33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping,
and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and
34 and said, "Where have you laid
him?" They told him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept.
36 The Jews therefore said, "See how much affection he had
for him!" 37 Some of them said, "Couldnít this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man
from dying?" 38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb.
Take away the Stone
Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him,
"Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four
days." 40 Jesus said to her,
"Didnít I tell you that if you believed,
you would see Godís glory?" 41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead
man was lying.
Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said,
"Father, I thank you that you listened
to me. 42 I know that you always listen
to me, but because of the multitude that stands
around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me."
Lazarus, come out!
43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice,
"Lazarus, come out!" 44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings,
and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.
Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let
him go." 45 Therefore many of the Jews,
who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.
46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees,
and told them the things which Jesus had done.
The Reaction of the Religious Leaders
47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council,
"What are we doing? For this man does many signs. 48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe
in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." 49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas,
being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at
all, 50 nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish." 51 Now he didnít say this of himself, but being high priest that
he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also
gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
53 So from that day forward they took counsel that they might
put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews,
but departed from there into the country near the wilderness,
to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand.
Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to
56 Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another,
as they stood in the temple, "What do you thinkóthat he isnít coming
to the feast at all?" 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that
if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize
vs 35 Why did Jesus weep?
vs 40 What are two reasons why Jesus rose Lazarus?
vs 39, 44 If we made an allegorically connection between this
resurrection and coming to faith in Christ, how might these two verses
vs 47 Though acknowledging his many signs, what implication
was the Pharisees not taking into consideration?
vs 48 Were they're political concerns valid? And did killing
Christ solve resolve this threat?
vs 50 In what sense did Jesus end up dying for the nation?
vs 54 In running away, was Jesus a coward?
vs 33-38 Verse 35 is the shortest verse in the Bible and a good
verse to start on if you think scripture memory is overly challenging.
But despite its brevity it offers much meditation. Why did Jesus weep?
It's not because Lazarus died. He knew he died long before this and yet
showed no such emotion previously. And further he knows that he will come
back to life shortly. The crowd misinterpreted him once again. It seems
despite presuming to know him, Jesus gets misinterpreted a whole lot. Jesus
was empathizing with Mary and her feeling of loss. One aspect of Christ's
love is that it is empathetic. Isaiah writes, "Surely he took up our
infirmities and carried our sorrows." Isaiah 53:4 Some reduce
God to an imperson wishing machine of which you just have to push the right
buttons to get what you want. Or think that God is personal but non-emotional.
But the Bible proves otherwise. God has emotions and is influenced by the
emotions of his creatures. God cares how you feel.
vs 39-42 In verse 40 Jesus is indicating that he is going to
raise Lazarus in view of Martha's faith. Now we understand the sense in
which he originally received the message from the sisters. We may also
be reminded of his interaction with the Canaanite woman of Matthew 15 in
which he seemed reluctant to answer the request, but really was provoking
her to reveal the depth of her faith. Thus though God may strengthen our
faith through answers to prayer, he can reveal the depth of our faith through
Perhaps we may also apply this allegorically to the resurrection of
the spiritually dead into a saving relationship with God through Jesus
Christ, a resurrection which those born of God have already experienced,
were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by
grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him." Eph 2:5,6
But those who are dead in their trespasses often have stones in their lives
which need to be removed to make way for Christ to raise them from the
dead. And that's where we can help as we minister in accordance with the
gifts and responsibilities God has given us.
vs 43-46 "Most assuredly, I tell you, the
hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of Godís voice;
and those who hear will live." John 5:25 But even
having been raised he still needed others to help him be freed. So also
when we are made alive in Christ, yet we still need to be sanctified from
our sinfulness, but we have other Christians to help us with that. Because
of this miracle many believed. It is somewhat implied that those who went
to the Pharisees were unbelievers who wanted to stir up trouble for Christ.
Either that or they were believers who mocked the Pharisee's with a "see
I told you so" attitude. In any case this incident didn't win him any favors
among the religious elite, although he became more popular in general.
vs 47-48 Here's a verse that shows just how out of touch or how
unclear on the concept they were. They admit that he does many signs, but
they don't seem to understand the implications of that fact. As for the
Romans taking away their place and nation, just the opposite appeared to
be the case. Christ was not hostile to the Romans. They were appointed
by God to govern Israel much in the same way as the Assyrians and Babylonians
had been in the past. It was in the rejecting of Christ that led
to the Romans taking away their place and their nation. In a similar manner
today the unbelievers try to blame Christianity for the world's troubles
whereas quite the opposite is true.
vs 50-52 And in the same light of God using unbelievers to further
his purpose, here we have a high priest was an unbeliever, but whom God
used to prophecy of Christ dying for the nation. "But he was pierced
for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment
that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We
all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."Isaiah
53:5,6 The "children of God scattered abroad" refer to the Gentiles
who were believers in the God of Israel.
vs 53 Although they had previously had a mind to kill him as
John 7:25 indicates, yet now they were going to actually make plans
as to how to carry out the murder. They were forming a conspiracy.
vs 54 Despite his new found popularity, he again withdrew due
to his perception of the danger. He would be safer in the crowds during
the religious festivals. As I pointed out previously Jesus only exposed
himself to danger when it was necessary to do so in accordance with his
mission. He was not a thrill seeker, foolishly exposing himself to danger
for no good reason. Proverbs 27:12"The prudent see danger and
take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it."