John 11 – Lazarus is Raised from the Dead

Read John 11:1-3

1 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha.

2 This is the Mary who poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick.

3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, the one you love is very sick.”

Jesus was probably in this town called Perea at the time, 20 miles away from where Lazarus lived.  They were probably able to walk 20 miles in 2 days.

Read John 11:4-7

4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God. I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this.”

5 Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus,

6 he stayed where he was for the next two days and did not go to them.

7 Finally after two days, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.”

*What happened to Lazarus?  Died

*Why did Jesus stay away? To receive glory

Back then they did not have phones.  Jesus knew he was dead by then already.  Lazarus most likely died the day they received notice he was sick.

Read John 11:8

8 But his disciples objected. “Teacher,” they said, “only a few days ago the Jewish leaders in Judea were trying to kill you. Are you going there again?”

Less than a week ago Jesus was in Jerusalem at a temple teaching on Hanukkah.

*When is Hanukkah?  Around Christmas time- winter

There he said he was the Messiah and the Jewish leaders wanted to stone him.

Read John 11:9&10

9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. As long as it is light, people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world.

10 Only at night is there danger of stumbling because there is no light.”


*What is he talking about, Daylight?

When Jesus is in our lives, when we are living in God’s will, it is daylight.  Night is when there is no God in people to guide them.

*You want to live in the daylight or night?

Read John 11:11-16

11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, that means he is getting better!”

13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was having a good night’s rest, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.

14 Then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.

15 And for your sake, I am glad I wasn’t there, because this will give you another opportunity to believe in me. Come, let’s go see him.”

16Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too — and die with Jesus.”

*Did they know Lazarus was dead?

I guess if he has just headed there right away, Lazarus would have either just died or was close to death.  People would not have cared as much.  But after a few days, now that is a miracle!

*Who else did Jesus raise from the dead?  Jarius’ daughter, widow’s son, himself

*Anybody remember Thomas?  Also called doubting Thomas, why? Refused to believe Jesus had risen from the dead.  Here he shows much courage.

Read John 11:17

17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days.

You can see Lazarus was dead.  Probably at the time the messenger was giving Jesus the message about Lazarus being sick.

By waiting the 2 extra days just added to the glory of the miracle.

Read John 11:18-26

18 Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem,

19 and many of the people had come to pay their respects and console Martha and Mary on their loss.

20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed at home.

21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 “Yes,” Martha said, “when everyone else rises, on resurrection day.”

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.

26 They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish. Do you believe this, Martha?”

*Do you believe that?  That anyone who believes in Jesus will live and never die?

*Read John 11:27-33

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

28 Then she left him and returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”

29 So Mary immediately went to him.

30 Now Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him.

31 When the people who were at the house trying to console Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there.

32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell down at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled.

*Why would Jesus be deeply troubled if people were wailing?  Back then they hired people to weep at a funeral.  Maybe he sensed they really did not care for the family.

Read John 11:34&35

34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Then Jesus wept.

This is the shortest verse in the Bible.

Read John 11:36-38

36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him.”

37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?”

38 And again Jesus was deeply troubled. Then they came to the grave. It was a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.

Jesus was deeply troubled again; in other versions it says he was angry.

*Why do you think Jesus was angry?  Maybe because they accused him of letting Lazarus die.

Read John 11:39

39“Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, said, “Lord, by now the smell will be terrible because he has been dead for four days.”

*Ever smell a dead animal on the side of a road?

Read John 11:40-44

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you will see God’s glory if you believe?”

41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me.

42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so they will believe you sent me.”

43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”

44 And Lazarus came out, bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

Jesus just did this fantastic miracle.  You would think everyone would believe right?

Read John 11:45-51

45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.

46 But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together to discuss the situation. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs.

48 If we leave him alone, the whole nation will follow him, and then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.”

49 And one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, “How can you be so stupid?

50 Why should the whole nation be destroyed? Let this one man die for the people.”

51 This prophecy that Jesus should die for the entire nation came from Caiaphas in his position as high priest. He didn’t think of it himself; he was inspired to say it.


High priest should have known this was the Messiah, but he did not.  It was kind of silly that the Roman army would destroy the nation because of Jesus.  It was quite opposite.  The Jews eventually caused the Romans to destroy Israel 10 years after Jesus’ death.  Within 300 years, Rome eventually became a Christian nation.  Until today, Rome is where the Pope lives.


Read John 11:52-57

52 It was a prediction that Jesus’ death would be not for Israel only, but for the gathering together of all the children of God scattered around the world.

53 So from that time on the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death.

54 As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.

55 It was now almost time for the celebration of Passover, and many people from the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the cleansing ceremony before the Passover began.

56 They wanted to see Jesus, and as they talked in the Temple, they asked each other, “What do you think? Will he come for the Passover?”

57 Meanwhile, the leading priests and Pharisees had publicly announced that anyone seeing Jesus must report him immediately so they could arrest him.

This happened a few weeks or months before Jesus was hung on the cross.  From Christmas time until Easter time on our calendar.


*What did you learn?

Jesus allows things to happen for his glory.  But even after all these great miracles, many of the Jewish people, who Jesus came for, and should have believed, did not believe, because of jealousy.  Do not let jealousy get a hold of you.  Instead fully believe in Christ and be at peace.