THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LESSON TWENTY-SEVEN

John 11:28-32
     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.
     29. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
     30. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
     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.
     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.
     
     [A]  The last time we met, Martha had met Jesus and talked to him about Lazarus dying. She too, told him if he had
             been there, her brother would not have died. Jesus told here that he was the resurrection and the life, and that
             Lazarus would live again. Martha, thought that he meant in at the end of time, at the resurrection of the dead,
             but we know this is not what Jesus meant. He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, and this after four
             days of lying in the tomb.

     [B]  Martha went to Mary, and told here Jesus was calling for her.
             [a]  If he asked for her, it is not recorded in the scripture
             [b]  This makes one wonder, did Jesus ask for Mary or did Martha stretch the truth a little?

     [C]  In verse twenty-nine, we see that Mary went to Jesus as soon as she heard he was there.

     [D]  Apparently, Jesus stayed where he has met Martha and waited until Mary come

     [E]  Verse thirty-one
             [a]  When the Jews who were at the home of Mary and Martha saw here rise up to leave, they followed her
                     thinking she was going to the grave to weep over here brother       
             [b]  I wonder why they followed here, but didn’t follow Martha?

     [F]  Verse thirty-two
             [a]  When Mary arrived where Jesus was, she fell down at his feet
             [b]  Then she said the same thing here sister had said, If you had been here, Lazarus would not  have died.
             [c]  We know that Jesus waited for the two extra days before he left to come to them
             [d]  We also know that he knew what was going to happen
             [e]  Yet I wonder, how Mary and Martha telling him Lazarus would not have died were he there must have made
                     him feel?
             [f]  I wonder how his heart must have broken as he heard them say this and saw their tears of sadness, and
                     sensed their pain - after all, Jesus was compassionate, and he loved Mary and Martha.
             [g]  What do you think?

John 11:33-37
     33. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the
           spirit, and was troubled.
     34. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
     35. Jesus wept.
     36. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
     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?        

     [A]  Verse thirty-three
             [1]  Here is the answer to the question I just asked
             [2]  What did he do?
                     [a]  He groaned in the Spirit
                     [b]  He was deeply troubled
             [3]  What does it mean to groan in the Spirit?
                     [a]  To groan in the Spirit, is to be deeply moved ant to be felt deep in one’s heart
             [4]  What does it mean to be deeply troubled?
                     [a]  In this case, I believe that Jesus, because he was human, felt guilty for causing these people grief
                             when indeed he could have prevented it.        
                     [b]  His sorrow was not for the death of Lazarus, but because Mary, Martha and the other friends of
                             Lazarus was hurt so much and had suffered for these four days, with him laying in the tomb,
                     [c]  In those days leading up to the death of Lazarus, they waited with hope, they prayed, and they waited
                             for Jesus to show up to heal his friend. Yet, like us, they were disappointed, disappointed that
                             Lazarus died, disappointed that Jesus did not come, disappointed that he did not answer their
                             prayer, and now they had to suffer in their grief.

     [B] Verse thirty-four
             [1]  Jesus who felt their pain and knew their grief, asked where they lay Lazarus,
             [2]  They took him to the spot, where he was entombed.

     [C]  Verse thirty-five
             [1]  Jesus Wept
             [2]  This verse the shortest verse in the entire bible, is in my opinion, one of the most powerful verses as well.
                     [a]  When I see these two words, I realize that indeed, Jesus was just as much a human as I am
                     [b]  When I see the words, “Jesus Wept” it tells me that Jesus, who is God, as well as human, fells my
                             pain, and feels my suffering even as he felt the pain of those gathered there at Lazarus’ tomb.
                    [c]  To think that the strongest man who ever walked upon the face of the earth, was humble enough to
                             cry, tells me what a compassionate and loving God we serve, it also shows me that for a man to shed
                             tears is not a sign of weakness, instead it is a sign of strength..
                     [d]  Jesus looked upon the pain of those who were there and he felt their pain
             [3]  Why did Jesus weep?
                     [a]  I feel it was because of what I just said, because of the pain others felt
                     [b]  Another reason, one I have heard spoken by others, is that he wept because he was going to bring   
                             Lazarus back from where he was to this place where we live  
                             [1-a]  Lazarus was a righteous man, and a believer in Jesus, so we can assume that his spirit went to
                                     heaven.
                             [2-a]  It must have saddened Jesus to know what he was experiencing in heaven, as he knew he was
                                     going to bring him back.

     [D]  Verse thirty-six
             [1] The Jews who were standing there, thought that Jesus was weeping only because Lazarus had died
             [2]  They thought that he wept because he loved him and missed him so.

     [E]  Verse thirty-seven
             [1]   Some accused him, saying, why couldn’t he save Lazarus?
             [2]   He healed other, he caused the blind the see, how come he was unable to save his friend?

John 11:38-39
     38. Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
     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.

     [A] Can you see this? Can you see Jesus standing outside the grave of Lazarus, weeping, and the others around
             him, standing there, some weeping, some questioning why he could not save Lazarus. Can you see Mary and
             Martha, as they clung to Jesus, for support - What a scene this must have been.

     [B]  Four days Lazarus had laid in the grave, or in this  case in a cave sealed with a huge rock placed over the
             entrance

     [C]  Jesus told them to roll the stone away.

     [D] Martha told him, Lord by this time he stinketh, for he has been dead for four days.
             [1]  Last time we talked a bit about the four days, and how the Jews believed that the Spirit left the body after
                     three, days.

John 11:40-44
     40. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
     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.
     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.
     43. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
     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.        

     [A]  Verse forty
             [1]   After Martha, had told Jesus that surely Lazarus was stinking by now, for he had been dead for four days,
                     Jesus told her
                     [a]  Did I not tell you if you would believe you would see the glory of God
                     [b]  What was he referring to?
                     [c]  How was he going to show the Glory of God?

     [B]  Verse forty-one and forty-two
             [1]  Apparently, what he told Martha was enough that the stone was rolled away
             [2]  I really like what Jesus did next - He prayed
                     [a]  What was his prayer?
                     [b]  Why did he pray this audible prayer?
                     [c]  Could not he have just called out to Lazarus and he would have risen from the dead?
                     [d]  Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and prayed, so that the people would know that not only was he doing
                             the will of the Father, but so the Father would have the Glory for what was about to happen

     [C]   Verse forty-three
             [1]  Then what happened?
             [2]  Jesus cried out in a loud voice - What did he say?
             [3]  What would have happened if he would not have called Lazarus by name? What if he would have only
                     cried out, Come forth?        
                     [a]  Some have thought that were he to have said, come forth, instead of Lazarus, come forth, that all who
                             were dead in the hearing of his voice would have risen.

     [D]  Verse forty-four
             [1]  When Jesus cried out, Lazarus, come forth, what happened?
                     [a]  Lazarus arose from the dead and came out of the tomb.
             [2]  What did he look like?
                     [a]  When I visaulize Lazarus coming from the tomb, I think of the old mummy movies, when them mummy
                             came to life and walked around wrapped in the bandages.        
                     [b]  Lazarus, came forth still wrapped in his grave clothes, with the napkin still covering his face.
                     [c] It is not certain whether the whole body and limbs were bound together, or each limb separately. When
                             a person was embalmed, the whole body along with the limbs were bound together by strips of linen.
                             But it is not certain that this was always how Lazarus was prepared. Perhaps his body was wrapped
                             in winding-sheet, which is a custom still in western Asia.  No coffins were used. Instead, the body was
                             wrapped and swathed in  sheet. In this particular method, the body is stretched out and the arms laid
                             straight by the sides, after which the whole body, from head to foot, is wrapped tightly in many folds
                             of linen or cotton cloth; or, to be more precise, a great length of cloth is taken and rolled around the
                             body until the whole is enveloped, and every part is covered with several folds of the cloth. The ends
                             are then sewed, to keep the whole firm and compact; or else a narrow bandage is wound over the
                             whole, forming, ultimately, the exterior surface. The body, when thus enfolded and swathed, retains
                             the profile of the human form.
             [3] When Lazarus came forth, Jesus told the people to unwrap him, and set him free.
                     [a]  I can’t help but wonder how many people ran from the scene when they saw Lazarus come out of the
                             tomb.
                    [b]  I also have to wonder who unwrapped him, was it his sisters, Jesus’ disciples, or others?

John 11:45-57
     45. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
     46. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
     47. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many
           miracles.
     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.
     49. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
     50. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish
           not.
     51. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that
           nation;
     52. And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were
           scattered abroad.
     53. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
     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.
     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.
     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?
     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.

     [A] When I read these verses, something jumps our at me, that I find hard to understand. Here Jesus just called fort
             Lazarus from the dead, and the scriptures tell us that some of the Jews who came to comfort Mary and Martha,
             believed on Jesus
             [1]  This is not what confuses me,
             [2]  How could anyone see something like this take place and not believe?

     [B]  Yet, we see in verse forty-six that some went and reported to the Pharisees what Jesus had done
             [1]  This might not sound like a bad thing, but they knew how the Pharisees believed, and their reporting this to
                     them was not to because they believed in Jesus, but because they were a part of the same mindset as
                     the Pharisees were.
             [2]  The question still remains, How could anyone see what Jesus had done and not believe in him and follow
                     after him?

     [C]   Verses forty-seven and forty-eight
             [1]  The Pharisees, knew the miracles that Jesus did,
             [2]  They did not dispute the he had done miracles
             [3]  What were they worried about?
                     [a]  They were worried that they would lose control        
                     [b]  They were worried that somehow the ministry of Jesus, would cause the Romans to come and take
                             away their place in society and their nation.
                     [c]  They were afraid that Jesus really was the messiah, and he would take his place in Israel, doing away
                             with things as the Pharisees knew it, and they would no longer have any importance and power.

     [D]  Verses forty-nine through fifty-two
             [1]  Caiaphas, the High priest, made a very interesting statement, one which he did not realize was a prophecy,
                     yet one which surely was
                     
John 11:49-52
                     49. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know
                           nothing at all,
                     50. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole
                           nation perish not.
                     51. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die
                           for that nation;
                     52. And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that
                           were scattered abroad.
                     [a]  Isn’t this interesting,
                     [b]  This is exactly what Jesus died for, he died for the nation of Israel, and for all them that are scattered
                             abroad, in other words, for every man woman and child on the face of the earth

     [E]  Verses fifty-three through fifty-seven
             [1]  From that moment on, they took counsel to put Jesus to death.