John 11 notes

  • Overview
    • Chapters 11&12 are the “hinge” connecting the end of Jesus’ public ministry with the beginning of the end of Jesus’ earthly life.
    • Don’t forget the question: Who is Jesus?
  • The Lazarus Experience (vv. 1 – 44)
    • 1-16 offer introduction to the story of Lazarus
    • Background (vv. 1-6)
      • Who is Lazarus?
        • Brother to Martha & Mary
        • Someone whom Jesus loves!
        • Someone who is sick unto death
      • Mary’s anointing of Jesus is an intimate act that foreshadows the desire to anoint his body after his death
      • This is a family that is CLOSE to Jesus, yet Jesus waits…why?
        • How will the “Son of God be glorified”?
      • Jesus chooses to return to Bethany of Judea (vv. 7-16)
        • What is the reaction of the disciples when Jesus decides to return to Judea?
        • This is a “kairos” moment
          • Humanity does not choose Jesus’ hour…Jesus does! (Remember the question!!!)
        • Significance of Jesus’ words in v. 9-10
          • Take advantage of the “light”
          • Do the work of Jesus while the “light” is shining
          • The “darkness” is not death, but separation from God/Jesus
        • The “sleep” to which Jesus refers is “death”
        • Significance of v. 15?
        • It is “Doubting Thomas” who takes the lead in v. 16
      • Interactions with Jesus (vv. 17-44)
        • Setting the Table
          • Lazarus has been dead 4 days!
            • Jewish belief was that the soul remained for 3 days
            • This death is “final” by human understanding
          • Jesus is near Jerusalem (The End!)
          • The “Jews” who are coming to console will be witnesses
        • Meet Martha!
          • She is the assertive/aggressive one
          • Even in her hurt she acknowledges the life-giving power of Jesus
          • Significance of vv. 23-26
            • Martha’s initial understanding is centered on new life in the resurrection
            • Jesus’ declaration that “I am the resurrection and the life” sets the stage for a “sign” that will point her faith towards the “Resurrector”!
            • Martha does not completely understand the words of Jesus, BUT SHE BELIEVES IN JESUS…THE MESSIAH/CHRIST/SON OF GOD!
          • Meet Mary
            • Mary is consoled/accompanied by the “Jews”
            • She is more passive, yet demonstrates a deeper/more vulnerable relationship with Jesus
              • The weeping of Mary & her accompanists elicits a “great disturbance” & “deep movement” within Jesus

*Why does Jesus weep in v. 35? Is it because of his extremely close/intimate relationship with this family?  Is it because the pain present within Mary and those with her is palpable?  Is it because the Lord does not delight in our suffering?  I believe the answer is “YES”!  What about you?

  • I find it interesting that these folks who are “consoling” Mary, even in their grief, continue to view Jesus with skepticism.
  • The “Miracle” is a “Sign”!
    • Human reality is not Jesus’ reality!
      • the body has begun to decompose
      • Jesus’ reality is not the resurrection of Lazarus…what is it?
    • Jesus Must Die! (vv. 45 – 57)
      • The raising of Lazarus divides the Jewish community
      • Those who are skeptics go to the Jewish religious authorities
        • Their decision to kill Jesus is based on survival instinct
          • Survival of the people, but more importantly…
          • Survival of their way of belief
        • Caiaphas uses the pulpit to put forward a personal agenda
        • Jesus no longer is out in the open…not because of fear!
          • It is not his “hour”!

*How can one tell if a personal or God agenda is being proclaimed from a pulpit?  Can’t wait to hear the responses to this one J

  • The Jerusalem crowds are looking for Jesus during the Passover, but why?

The prophecy of Caiaphas provides basis for apprehension/arrest of Jesus