THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LESSON TWENTY-SIX

John 11:1-2
     1.   Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
     2.   (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus
           was sick.)

     [A]  Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany.
             [1] It’s interesting that John is the only one of the Gospel writers who mentions Jesus raising Lazarus from the
                     dead.
             [2]  It is thought that, since the other Gospel writers wrote their epistles while Lazarus was still living, they may  
                     have left this account out of their writing so there writing did not bring anymore opposition and
                     persecution from the Jews.
             [3]  John, on the other hand, wrote his epistle mainly to the Christians outside of Israel.

     [B]  Who was this Lazarus?
             [1]  Lazarus was a dear friend of Jesus who lived at Bethany.
             [2]  It was at Lazarus’s house that Jesus often stopped on his way to Jerusalem.
             [3]   
Matthew 10:38-42
                     38. Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named
                           Martha received him into her house.
                     39. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
                     40. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care
                           that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
                     41. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many
                           things:
                     42. But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from
                           her.
                     [a]  This account is found in Matthew, and then we see in our scripture tonight where the same Mary was
                             the one who anointed Jesus feet with the expensive ointment.
                     [b]  It is thought that Jesus was a regular visitor and stopped to see them a lot.
             [4]   Other than this, there is no way to know much more about Lazarus.

     [C]  He lived at Bethany
             [1]  Bethany was a village located on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about 2 miles east of
                     Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho.
             [2]   It derived its name from the number of palm-trees which grew there.
             [3]   It was the residence of Lazarus and his sisters.
             [4]   It is frequently mentioned in connection with memorable incidents in the life of our Lord

     [D]  Verse two (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose
             brother Lazarus was sick.)
             
Matthew 26:6-13
             6.   Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
             7.   There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his
                   head, as he sat at meat.
             8.   But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
             9.   For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
             10. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good
                   work upon me.
             11. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
             12. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
             13. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this,
                   that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
  
           John 12:1-3
             1.   Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead,
                   whom he raised from the dead.        
             2.   There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with
                   him.
             3.   Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped
                   his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.
            
             [1] It’s interesting that John refers to Mary anointing Jesus’ feet and wiping his feet with her hair, but that event
                     didn’t happen until after Lazarus was raised from the dead
             [2]  It is also interesting that we see two different accounts, one at Simon the Leper’s house, Matthew, and at
                     Lazarus’ house in John

John 11:3-5
     3.   Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
     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.
     5.   Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
     [A]  Lazarus was sick.
             [1]  What his ailment was, the bible does not tell us, but whatever it was, he was sick unto death.
             [2]   Martha and Mary sent for Jesus, for they knew Jesus loved Lazarus and also knew that Jesus could heal
                     him the same as he had healed so many others.

     [B]  When Jesus heard about Lazarus’ sickness, he made an interesting statement.
             [1]  What did Jesus say?
                     [a]  This sickness is not unto death
                     [b]  This sickness is for the glory of God
                     [c]  This sickness is so the Son of God might be glorified
             [2]  Questions:
                     [a]  What did he mean that his sickness was not unto death - did Lazarus not die?
                     [b]  How could the sickness of Lazarus be for the glory of God?
                     [c]  What did he mean that the sickness was so the Son of God could be glorified

John 11:6-14
     6.   When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
     7.   Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again.
     8.   His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
     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.
     10. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
     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.
     12. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
     13. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
     14. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
     [A]  After Jesus heard that Lazarus was dead, he abode where he was, apparently in Galilee, for two more days.
             [1]  Why did he stay there for those two extra days?
             [2]  Why didn’t he leave right then and travel as quickly as possible to the home of Lazarus?
             [3]  Why didn’t he just sent the messenger who carried him the message back and tell them that Lazarus would
                     not die? We know that he could do this, for he did so with the Centurion’s daughter.

     [B]  Verse seven and eight
             [1]  Jesus announced that they were going to Judea where Lazarus was
             [2]  The disciples didn’t want to go
                     [a]  The last time they were there, the Jews wanted to stone him
                     [b]  Why did he want to go back there again?
                     [c]  Why did he want to put his life in danger?
                     [d]  Why couldn’t the disciples understand?

     [C]  Verses nine and ten
             [1]   Jesus sought to ease his disciple’s fears
             [2]   He told them, are there not twelve hours in a day.
                     [a]  The day was divided into twelve hours of darkness and twelve hours of light.
             [3]  If a man walks in light he will not stumble
             [4]  If he walks in the darkness, he will stumble, because there is no light in him
             [5]  All of this sounds good, but what in the world does it all mean?
             [6]  What is Jesus trying to tell them?
                     [a]  What Jesus was saying was that there was an allotted or an appointed time for him to live and do his
                             Father's will, represented by the twelve hours of the day.
                     [b]   He knew that his time was drawing near, yet there was some time left.  
                     [c]  A traveler continued his journey until night. It was just as proper for him to travel during the twelfth
                             hour as any of the other hours.
                     [d]  It was proper for Jesus to labor the close of the day, or until it was his appointed time to die. Actually it
                             was the proper time for him to work, for the night of his death was coming, and no work could then
                             be done.
                     [e]   He knew that God would defend him until the appointed time of his death.
                             [1-a]  He had nothing to fear, from the Jews, until it was the will of God that he should die.  
                             [2-a]  He was safe in his hand, so he went fearlessly into the midst of his foes, trusting in God.
                             [3-a] This passage teaches us that we should also be diligent to the end of our life;
                             [4-a]  We should be fearless of our enemies when God has requires us to labor,         
                             [5-a]  We should be confident as we committing ourselves totally to Him who is able to shield us - for
                                     he has promised us that he will fight our battles and protect us from our enemies until our
                                     appointed time.

     [D]  Verses eleven and twelve
             [1]  Jesus then told his disciples that Lazarus slept. Believing this to be a good sign, the disciples said so, after
                     all, if Lazarus was sleeping, apparently he was on the road to recovery

     [E]  Verses thirteen and fourteen
             [1] Then Jesus told them, that he was dead

John 11:15-16
     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.
     16. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
     [A] Jesus made what I feel is a very strange statement in verse fifteen.
             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.

     [B]  Question
             [1]  What was he talking about here?
             [2]  Why was he happy that he was not there when Lazarus was sick?
             [3]  Would this not have sounded cold-hearted to the disciples?

     [C]  Jesus then said, let us go to him
             [1]  Notice that he didn’t say, let us go to the family to comfort them
             [2]  He said, let us go to him, meaning Lazarus

     [D]   Thomas, then told the other Disciples, let us go with him that we may die with him
             [1]  This was a slur to Jesus
             [2] If you remember, just a few verses back the disciples rebuked him for wanting to go to Bethany, because
                     the people had tried to stone him when he was last in Jerusalem If he was to return, it was highly possible  
                     that he, along with the disciples would be stoned, at least that was what Thomas feared

John 11:17-19
     17. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
     18. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
     19. And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
     [A]  How long had Jesus stayed in Galilee after he heard that Lazarus was sick?
             [1]  He stayed for two days

     [B]  When Jesus and the disciples arrives in Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead for four days        
             [1]  Sometimes, even in Israel, the body of a dead person was embalmed, but apparently this was not the case
                     for Lazarus, for he apparently was buried as soon as he died, even as Jesus was.
             [2]  Four days he was in his tomb, lying wrapped in grave cloth before Jesus arrived on the scene.
             [3]  Four days was a very significant time, Why
                     [a]  As we will see later on, Martha said, that he had been buried for days, and his body would already be
                             smelling.          
                     [b]  Four days in the Hot sun of Bethany and the tomb would have been a stinking smelly mess
                     [c]   Yet there is another factor, the Jews believed that the spirit of a person remained in them for thee
                             days after they died, therefore, Lazarus’ spirit would have already have left him, according to their
                             belief, making the miracle Jesus was about to perform even more miraculous. Never had anyone
                             been raised from the dead, after they had been dead for four days.        

     [C]  Again in verse eighteen, we see a reference to how far Bethany was from Jerusalem - here we find it was fifteen
             furlongs
             [1]  Fifteen furlongs was approximately two miles, as I told you earlier.

     [D]  Verse nineteen
             [1]  Many of the Jews had come to the home of Lazarus to comfort Martha and Mary.
                     [a]  Among those who had come would have been the professional mourners who were paid to mourn a
                             death
                     [b]  There would also have been the family and friends who had come to comfort and help them in their
                             time of need

John 11:20-27
     20. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
     21. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
     22. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
     23. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
     24. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
     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:
     26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
     27. She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the       
             world
     [A]  Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming went out to meet him

     [B]  Her words to him was, If you had been here, he would not have died. But I know that even now, anything you
             ask of God, he will give it to the.
             [1]  This my friends is faith
             [2]  I wonder what she had seen or heard that gave her such a faith
             [3]  In Matthew, when Jesus was visiting with them, Martha stayed in the kitchen cooking and preparing the
                     meal, it was Mary who came and sat at Jesus feet, yet it was Martha who believed that God would do
                     anything Jesus asked of him, Why
             [4] How many more miracles, and how much more would God do for us, if we had that kind of faith?

     [C] Jesus then told her, Your brother will rise again

     [D]  Martha then told him, I know he will arise in the resurrection at the last day

     [E]  What did Jesus tell here then?
             [1]  He said, I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
             [2]  Then he said, whosoever believeth in me shall never die,
                     [a]  Had not Lazarus died four days ago?
                     [b]  Had not they laid him in the tomb?

     [F]  Was Jesus speaking of his raising Lazarus, or was he speaking of something else?

     [G] But when Jesus asked Martha if she believed, she said she did, because she believed he was the Christ, the
             Son of God
             [1]  What else did she have to believe, that was more than enough.