the dead, and having eternal life in Heaven one day? (Tit.1:2). There are MANY “religions” in the world today . . . but the question is: do any of them promise power over death? Only Jesus can raise the dead!
We really are given many blessings in this life on Earth, but the greatest blessing is eternal life in Christ Jesus. "Will the dead be raised?" God does promise this over and over again in His Holy Bible! Resurrection from the dead: (Job 14:14; Ps.49:15; 71:20; Ecc.3:21; Isa.25:8; Dan.2-3; Hos.13:14; Mat.22:31; Mk.12:26; 16:6; Lk.14:14; 20:37; 24:26,46; Jn.5:21,25,29; 6:40,45,54; 11:25-26; Acts 23:6; 24:15,21; 26:8; Rom.4:17; 1 Cor.6:14; 15:22,42,52,54; 2 Cor.1:9; 4:14; Phil.3:11; 1 Thes.4:16; Heb.6:2; 11:35; Rev.20:13). And ONLY CHRIST JESUS can do this! 1 Thes. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (KJV) . . . ONLY JESUS has this power!
Life on Earth is so brief, like a drop in a bucket compared to eternity’s infinity! I truly do hope and pray that you have made the right decision in life. I am sure that we are given this life to choose where we shall spend eternity. There is no doubt in my mind about this. Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (KJV) . . . You do NOT want to hear these words from Jesus one day. If you are walking on the devil’s broad road (Mat.7:13), get off it now! Change directions NOW! Get on that narrow road with Jesus (Mat.7:14), that will take you to Heaven! Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV) . . . You can be righteous ONLY when you accept Jesus.
In this chapter: Lazarus Sick. Jesus Sent For. Lazarus Dead and Buried When Jesus Comes. The Resurrection and the Life. Lazarus Comes Forth at Jesus’ Word. Many Jews Believe. The Sanhedrim Takes Counsel Against Christ. The Prophecy of Caiaphas. The Passover at Hand.
Only John mentions this Lazarus, the other Gospels do not, although his sisters are. Bethany is about two miles east of Jerusalem, on the eastern slope of Mount Olivet, where Mary and Martha lived. John speaks of the sisters as well known in the church. They had been named by Luke, who wrote before him (Lk.10:38-42).
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (KJV)
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus of Bethany . . . possibly a fever.
The town of Mary and her sister Martha . . . Mary, Martha and Lazarus all were probably born in Bethany, or at least that is where they lived (Lk.10:38-39).
The resurrection of Lazarus is recorded only by John. Different reasons have been imagined as to why the other evangelists did not mention so great a miracle. Most likely is, that at the time they wrote Lazarus was still living. Too the miracle was well known, and yet to have recorded it might have exposed Lazarus to opposition and persecution from the Jews (Jn.12:10-11). Also, John wrote for Christians who were out of Palestine, while the other Gospels were written mainly for those who were in Judea, so there was the more need, that John should validate the account of the miracle, while the others did not think it necessary or proper to record an event so well known. Bethany: (Mat. 21:1; 26:6).
John 11:2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) (KJV)
It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment . . . this is not the woman in (Lk.7:37), as some think, whose name is not mentioned, and which history is not linked by John at all: but the Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus in (Jn.12:3-8).
And wiped his feet with her hair . . . instead of a towel, after she had anointed Jesus’ Feet with oil, she wiped His Feet with her hair . . . the same as did the sinner in Luke 7:37-38.
Whose brother Lazarus was sick . . . this is said to show how well they all were acquainted with Christ, and friendly with Him.
John 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. (KJV)
Therefore his sisters sent unto him . . . both the sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus; they did not go themselves, since it was some distance away where Jesus was. It was necessary they should stay at home, to look after their brother in his sickness. Therefore they sent a messenger to Christ. Saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick . . . it seems that Lazarus was in a very special way loved by Christ Jesus as man, as John the beloved disciple was (Jn.13:23); and this is why the message was worded as it was by the sisters, to get Jesus to come to Lazarus’ assistance. They indeed were right in sending for Christ in this time of need, for He is the Great Physician, both of the bodies and souls of men.
John 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. (KJV)
When Jesus heard that . . . His friend Lazarus was sick,
He said, this sickness is not unto death . . . either to His disciples, or to the messenger or messengers that brought the news to Him, the purpose being to give some relief to the afflicted family when it should be reported to them. Lazarus’ sickness turned to an issue in death, but NOT in death which was to continue. Lazarus was to be quickly restored again to life, that it hardly could be called death.
But for the glory of God . . . of His power and goodness in raising him again.
That the Son of God might be glorified thereby . . . that His glory, as the Son of God, might be made evident in the resurrection of him from the dead (Jn.2:11).
John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. (KJV)
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus . . . not only with an everlasting love (Jer.31:3), but with a love of contentment and delight, an unchangeable one, and which never varies, nor will ever end, with which He loves all His people alike. Jesus’ love for Lazarus was filled with great human affection. Mary, Martha and Lazarus were close and intimate friends, and familiar acquaintances of Christ Jesus, whom He often visited. He stayed often with them when in those parts. They were very hospitable to Him; kindly receiving Him into their houses, and graciously entertained Him, with which He returned in love to them.
John 11:6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. (KJV)
When he had heard therefore that he was sick . . . although Christ had heard that Lazarus was sick, by a message being sent to Him by his sisters, yet He did not go directly to him, and to his assistance.
But he abode two days still in the same place where he was . . . at Bethabara, beyond Jordan. WHY did He do this? Possibly to try the faith and patience of the sisters of Lazarus, and too, that the miracle of raising him from the dead might be the more obvious. He was not neglecting His love, but awaiting the better time to demonstrate greater love and power to them. He loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, but He loved much more, the honor and glory of His Father, which was to be manifested in His raising of Lazarus from the dead.
John 11:7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. (KJV)
Then after that . . . the next day, the third day after He had heard of Lazarus's sickness.
Saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again . . . the country beyond Jordan was distinguished from Judea (Mat.4:25). Judea was the land of hostility to Jesus..
John 11:8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? (KJV)
His disciples said unto him, master . . . they addressed Jesus very reverently, and with great concern for His safety, as well as their own.
The Jews of late sought to stone thee . . . they had attempted twice in a very little time (Jn.8:59; 10:31).
And goest thou thither again? . . . there are many enemies and much danger there.
John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. (KJV)
Jesus answered, are there not twelve hours in the day? . . . the Jews commonly said: "twelve hours are a day" or “a day consists of twelve hours.”
If any man walk in the day . . . within any of the twelve hours, even in the last of them,
He stumbleth not . . . at any stone or stumbling block in the way, because he could see.
Bcause he seeth the light of this world . . . the sun in the horizon not being as yet set, by the light of which he sees what is before him, and avoids it.
John 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (KJV)
But if a man walk in the night . . . after the sun is set, there is no light to show the way.
He stumbleth . . . at everything that is in the path.
Because there is no light in him . . . no light from above communicated to him. I think our Lord is saying that when the time of His death was come, He would then fall into the hands of His enemies, but until then He would walk safely; for He nothing to fear from them, and therefore could go into Judea again, with no worry.
John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. (KJV)
These things said he: and after that he saith unto them . . . in answer to His disciples.
Our friend Lazarus sleepeth . . . meaning, that he was dead. Sleep: (Mat.9:24; 1 Cor.15:18,20; 1 Thes.4:13-14).
But I go, that I may awake him out of sleep . . . meaning He would raise him from the dead, which for Christ Jesus was easy to do, as easy as to awaken a man out of physical sleep. The words concerning Lazarus's sleeping and awakening, convey both the omniscience and omnipotence of Christ: His omniscience, that He knew that Lazarus was dead, when at such a distance from him; and His omnipotence, that He could raise literally him from the dead. . . . http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
John 11:12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. (KJV)
Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep. . . quietly, and comfortably, and takes rest in it. They still did not understand.
John 11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. (KJV)
Howbeit Jesus spake of his death . . . under the symbolic phrase of sleeping.
But they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep . . . in a literal and natural sense.
John 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. (KJV)
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead . . . when Jesus saw they did not understand Him, He simply said: "Lazarus is dead.”
John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. (KJV)
And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there . . . at Bethany, before he died.
To the intent ye may believe . . . that He was the Son of God, and TRUE Messiah.
Nevertheless, let us go unto him . . . to Lazarus, to the grave where he lies. The disciples were soon to learn how little belief and faith they really had (Mk.14:50; 16:11; Lk.24:11,21,25).
John 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. (KJV)
Then said Thomas, who is called Didymous . . . one is a Hebrew name, the other Greek, and both signify a twin; maybe because he was one.
Unto his fellow disciples . . . the other eleven.
Let us also go, that we may die with him . . . some difference of opinion on who the “him” is. Some say it was Lazarus, others think it means Christ . . . for Thomas and the rest of the disciples, thought that Christ, by returning to Judea, would be in great danger of losing His life. Although when Christ was apprehended, they all forsook Him and fled, looked only for their own safety, and left Him to die alone (Mat.26:31,56; Zec.13:7; Mk.14:50-52; Jn.16:32).
Thomas was known as "the doubter," because he doubted Jesus' resurrection (Jn.20:25), but here he revealed love and courage. The disciples knew the dangers of going with Jesus to Jerusalem, and they tried to talk him out of it. Thomas merely expressed what they all felt.
John 11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. (KJV)
Then when Jesus came . . . to Bethany, where Lazarus was buried.
For he found he had lain in the grave four days already . . . Jesus could have come sooner had He wanted to, for although Bethabara was on the other side of Jordan. Some say it was not over four miles from Jerusalem, so it could not have been six miles from Bethany, which our Saviour could have travelled in a less time than four or five days. Some guess that Lazarus died the same day news came to Jesus of his sickness (Jn.11:6). Jesus made no decision to go immediately. It was probably not for two days, before He thought of going into Judea. And after this, it is possible that He delayed leaving one or two days (Jn.11:14), and He tells them that Lazarus was dead. Our Saviour and Lord was willing to drag out the time, so that the miracle might be more obvious and remarkable.
John 11:18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: (KJV)
Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem . . . which was a reason why so many of the Jews had come there to console the two sisters upon the death of their brother; and by this means the following miracle became more widely known there.
About fifteen furlongs off . . . about two miles, seven and a half furlongs made a Jewish mile.
John 11:19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. (KJV)
And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary . . . probably their relatives and friends.
To comfort them concerning their brother . . . was usual with the Jews to do, after the dead was buried
John 11:20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. (KJV)
Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming . . . it does not say how she heard Jesus was coming.
Went and met him . . . either because of her great affection to Him, her eager desire to see Him, or maybe she was concerned for His safety and let him know how many Jews were in their house, that He might consider whether it would be safe for Him to be at their house or not.
But Mary sat still in the house . . . not out of disrespect to Jesus, or lack of love for Him, or through indifference and laziness, but because she did not know that Jesus was coming (Jn.11:28-29). Martha neglected to tell Mary when she heard Jesus was coming.
John 11:21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. (KJV)
Then said Martha unto Jesus . . . when she came to Him.
Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died . . . Mary said the same words to Him a little later (Jn.11:32), proving that these sisters did not have a complete knowledge of the omnipotence of Christ. They thought He could cure if He were present, but not at a distance; and too, they thought that it was because He did not know of their brother's sickness led to his death. They did not have a proper idea of His divinity. Something to think about: Had they known Him fully as God, would not the reverence and awe connected with such knowledge overwhelmed them?
John 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. (KJV)
But I know that even now. . . with the time that had passed, four days being dead.
Whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee . . . she was sure that He had great influence with God, and that whatever He desired of Him was granted to Him. Although she does not mention the resurrection of her brother, it seems to be what she had in mind.
John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. (KJV)
Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again . . . by raising Lazarus immediately from the dead, was how He intended to comfort her.
John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. (KJV)
Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day. . .
the Jews were divided about the doctrine of the resurrection, the Sadducees denied it, the Pharisees believed it. Martha believed there would be a resurrection of the dead; that this would be at the last day, or at the end of the world; and that her brother would rise at that general resurrection. Last day: (Jn.6:39-40,44,54; 12:48; Dan.12:2,13). It seems that it was her wish that Jesus might even now raise him up.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (KJV)
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life . . . indicating that He was able to raise men from death to life, without asking it of His Father; and that He could do it now, as well as at the general resurrection.
He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live . . . although believers in Christ die as well as others, death to them is not a punishing evil for its curse is removed, its sting is taken away. A TRUE Christian is totally satisfied with Christ, and so He becomes a Blessing and Privilege to them. Christ Jesus is sincerely desired by them. And although they die, they shall live again; for they are under the special care of Christ. They shall rise by virtue of union with Him, and shall rise, first in the morning of the resurrection, and with peculiar privileges, or to the resurrection of life, and with the unique properties of holiness, incorruption, power and glory. BUT . . . so likewise, those that are dead in sin, and under a sentence of condemnation (Jn.3:18-19,36; 8:24; 12:47-48; Mk.16:16; 2 Thes.1:8-9; 2:12; Heb.2:3; 12:25; 1 Jn.5:10; Rev.20:15; 21:8). These too shall be resurrected, NOT to eternal life but to eternal death. Eternal death: (Pro.8:36; Jn.3:18,36; 8:24; Mk.16:16; Acts 4;12; Rom.1:18; 4:15; 5:9; Gal.3:10; Eph.5:6; 1 Thes.1:10; 5:9; Heb.2:3; 10:26-29; 12:25; Rev.6:16-17).
John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (KJV)
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me . . . those found alive at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18) and Christ's Second Coming (Zec.14:1-9; Rev.1:7; 19:11-21), and is a believer in Him.
Shall never die . . . but shall be changed (1 Cor.15:51-52), and shall be with Christ Jesus for ever! These shall be raised to life by him, never to die any more, not a bodily death, not an eternal one, not the second death! And although believers die a physical death as others do, their souls shall live, and live in happiness, for they shall be raised, and become immortal, and die no more. Living believers in Christ shall NEVER die a spiritual or eternal death . . . for they are passed from death to life, and shall never return to any death any more. Their spiritual life can NEVER be lost; God’s grace in them is immortal!
Believest thou this? . . . all of this concerning the power of Christ, and the privilege of believers; every little bit of this is to be believed. Whosoever: (Jn.3:15-18; 4:14; 5:24; 6:50,54-58; 11:26; 12:46; Acts 10:43; Rom.9:33; 10:11; 1 Jn.5:1)
John 11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. (KJV)
She saith unto him, yea, Lord . . . she firmly believed all that He said about Himself, and the happiness of those that believed in Him, then she adds:
I believe that thou art the Christ the Son of God, which should come into the world . . . she believed that He was the true Messiah, and that He indeed was the Son of God, of the same nature with God, equal to Him, and had the same perfections as Him; and Who was long ago promised, spoken of by the prophets, and greatly expected to come into the world. Since she believed all this about Him, she had to believe that He was able to raise the dead to life, and to secure those that believe in Him from dying eternally. Do YOU believe what Martha believed? I pray that you do.
John 11:28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. (KJV)
And when she had so said, she went her way . . . had expressed her faith in Christ as she did, as the apostles themselves did (Mat.16:16; Jn.1:49; 6:69).
And called Mary her sister secretly . . . either beckoned her to come to her, or whispered to her privately, so that the Jews in their house, who were enemies to Christ, might not hear.
Saying, the master is come . . . "the master" was a usual title by which Christ was called in that family, and by which He was well known, for it expressed their honor of Him, and placed them as His disciples.
And calleth for thee . . . Christ Jesus desired to see her, and asked that she come to Him, which revealed His respect for her.
John 11:29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. (KJV)
As soon as she heard that . . . Christ was come, and asked for her, and wanted to see her,
She arose quickly, and came unto him . . . having an equal love for Him as did her sister Martha. This she revealed by leaving her comforters immediately, and by hurrying as she did, to another and greater Comforter.
John 11:30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. (KJV)
Now Jesus was not yet come into the town . . . of Bethany, but stayed outside, being near to Lazarus's grave, which He intended to go to, to raise him to life.
But was in that place where Martha met him . . . He was in the same place, waiting for Mary, thinking this to be a more suitable place to talk together, than their own house, which was filled with Jews.
John 11:31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. (KJV)
The Jews then which were with her in the house . . . who came from Jerusalem to visit the afflicted family, and stayed in the house with them.
And comforted her . . . the reason for their coming.
When they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily, and went out, followed her . . . they did not know what Martha whispered to her, but saw that she arose quickly and left the house. They probably went after her to see where she went, and to persuade her to return.
Saying, she goeth unto the grave to weep there . . . the Jews’ custom was that they went to the graves and visited for three days.
John 11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. (KJV)
Then when Mary was come where Jesus was . . . some say that this was close by a well, about a stone's cast out of the town of Bethany.
And saw him, she fell down at his feet . . . in great respect for Him, and reverence of Him, worshipping Him as her Lord and God.
Saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died . . . the same words Martha said when she met Jesus (Jn.11:21). It is very likely that they had often said to each other, “If our Lord Jesus had only been here, our dear brother Lazarus would not have died.”
John 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, (KJV)
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping . . . at His feet, because of sorrow and grief, could say no more to Him; but having expressed these words, burst into tears.
And the Jews also weeping, which came with her . . . was it sympathy? Or hypocritically?
He groaned in the spirit . . . in His human soul! Our precious Lord Jesus had a real human soul, subject to passions just as we are, although His passions all were sinless ones. He felt griefs and sorrows just as we do.
And was troubled . . . He had a very tender heart.
John 11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. (KJV)
And said, Where have ye laid him? . . . Jesus well knew where they had laid Lazarus. He chose to lead them to the grave by asking them to point the way, and to draw the Jews there, that they might be witnesses of the miracle He was about to do.
They say unto him . . . they = Martha and Mary.
Lord, come and see . . . it was just a short distance away.
Jesus’ question was designed to bring everyone to the tomb; not for information (Mk.5:30; Jn.6:5).
John 11:35 Jesus wept. (KJV)
Jesus wept . . . there could be several reasons why Jesus “wept.” He was reflecting on the state of His friend Lazarus, the distress of his two sisters, but too, the damnation that would befall the Jews there, who, in spite of the miracle, would not believe in Him. This reveals that He was truly Man, subject to our passions, only without sin (Heb.4:15). Damnation: (Mat.23:14; Mk.3:29; 12:40; Lk.20:47; Jn.5:29; Rom.13:2; 1 Cor.11:29; 2 Pet.2:3)
John 11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! (KJV)
Then said the Jews, behold, how he loved him! . . . the Jews thought that the tears Jesus shed were fully on Lazarus’ account, that love for him was really strong, even though He was not even related . . . but Christ's love is like this to ALL His people, even when they are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph.2:1).
John 11:37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? (KJV)
And some of them said . . . some who hated Him and had a grudge against Him, and were willing to think the worst of Him.
Could not this man which opened the eyes of the blind . . . as it is said that He did (Jn.9:6-7). These called the miracle into question, and scoffed at it, and not as taking it for granted that it really did happen.
Have caused that, even this man should not died . . . these men meant that either that miracle was a fraud, for IF it were real, He could have prevented Lazarus’ death . . . and IF Jesus could have prevented it and did . . . is He really a friend? Unintelligent thinking!
John 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. (KJV)
Jesus therefore groaning in himself . . . not only through grief, for His dear friend, but because of holy anger and indignation at the malice and wickedness of the Jews.
Cometh to the grave . . . of Lazarus.
It was a cave . . . a natural one, such as were in rocks and mountains, of which there were many in Judea.
And a stone lay upon it . . . these stones were often in the shape of large grindstones resting in a groove, so that they could be rolled in front of the door of the tomb. Tombs had to be closed securely to keep out dogs, jackals and other ravenous beasts.
John 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. (KJV)
Jesus said, take ye away the stone . . . this was said either to the Jews, or maybe to the servants that came along with Martha and Mary. This He ordered, not to make possible the resurrection, or just to make way for Lazarus to come forth. The power of Jesus could have commanded the stone to move. He chose it removed this way, so that the corpse might be seen, and even smelt; and that it might be obvious, that there was no misleading notion, nor any deception between Him and the sisters of the deceased in this matter. This order He gave was in direct opposition to a rule of the Jews, which forbid the opening of a grave after it was closed. BUT . . . a greater than the fathers of their traditions was here, He who has the keys of hell and death (Rev.1:18) He can open, or order it to be opened, whenever or where ever He pleases.
Martha the sister of him that was dead . . . the sister of Lazarus.
Saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh . . . or smells, for dead bodies do putrefy and smell.
For he hath been dead four days . . . he had been that long in the grave (Jn.11:17).
John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (KJV)
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe thou shouldest see the glory of God . . . not in so many words, but what might be gathered from what He said in His conversation with Martha and are recorded in John 11:25-26.
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. (KJV)
Then they took away the stone . . . from the door of the sepulcher.
From the place where the dead was laid . . . these words are left out in several versions.
And Jesus lift up his eyes . . . to Heaven, in a praying gesture (Jn.17:1).
And said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me . . . this cannot refer to the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead, or to any assistance given to Christ Jesus in performing that miracle, because as yet, the miracle was not done . . . and when it was done, it was done by Jesus’ own power because He IS God! I believe this refers to everything in which the Father had before heard Him, and was a basis for Him, as Man, to believe He still would, no matter what was to come; and too, to the present opportunity of showing His power in such a remarkable way, and before so many witnesses. See: http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
John 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. (KJV)
And I knew that thou hearest me always . . . this He said not only to sustain the faith of Himself as Man, but also to His people, whose Advocate, Intercessor and Mediator He is.
But because of the people which stand by, I said it . . . that He was heard, and always heard by God, His Father, because of the great love between them.
That they may believe that thou hast sent me . . . IF God the Father had not sent Christ Jesus, He would never have heard Him in anything, much less in everything. this was proof, clear evidence of His divine mission.
John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. (KJV)
And when he had thus spoken . . . to God His Father, in the presence and hearing of the people.
He cried with a loud voice . . . not because of the dead, but for the sake of those around Him, that all might hear and see, and mainly to show His majesty, power and authority, and that what He did was open and above board, not done in secret, superstitious, and mysterious whispers; and as a symbol of the voice and power of His Gospel in quickening dead sinners.
Lazarus come forth . . . he calls him by his name, not only as being his friend, and known by him, but to distinguish him from any other corpse that might lie dead in the same cave.
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. (KJV)
And he that was dead came forth . . . Lazarus, who was dead, now was alive, raised up and came out of the cave.
Bound hand and foot with grave clothes . . . was wrapped with grave clothes from head to foot (Acts 5:6), according to the custom of the eastern countries, Jews, Egyptians and others, who used to wrap up their dead in many layers of linen cloth. It seems that there was another miracle besides that of raising Lazarus from the dead . . . for being so bound, he would not have natural use of his hands and feet, that he would be able to rise, stand on his feet, walk and come forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, out of the cave.
And his face was bound about with a napkin . . . (Jn.20:7) it is not known if the whole face was covered with this napkin, or just the forehead. With Egyptian mummies it is only the forehead that is thus bound.
Jesus saith unto them; loose him, and let him go . . . Jesus told the servants that were there, to unwind the linen rolls about him, and free his hands and feet, and let him go home.
John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. (KJV)
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary . . . the Jews that came with Mary to the grave.
And had seen the things which Jesus did . . . in raising the dead body of Lazarus, and causing him to walk, although bound in grave clothes.
Believed on him . . . that He was the TRUE Messiah . . . many, but NOT all of them!
John 11:46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. (KJV)
But some of them went their way to the Pharisees . . . the Jews that did not believe on Jesus, went to tattle to the Pharisees. These were so far from seeing the Truth and receiving any advantage whatsoever by this miracle (Mat.12:38-39; Lk.16:29-31), that they were all the more hardened, and filled with malice and envy of Christ, and did their best to notify His most seasoned enemies.
And told them what things Jesus had done . . . not to try to get them to have a good opinion of Him, but to infuriate them, and provoke them into a plan destroy Him. It seems that even the miracles of Christ, as well as the doctrines of His Gospel, are to some the savor of death unto death, whilst to others the savor of life unto life.
John 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. (KJV)
Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council . . . these enemies of Jesus call together the Sanhedrim, the great council of the nation, of which they were some of the major members.
And said, what do we? . . . meaning, why do we sit still and do nothing?
For this man doth many miracles . . . the miracles could not be denied by them, and should have been why they should have acknowledged Him to have been the Messiah. They should have embraced Him as such! But all they could think of was . . . we have to stop Him. They did not deny Jesus’ miracles; therefore their conduct was all that much more inexcusable.
John 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. (KJV)
If we let him thus alone . . . letting Him go from place to place, teaching the people, and doing more miracles.
All men will believe on him . . . all except these hard-headed unbelievers, will accept Him as the Messiah, and proclaim Him their King, and willingly obey His commands.
The Romans will come . . . against us, with their powerful armies; thinking this to be a rebellion against Caesar, and his government.
And take away both our place and nation . . . will destroy the temple, their holy place, the place of their religion and worship, and their city.
John 11:49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, (KJV)
And one of them, named Caiaphas . . . (Mat.26:3; Lk.3:2; Jn.18:13-14).
Being the high priest that same year . . . the high priesthood originally was not annual, but for life . . . but towards the end of the second temple, it came into the hands of the king, to appoint who would to be high priest. It was purchased with money; insomuch that they changed the priesthood every twelve months, and every year a new high priest was made. This man held a high office, a man of no conscience, and of bad ethics, and was a Sadducee, as it seems (Acts 5:17), who denied the resurrection of the dead, and had no concern about a future state. He had NO restraint upon him, and was bold and arrogant.
Said unto them, ye know nothing at all . . . you are a bunch of fools, to sit arguing, pro and con about this Man, when it is clear what must be done.
John 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. (KJV)
Nor consider that it is expedient for us . . . priests, Levites, Pharisees, the Sanhedrim and religious rulers of the people, must suffer in their characters and revenues, must quit their honorable and gainful places, if Jesus went on and succeeded.
That one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not . . . Caiaphas
continued on this political opinion, that a public good should be preferred to a private one, that it did not matter what the Man was, be He innocent or not . . . the public safety of the nation, required Him to become a Sacrifice, or the Romans would be infuriated and provoked to such a degree, as to threaten the utter ruin and destruction of the whole nation.
John 11:51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; (KJV)
And this spake he not of himself . . . not of his own planning and ordering, but by the Spirit of God. YES! Wicked men sometimes may, and as Balaam did (Num. 22:35; 23:5,16); say things given to them by God. None of us know the mind of God or His exact plans for this world.
But being high priest that year . . . Caiaphas was highly esteemed by the people, and therefore a proper person to be made use of in this way.
He prophesied . . . although he did not know that he did, as did Pharaoh (Ex.10:28), and the Jews (Mat. 27:25).
That Jesus should die for that nation . . . die in the place of men, as an atonement for sinners. For that nation . . . for the Jews, as a Sacrifice for their sins. His death, was the very instance of their destruction, for they invoked the vengeance of God when they said, "His blood be on us and on our children" (Mat.27:25). All these calamities came upon them because they would NOT come to Him and be saved! They instead rejected Him and put Him to death (Mat.23:37-39).
John 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. (KJV)
And not for that nation only . . . although Christ, as Prophet, was sent to the Jews only (Mat.10:6; 15:24), and was the minister of the circumcision (Rom.15:8), yet as a Priest (Ps.110:4; Zec.6:13; Mat.10:32; Heb.2:17; 3:1), He did not die only for the Jews, but for the Gentiles as well as Jews: (Mat.18:11; Lk.2:10-11; 19:10; Jn. 1:29; 3:17; 4:42; 11:51-52; 1 Tim.2:5-6; 1 Jn.2:2; 4:14; Rom.3:25-26)
But that also he should gather together in one, the children of God that were scattered abroad . . . not only the elect of God among the Jews, who were scattered amidst the nations of the world, for whom Christ died, and to whom the Gospel was first sent, and who were gathered together into a Gospel church state, but also the elect of God among the Gentiles, called "the children of God" (Mat.5:9; Lk.10:36; Jn.11:52; Rom.8:16-17; 9:26; Gal.3:26; 1 Jn.3:10; 5:10), opposing what the Jews thought, that only they were the children of God.
John 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. (KJV)
Then from that day forth . . . Caiaphas's way of thinking appeared so good, and his advice so agreeable, that it was immediately agreed upon by them, with the exception of one or two, such as Nicodemus (Jn.7:50-51; 19:39-40) and Joseph of Arimathea (Mat.27:57; Mk.15:43; Lk.23:50; Jn.19:38).
They took counsel together. . . often, and agreed in their plans.
For to put him to death . . . this they determined before there was any legal process, before they accused Jesus of any crime, or any proof was given, or that they heard what He had to say for Himself. Caiaphas's motion was highly approved . . . put Christ Jesus to death, right or wrong, be He innocent or not. All they were interested in was how they were going to get their hands on Him, to take His life . . . kill Him!
John 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. (KJV)
Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews . . . Jesus knew the decision of the Sanhedrim, to put Him to death . . . and He also knew the schemes they were planning to capture Him.
But went thence . . . He left Bethany.
Unto a country near to the wilderness . . . possibly the wilderness of Bethaven (Josh.18:12).
Into a city called Ephraim . . . it seems there were two “Ephraims,” one in the valley, and another in the mountains (2 Sam.13:23; Neh.8:16; 12:39). . . . . http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5794-ephraim-mountain-of
And there continued with his disciples . . . He would now spend His time in private with them, teaching and instructing them in things concerning the Kingdom of God, His time with them now being short. Here Jesus remained until shortly before His last Passover.
John 11:55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. (KJV)
And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand . . . this would be the fourth Passover since Christ entered His public ministry, and the last one that He ate with His disciples. When He was sacrificed for His people, that put an end to all ceremonial observances (Mat.5:17).
And many went out of the country up to Jerusalem, before the Passover . . . all Jewish males were obliged to go up to Jerusalem, at the time of the Passover, where it was kept; but many went before for the following reason.
To purify themselves . . . this purifying consisted in preparing themselves for the proper observation of the Passover, according to the commands of the law. If any were defiled in any manner by contact with the dead or by any other ceremonial uncleanness, they were required to take the prescribed measures for purification (Lev.7:20-21; 16:24; 22:1-6). The Jews' Passover: (Jn.2:13; 5:1; 6:4).
John 11:56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? (KJV)
Then sought they for Jesus . . . the people from the country . . . some out of curiosity to see Him, others to see His miracles, and others to hear His doctrine . . . while some wanted to take Him to the Sanhedrim, who had put out a decree to that purpose, and no doubt offered a reward.
And spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple . . . where they came to purify themselves.
What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? . . . it was a difference of opinion with them . . . would Christ come to the feast or not?
John 11:57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him. (KJV)
Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees . . . who were of the Sanhedrim.
Had given a commandment . . . published a law, a decree of the senate.
That if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him . . . this is why they wondered if He would come to the feast or not . . . and was the reason why others looked for Him, and asked about Him, that they might find and deliver Him to the chief priests and Pharisees, and get the promised reward.
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