John 11:1-57 约翰福音 第十一章 第一至五十七节

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

OPPOSITION TO JESUS (Part 7)

John 11:1-57


I.    Lazarus Dies (11:1-16)


    A.    Jesus’ Friend, Lazarus

  1. The name “Lazarus” means “one whom God helps.”  Lazarus was a personal friend of Jesus and the brother of Mary and Martha.
  2. Although Mary and Martha appear in the other Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), it is John who places so much emphasis on the raising of Lazarus from the dead.

    B.    Mary and Martha Send for Jesus

  1. The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was very ill.  Jesus assured them that Lazarus’ condition would not result in death.  He said, “but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (v. 4b).  Jesus knew that Lazarus would die, but He also knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead; that’s what He meant when He said, “This sickness is not to end in death” (v. 4a).  Although Lazarus did die, that was not the end of it.
  2. Notice verses 5 & 6: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.”  Human logic might assume that if Jesus really loved Lazarus and his sisters, He would have left immediately to go to Lazarus and heal him.  However, Jesus delayed in order to give an even greater display of His love and His power as the Son of God.  
  3. There are at least two points to be made by Jesus’ delay in going to Lazarus.  First, by raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus revealed His true mission on earth.  The physical raising of Lazarus pointed to the fact that through His coming death and resurrection, Jesus would provide the resurrection from the dead for all who trust in Him (See 1 Cor. 15:20-23).  Second, although Martha and Mary hoped for Jesus to come heal Lazarus, Jesus had a better plan.  The same often happens in our own lives.  We may think we know what our needs are and how God should answer our prayers, but He may have a better plan.  Therefore, when it appears God is not answering our prayers, we must trust that He hears us and will answer in His way and in His time.

    C.    The Disciples Try to Prevent Jesus From Going

  1. Jesus’ disciples urged Him not to go Bethany, for there were individuals who wanted to kill Him.  
  2. Thomas, often called “the doubter,” revealed the depth of his commitment to Jesus when he said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (v. 16).

II.    Jesus’ Emotions (11:17-37)


    A.    Jesus at Lazarus’ Tomb

  1. One of the most moving scenes in the life of Jesus is at the tomb of Lazarus.  Here we see not only the power of Jesus to raise the dead, but also the emotions of Jesus moved by the grief around Him, at which He showed His human nature by weeping.  
  2. Jesus wept not for Lazarus, but for those who were in such grief over Lazarus’ loss.  We can be assured that Jesus feels what we feel.  We can know that His love for us is so great that when we grieve, He also grieves.

    B.    The Testing of Martha and Mary’s Faith

  1. Martha’s faith was evident as she approached Jesus, four days after the death of Lazarus, professing belief that He could have saved her dead brother.  When Jesus told her that Lazarus would rise again, Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (v. 24).  Then Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die…” (v. 25).  
  2. Physical death may overtake the believer, but spiritual death has no power over the believer.  A person who has placed his faith in Jesus as Savior has eternal life.  That eternal life begins at the moment a person places his or her faith in Jesus, not when they die physically (See John 3:36a; 1 John 5:13).  
  3. When Mary came to Jesus, she said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (v. 32).   Mary’s faith, like most people, was limited.  Although she believed Jesus could have healed her brother while he was still alive, she did not have enough faith to believe Jesus could bring Lazarus back from the dead.  As noted earlier, it was when Jesus saw the grief of Mary and the others that He was moved emotionally and wept.  
  4. Even the others who were gathered at Lazarus’ tomb showed their limited faith.  When they saw Jesus weeping, they said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, also have kept this man from dying” (v. 37).

III.    The Raising of Lazarus (11:38-57)


    A.    The Seventh Sign (vv. 38-44)

  1. The raising of Lazarus from the dead was the seventh sign that Jesus performed as proof that He was the Messiah.  Through this sign, Jesus proved that He is the master over death.  One result of this sign was that many more people put their faith in Jesus (v. 45).
  2. Notice that when Jesus said to remove the stone from the entrance to Lazarus’ tomb, Martha said that it had been four days since Lazarus had died and that by that time he would stink.  The Jewish people believed that the spirit of a dead person hovered over the body for three days before departing on the fourth day.  The fourth day was when the process of decomposition began.  Because of this, there would be no doubt for those who witnessed this miracle that Lazarus was dead.  Perhaps this is another reason that Jesus delayed coming.
  3. After they removed the stone, Jesus prayed to the Father, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  I knew that You always hear Me, but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me” (v. 42).  Jesus wanted everyone to hear this prayer so that they would know that Jesus truly was the Son of God and that it was by the power of God that Lazarus would be raised.
  4. Then Jesus called out, “Lazarus, come forth!” (v. 43).  Then Lazarus walked out of the tomb, and Jesus told the people to take off the grave clothes.  It is important to note that even though Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead at this point, Lazarus still had his physical body and would someday die physically again, but spiritually he would live eternally.

    B.    The Sanhedrin Reacts (vv. 45-54)

  1. The resurrection of Lazarus caused many people to place their faith in Jesus (v. 45).  It also led to a meeting of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council.  The Sanhedrin was the high court of the Jews.  In the New Testament period, it was comprised of three groups: the chief priests, the elders, and the teachers of the Law.  Its membership reached seventy-one, including the high priest, who served as the presiding officer.  Under Roman jurisdiction, the Sanhedrin was given great power; but it could not impose capital punishment (John 18:31).
  2. The Sanhedrin was concerned about the growing influence of Jesus with the people.  They acknowledged His miracles and feared that these would create such a following that even Rome would feel threatened.  Rome might take away the authority of the Sanhedrin and do away with Israel as a nation.
  3. Caiaphas, the high priest for that year, said it would be better if one man  died than that the entire nation be removed.  So, from that point on, they sought ways to bring Jesus to His death.

    C.    Jesus Prepares for the Passover (vv. 55-57)

  1. The religious authorities put out an order for people to report Jesus’ presence so they might arrest Him.
  2. Jesus, aware of the Passover plot on His life, withdrew from Jerusalem to a wilderness area about twelve to fifteen miles away from the city.  He stayed there with His disciples until the Passover season.  As we have learned in earlier chapters, Jesus avoided being taken by the authorities at this time because it was not yet the proper time for Him to die.




REVIEW QUESTIONS


  1. Jesus delayed coming to Lazarus while he was ill.  What might have been His reason?  
  2. What significance does the sign of the raising of Lazarus hold?
  3. Why did the Sanhedrin react so decisively toward Jesus’ miracle of raising Lazarus?
  4. Jesus avoided further confrontations with the religious leaders after learning of their plot to kill Him.  What was His purpose in withdrawing?
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