John chapter 11

Lazarus dies. Jesus tells Martha he is the resurrection and the life. He raises Lazarus from the dead. The Sanhedrin plots to murder him.





VERSE 1. Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha.

Mark 11:1. When they came near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,


VERSE 2. It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick.


VERSE 3. The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick.”


VERSE 4. But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.”

Jesus Christ said this illness would glorify God. This is a good way to view illness.

In our day, many Christians believe illness is proof of sin. Or cursedness. That is NOT how the Lord Jesus Christ interpreted illness.


VERSE 5. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.


VERSE 6. When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was.


VERSE 7. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.”


VERSE 8. The disciples asked him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”


VERSE 9. Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world.


VERSE 10. But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.”


VERSE 11. He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep.”


VERSE 12. The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”


VERSE 13. Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep.


VERSE 14. So Jesus said to them plainly then, “Lazarus is dead.


VERSE 15. I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let’s go to him.”


VERSE 16. Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go also, that we may die with him.”

Didymus. This means “Twin.”

that we may die with him. Thomas is being negative and defeatist. As usual.




VERSE 17. So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already.


VERSE 18. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.

fifteen stadia. That is about 1.7 miles.


VERSE 19. Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.


VERSE 20. Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house.


VERSE 21. Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.


VERSE 22. Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”


VERSE 23. Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”


VERSE 24. Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

the resurrection at the last day. Martha said Lazarus will rise on the Last Day.




VERSE 25. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Gospel According to John and from the entire Bible.

I am the resurrection. The resurrection of the dead has been a key Christian teaching since Jesus Christ himself.

Many people believe that when you die, that’s it. Nothing more. Game over. But Jesus Christ teaches resurrection. After our earthly death, we enter into a whole new existence. Resurrection means death is not the end.

Resurrection also means something different than reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that when your earthly body dies, your spirit or soul passes into a different body and begins another earthly life.

The Christian belief is resurrection. Resurrection does not mean: “resurrected into a different body.” It means resurrected into the realm of eternity at the End of Days.

and the life. Jesus is life. He came that we might have life, life to the full:

John 10:10. The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Some people act as if Christ came to make us sad. Or maybe to prevent us from having fun. But the Bible says that God calls us to make merry. God wishes for us to have life, life to the full.


VERSE 26. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Gospel According to John and from the entire Bible.

Whoever lives and believes in me. Jesus says whoever believes in him, even if that person dies, will live.

Some Christian leaders talk as if hardly anybody will be saved. What they’re actually doing is recruiting people to join their church (and give them money). They close the door to salvation so tightly that hardly anybody can squeeze through.

But Jesus Christ walks up to that closed door and kicks it down. Now the door is blasted open, right off its hinges. Now anybody can walk right through it. It is not closed to anybody. Its not closed to any cultural or nationality identity, any ethnicity or race or religious background.

Our verse closes with this question from Jesus to Martha: “Do you believe this?”

Do you believe this? How about you? When it comes to Jesus Christ, “Do you believe this?” When it comes to the resurrection, “Do you believe this?”

We Christians can ask people that after we’ve shared with them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Do you believe this?” That is, do you wish to believe in Jesus Christ?


VERSE 27. She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, he who comes into the world.”

you are … God’s Son. Martha believed Jesus Christ was the Messiah.

If Jesus Christ did not believe he was the Son of God, he would have corrected Martha. Otherwise, it would have been idolatry.




VERSE 28. When she had said this, she went away and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, “The Teacher is here and is calling you.”


VERSE 29. When she heard this, she arose quickly and went to him.


VERSE 30. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him.


VERSE 31. Then the Jews who were with her in the house and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”


VERSE 32. Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”


VERSE 33. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,


VERSE 34. and said, “Where have you laid him?” They told him, “Lord, come and see.”


VERSE 35. Jesus wept.

2 Kings 8:11. He settled his gaze steadfastly on him, until he was ashamed. Then the man of God wept.


VERSE 36. The Jews therefore said, “See how much affection he had for him!”


VERSE 37. Some of them said, “Couldn’t this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?”




VERSE 38. Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

groaning in himself. This reminds us of the “groaning” ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 102:8. I lie awake and moan, like a lone sparrow on the roof. (NAB translation)

Romans 8:26. In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered.


VERSE 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.”


VERSE 40. Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”


VERSE 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.

where the dead man was lying. Some Greek editions omit this phrase.


VERSE 42. I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude standing around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”

I know that you always listen to me. Do you believe God the Father hears you?


VERSE 43. When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”


VERSE 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.”

Free him, and let him go. Based on this untying on Lazarus, there is a prayer that people say as they walk: “Loose my bonds and set me free.”




VERSE 45. Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him.


VERSE 46. But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.


VERSE 47. The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, “What are we doing? For this man does many signs.


VERSE 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.”


VERSE 49. But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all,


VERSE 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.”


VERSE 51. Now he didn’t say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,


VERSE 52. and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.


VERSE 53. So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.


VERSE 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.




VERSE 55. Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand. Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.


VERSE 56. Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that he isn’t coming to the feast at all?”


VERSE 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 him.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.