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John Chapter 11:29-57

Distributed by: Internet Bible Studies  

Memory verse for this week: 2 Cor 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Introduction: Last week we began our study on Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. We discussed how that Jesus purposefully delayed his coming to Bethany so that the people might know that He was the Savior, the one capable of resurrecting the dead.

I. Christ’s Great Compassion

John 11:29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

John 11:30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

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.

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.

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,

John 11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

We know that Jesus was known as man of sorrow and grief. He came to do the Father’s Will in His life, and the Jews simply could not believe that He was the Son of God. But Jesus was not only God’s son, but he was the resurrection, the life, the anointed one. We see in verse 29 that Mary responded to Jesus’ call. Many others come out with her, and the agony and weeping affected the Lord. It says that Jesus wept. No other ever cared like Jesus. I wondered if the tears shed were not also for some of the non-believing Jews.

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.




John 11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

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?

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

The Jews read it that Jesus had loved Lazarus very much, which was true. What they failed to understand was how much He loved all of them also. Their question’s answer was yes, Jesus could have prevented his death. But as many things that happen in our lives that we don’t understand, Jesus allowed Lazarus to die that many might know that He had the power over the grave.

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.

John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

Jesus commands that they remove the stone from the entrance to the grave. Martha, realizing how long Lazarus had been in the grave, warns that by now the body would have decayed and would stink. Jesus tells her to simply believe, and they would see the glory of God. Sometimes, when we need an answered prayer, we need to simply believe God. How much faith does it take to receive an answered prayer. Not a lot, but even a little faith for us is hard to muster.

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Mat 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

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.

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.

It says that Jesus lifted up his eyes towards heaven. Is it possible to pray looking up to the heavens? Absolutely. Jesus did. John Calvin mentioned in his commentary that by looking up to heaven, we do not limit God to being only there. He is present with us at all times. Unlike Satan, who can only be in one place at a time, God is omni-present. He can be here with us this morning, and simultaneously be overseas in another service, perhaps a missionary service in Africa. He can be in all places at any time. This is an attribute that we find hard to understand but true. Jeremiah 23:24 says "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" Scripture teaches that God’s throne is in Heaven. "Heaven is my Throne." (Isaiah 66:1) I believe Christ was always teaching the disciples and those round about Him. Even in prayer, He teaches us to be thankful to the Lord. "I thank thee that thou hast heard me." He says in verse 41. We need to be thankful for the answered prayers we have received, and always glorify God in our prayers. Jesus’ goal for those about was fro them to understand that He was the one sent from above, the only Begotten Son of God.

John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

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.

Why did Jesus raise only one man? I think that God had a limited number of miracles that He wanted shown to the people. I’ve heard pastors say before that if Jesus had not specifically called for Lazarus, that all the dead in the Lord would have come forth.

John Calvin said this about verses 43-44. " Christ’s power is more clearly seen by the fact that he did not touch the body with his hand but only called out, using his voice. At the same time Christ commends to us the secret and wonderful efficacy of his Word. For how did Christ restore life to the dead but through his Word? So in the raising of Lazarus, Christ shows us a visible sign of His spiritual grace which we daily experience through the perception of faith, for Christ shows that his voice brings life. The evangelist takes pains in verse 44 to refer to the cloth around Lazarus’ face and the strips of linen, to indicate to us that Lazarus came out of the tomb just as he had been laid in it. This way of burying the dead is still used by the Jews. They cover the body with linen and wrapped the head separately in a cloth. "

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

Praise the Lord that some believed after they saw this great miracle. It seems like it would be easy to believe if you saw the dead raised, or saw Jesus again after he had risen from the grave. Remember the story of Thomas who refused to believe the other disciples when they told him about seeing Christ after his resurrection.

John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

John 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

If you and I are to believe today, we will have to believe based upon the Word of God and the witnesses that have testified of the truth. Jesus is not going to come back and raise the dead for you and I . Those miracles and wonders were for a time, and today we have the complete and final, finished Word of God.

1 Cor 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Cor 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

1 Cor 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

John 11:46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

John 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

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.

John 11:49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

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.

We find that some of the Jews went to the Pharisees, the leading religious group of the day, and they told them what Jesus had done. We see that rather than rejoice that the Messiah had come, they rather gather together and ask "What do we?" Without faith in God, they saw Jesus as a threat to their nation. And Caiaphas, the high priest, suggests that Jesus should be put to death so that the nation could be saved. What is one man’s life for all the others? What he did not understand, was that through the One they sought to destroy, many thousands have been given life. Eternal life can only come from Jesus Christ. We read these verses two weeks ago in our lesson.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.


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;

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.

John 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

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.

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.

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?

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 show it, that they might take him.


We see that Jesus could no longer walk openly among the Jews, because they now sought to put Christ to death. This was the beginning of the Jews open plot to put Jesus to death, which we know did ultimately happen on the Cross of Calvary. But while they wanted to put Jesus to death now and ask that any man who knew His location was to tell them, they could not take Jesus yet. It was not Christ’s time to go to the Cross. But on the appointed day and time, Jesus willingly laid down His life for you and I that we might have eternal life.

Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge. The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.

Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

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