John 11: Up to this point in Yeshua’s ministry, He has revealed Himself in an ever widening manner. He started by turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. He then presented Himself at the Feast of the Tabernacles and at the Feast of Dedication. He presented Himself to the religious leaders and He was rejected. His works were rejected (John 5:16). His words were rejected (John 8:58-59). He was personally rejected (John 10:30-31). Yeshua is now going to retreat from some of His public appearances and focus more on private individuals.
The big question for any religion today is concerning death. That is probably the main reason people turn to religion is to find out whether there exists power over death. Yeshua is going to show that He has power over death in this chapter.
We are told about three incidents of the resurrection of the dead in the life of Yeshua. There was a twelve year old girl who died (Mark 5:35-43). There was a young man whose body was being carried to the cemetery (Luke 7:11-17). And there was Lazarus, who was probably an elderly man.
These incidents are not technically what we should refer to as “resurrections”, but restorations of life. A resurrection happened with Yeshua and He resurrected with a glorified body. Paul described a resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:50-55. Yeshua had many different methods of healing people. He touched them, spoke to them, allowed them to touch His garment, or just allowed them to show their faithfulness. But when he brought someone back to life, He always used the same technique. He spoke to them. Do you know why He spoke to them? Because they heard Him! When He returns with a shout, all of His sheep, both dead and alive, will hear His voice and will follow Him with glorified bodies.
(John 11:1 NASB) Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
(John 11:2 NASB) And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
John 11:2: It is surmised by many that John wrote this account of the life of Yeshua more than 50 years after His death. Mary was well known for being the one that anointed the head of Yeshua with expensive oil (Matt. 26:6-13).
(John 11:3 NASB) The sisters therefore sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
(John 11:4 NASB) But when Jesus heard it, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
John 11:4: There are many who say that a believer will have health and wealth and should not ever get sick. That is simply ridiculous. It is Elohim’s will that we suffer in this world just as unbelievers do. But that is certainly not because Elohim doesn’t love us. We are told in His Word that we are not to judge whether Elohim loves someone by their circumstances (Eccl. 9:1-2).
As a matter of fact, we are much better off not trying to explain “why” His people suffer. Elohim has a perspective on this world that we do not have. His viewpoint is not limited in any way by space or by time like ours. He has a plan and we are to trust in Him. It is as simple as that.
(John 11:5 NASB) Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
(John 11:6 NASB) When therefore He heard that he was sick, He stayed then two days longer in the place where He was.
John 11:6: It might seem strange that Yeshua waited two more days after he was told Lazarus was sick. He did that because He just told them that this would bring glory to the Son of Elohim. Keep in mind that Yeshua is not guided by sentiment. He is guided by His love of the Father. Sentiment is what spoils children, leads to immoral sexual behavior, and frees convicted criminals. Love is what disciplines, punishes, and develops character. That is what we see here.
Yeshua works according to the will of His Father, not according to the will of you and me. Lazarus is going to be used for Elohim’s glory. We are told that by the time He does get there, Lazarus had been dead for four days.
(John 11:7 NASB) Then after this He said^ to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
(John 11:8 NASB) The disciples said^ to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”
John 11:8: Both Yeshua and the disciples used the word “again.” Yeshua had just been there and he was forced to withdraw. Now He is going to go back.
(John 11:9 NASB) Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
(John 11:10 NASB) “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
John 11:10: This passage is telling the disciples that they need to walk in the light according to Elohim’s will. That means they are to go back to Judea. Yeshua is telling them to follow Him because He is the light of the world. To fail to follow Yeshua is dangerous and is like walking at night without light. Yeshua is quoting His Father’s Word (Prov. 4:18-19). John tells us this same thing in his first letter (1 John 2:10-11).
(John 11:11 NASB) This He said, and after that He said^ to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep.”
(John 11:12 NASB) The disciples therefore said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
(John 11:13 NASB) Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.
John 11:13: Yeshua tells them that Lazarus is asleep, but they think Yeshua was talking about Lazarus being tired. Yeshua is using the term for death that is in His Father’s Word (Deut. 31:16, Dan. 12:1-3).
(John 11:14 NASB) Then Jesus therefore said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,
(John 11:15 NASB) and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”
John 11:15: Yeshua is being frank. He tells them that Lazarus died. The Father set this all up in order for them to believe.
(John 11:16 NASB) Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
John 11:16: Thomas was known as a doubter and now he sounds rather gloomy. He does state he was willing to die with Yeshua.
(John 11:17 NASB) So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.
(John 11:18 NASB) Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off;
(John 11:19 NASB) and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
John 11:19: Apparently this family was very well known by people in the area.
(John 11:20 NASB) Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him; but Mary still sat in the house.
(John 11:21 NASB) Martha therefore said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
(John 11:22 NASB) “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
John 11:22: We tend to remember Mary and Martha from their account of Yeshua visiting their home (Luke 10:38-42).
Martha demonstrates a strong faithfulness in Yeshua as Messiah. She has seen the signs and heard His Words and knows He is the Son of Elohim.
(John 11:23 NASB) Jesus said^ to her, “Your brother shall rise again.”
(John 11:24 NASB) Martha said^ to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
John 11:24: Martha knew about the resurrection. It is a common teaching in the Tanakh (Psalm 17:15, 49:14-15, Isa. 25:8, 26:19, Dan. 12:2-3, Job 19:25-27).
(John 11:25 NASB) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,
(John 11:26 NASB) and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:26: Here is the fifth “I am” assertion made by the Yeshua. So far Yeshua has related Himself to the people in things they are most familiar with: bread, light, door, and shepherd. Now He is relating Himself to their greatest hopes: resurrection and life.
If one entrusts Yeshua Messiah they will never die an eternal death. The worst that will happen is that they will go to sleep, if they even do that before Yeshua returns.
(John 11:27 NASB) She said^ to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
John 11:27: Martha gives the same confession that Peter gave (Matt. 16:15-16). She knows He is the Messiah. We give all kinds of accolades to Peter for realizing this, but we seldom remember Martha for it.
(John 11:28 NASB) And when she had said this, she went away, and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here, and is calling for you.”
(John 11:29 NASB) And when she heard it, she arose^ quickly, and was coming to Him.
(John 11:30 NASB) Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.
(John 11:31 NASB) The Jews then who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
John 11:31: Although Martha told her sister secretly, the crowd saw Mary’s reaction and followed her.
(John 11:32 NASB) Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:32: Mary knows that Yeshua could have healed Lazarus. But she does not yet realize that Lazarus’ death is not the end. Yeshua was showing the people that He IS the resurrection and life.
Yeshua wants us to know this one fact. When we have a loved one who dies, they are not “dead” in the sense that we tend to look at it. They are merely asleep. When He returns He will wake them up with a shout.
(John 11:33 NASB) When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled,
(John 11:34 NASB) and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said^ to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
(John 11:35 NASB) Jesus wept.
John 11:35: Why did Yeshua weep when He knew He was going to wake up Lazarus? He was empathizing with those He loved and those who loved Lazarus. It says that Yeshua “was deeply moved in the spirit and was troubled.” When loved ones are weeping, probably hysterically, it is more than difficult not to weep with them.
(John 11:36 NASB) And so the Jews were saying, “Behold how He loved him!”
(John 11:37 NASB) But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man also from dying?”
John 11:37: The healing of the blind man made a big impression on the people.
(John 11:38 NASB) Jesus therefore again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
(John 11:39 NASB) Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said^ to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
(John 11:40 NASB) Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
John 11:40: The body had been dead four days and it would “stinketh” (kjv) by now. Lazarus is decaying.
(John 11:41 NASB) And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me.
(John 11:42 NASB) “And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me.”
John 11:42: Yeshua audibly voices His prayer so the people would know He is doing this for the glory of Elohim.
(John 11:43 NASB) And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”
(John 11:44 NASB) He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said^ to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
John 11:44: When Lazarus was raised from the dead, he was still bound in his burial clothing. He still even had his face wrapped up. But when Yeshua resurrected, he came right out of His burial clothing. Yeshua had a glorified body. The stone was rolled away from Yeshua’s tomb to let us in, not to let Him out.
(John 11:45 NASB) Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and beheld what He had done, believed in Him.
(John 11:46 NASB) But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.
John 11:46: The people had one of two opinions of Yeshua. Either they totally entrusted in Him, or they did not. They either followed Him, or went against Him. They either loved Him or hated Him. There was no “in between.”
In that day, many would rather cling to their religious traditions than cling to the Word of Elohim. It is that way for most today also.
(John 11:47 NASB) Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs.
(John 11:48 NASB) “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
John 11:48: The Pharisees knew who Yeshua was by the signs He was performing. But they were only concerned about losing their followers and their power base. They didn’t realize that they were going to lose that within a few years anyway when Rome destroys Jerusalem in 70 AD.
(John 11:49 NASB) But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all,
(John 11:50 NASB) nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.”
(John 11:51 NASB) Now this he did not say on his own initiative; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
(John 11:52 NASB) and not for the nation only, but that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
John 11:52: Caiaphas prophesied of Messiah’s quest because he was the high priest. He was supposed to be the representative of the people before Elohim and he should have gladly received Yeshua as Messiah, but instead he led in the death of Yeshua.
Yeshua would die not just for the Jews who entrusted Him, but for the scattered and lost sheep of all of the House of Israel. Caiaphas actually prophesies that Yeshua “should die for the people,” not just the Jews (John 18:14).
(John 11:53 NASB) So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
John 11:53: Caiaphas was instrumental in causing the death of Yeshua. He thought he could save the nation from being destroyed by Rome if he could have Yeshua killed. As mentioned earlier, Rome destroyed Jerusalem less than 40 years anyway.
Interestingly enough, the bones of Caiaphas were found in 1992 buried in his tomb beneath the modern city of Jerusalem.
(John 11:54 NASB) Jesus therefore no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.
John 11:54: Yeshua’s enemies will now publicly try to have Him killed. Yeshua knows their hearts and He will no longer walk publicly among the Jews for that reason.
Ephriam was probably a small town about 15 miles north.
(John 11:55 NASB) Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover, to purify themselves.
(John 11:56 NASB) Therefore they were seeking for Jesus, and were saying to one another, as they stood in the temple, “What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?”
(John 11:57 NASB) Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.
John 11:57: The people were gathering for the Passover. They were wondering if Yeshua is going to attend this year since they knew the Sanhedrin wanted to kill Him.
The public appearances of Yeshua are almost at an end. He is now entering His last week before His death.
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
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Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas