JOHN 11:5-15 RESPOND TO JESUS WHILE YOU CAN

26May

John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." 8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?" 9 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. 10 "But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." 12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. 15 "And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him."

In this section of Scripture we see that Jesus has received the message that Lazarus is sick, but Jesus knows that he is dead at this point in time. So, Jesus waits two more days to test the sisters and the disciples. God loves to test us by making us wait on Him so our faith can grow and mature. Then He tells them lets go to Judea and scares the disciples because they know the Jews want to stone Him and they are in danger too if they go. Jesus tells us in the main point of the passage that there is only so much time for each of us to do what God has called us to do and so we better get busy while there is time to do His will. Then He tells them that Lazarus sleeps, they misunderstand, so He tells them plainly that he is dead. The last point of this section is Jesus testing them again because He says He is glad that He was not there when Lazarus died because He has something greater in mind. Did you know that God doesn’t always do what we think He ought to do because He has a greater plan and a greater purpose than any we can imagine? Faith means we trust God no matter what happens.

 5 Now Jesus loved(agape) Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

He waited till the right moment in the Father’s plan. This is God’s Timing –Never late

Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death, that is, in permanent death. Instead Jesus would be glorified in this incident (cf. 9:3). This statement is ironic. Jesus’ power and obedience to the Father were displayed, but this event led to His death (cf. 11:50-53), which was His true glory (17:1).

 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

As we come to verse 6, we have a real tension with which we must grapple.  John makes a point of telling us that Jesus deeply loves Lazarus and his sisters. His love for Lazarus is mentioned by Martha and Mary in verse 3, and John then repeats it even more emphatically in verse 5. In spite of this, and the urgency of the situation, Jesus deliberately delays His return to Bethany. He waits two full days, so that when He does arrive in Bethany, Lazarus is “good and dead.” How can Jesus love these people so much and yet speak and act in a way that causes them such pain? it seems that since Lazarus has already been dead four days when Jesus arrives, that he must have died shortly after the messenger was sent.

In other words, it was more loving to put Lazarus through death and his sisters through grief, if that would reveal more of God’s glory to them and more of the glory of Christ. Jesus loves us by showing us himself.

When delay occurs God has a better time and a Better way – grows their faith, love sometimes has to be tough

 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."

When these two days are completed, Jesus says to His disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” Notice, He does not say, “Let us go to Bethany, again.” To go to Bethany is to go to Judea, which is virtually the same thing as going to Jerusalem, a mere two miles away. To go to Martha and Mary in Bethany is to return to that place where the Jewish religious leaders want Jesus dead. The disciples know this only too well. They are amazed that He even considers returning to Judea, and they remind Him of the dangers awaiting Him there. No matter how ill Lazarus might be, no matter how much these women feel they need Jesus, the disciples do not seem to even entertain the possibility of returning to Judea.

 8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?"

3 times they sought to kill Jesus: John 5;16-18, 7:1, 10:27-30, 39-40

The “you” here is singular, not plural. At this point in time, any discussion about going back to Judea was, in the minds of His disciples, a personal trip for Jesus. They seem to have no intention of accompanying Him at this point

Martha and Mary must be mystified as to why Jesus is taking so long to get back to Bethany—if not to cure Lazarus, then at least to comfort them. Those four days after the death of Lazarus must have been especially difficult for them. The disciples have a different problem, however: they cannot understand why Jesus is even considering returning to Bethany, no matter what the circumstances. A return to Jerusalem would seem to spell certain death for Jesus, and for them, if they choose to accompany Him. I am not at all certain they are planning to do so—at least not until verse 16.

 9 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. 1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Joh 9:4 "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

This is walking in God’s will, His truth, As long as I and you are doing God’s will we are okay they can’t kill us because we are on God’s timetable.  My hour has not yet come

Joh 2:4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."

Joh 7:30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

 Joh 8:20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

 Joh 12:23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.

 10 "But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."

The Jews and the Romans commonly regarded the daylight hours as 12 and the nighttime hours as the other 12. Literally Jesus was referring to the daylight hours. Metaphorically the daylight hours represented the Father's will. Jesus was safe as long as He did the Father's will. For the disciples, as long as they continued to follow Jesus, the Light of the World, they would not stumble. Walking in the night pictures behaving without divine illumination or authorization. Living in the realm of darkness (i.e., evil) is dangerous (cf. 1 John 1:6). "When there is darkness in the soul, then we will stumble indeed."

As long as He followed God’s plan, no harm would come till the appointed time. Applied to people then, they should have responded to Jesus while He was in the world as its Light (cf. 1:4-7; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5). Soon He would be gone and so would this unique opportunity.

Their problem is they don’t know the truth and they will die in their sins

 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."

Jesus then said, Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. The word “friend” has special significance in Scripture (cf. 15:13-14; James 2:23). Not only their friend, but His also.

Jas 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.

 12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well."

As was often the case in the Gospels, Jesus was speaking about one thing but the disciples were thinking about another.

The raising of Lazarus is not a “first” in the Gospels. Jesus had already raised the dead son of the “widow of Nain,” as recorded in Luke 7:11-16. He did so on that occasion as they were taking his body out to be buried, and without being asked to do so by anyone. (Who would have thought to ask Jesus to raise a dead man?)  This was followed by the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:21-43). In this latter raising, Jesus tells those who are mourning her death that she is not really dead, but is merely “asleep” (5:39). Our Lord’s disciples and others seem to have forgotten these earlier raisings, nor do they seem to recall our Lord’s use of the term “sleep” to describe a temporary lack of life.

The idea that people would awake from this sleep, while revealed in the Old Testament (Dan. 12:2), was not the common perception of the outcome of death. Normally people thought of those who fell asleep in death as staying asleep  13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

The New Testament writers commonly referred to death as sleep for the Christian because our resurrection to life is a prominent revelation and is sure (cf. Acts 7:60; 1 Cor. 15:20, 51; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). That Jesus was not teaching soul sleep should be clear from Luke 16:19-31.403

The doctrine of soul sleep is the teaching that at death the soul, specifically the immaterial part of man, becomes unconscious until the resurrection of the body. The story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 shows that people are conscious after death and before their resurrection.

 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. – There is no hope now in earthly terms, it’s too late

This is a picture of us being dead in our sins and trespasses,

15 "And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him."

Wants them to have more faith

When death occurs God has a better plan and a better purpose

His absence, He tells them, is for their benefit. His delay has been by divine design, so that they might believe. Frequently in the Gospel of John, reference is made to the fact that our Lord’s disciples “believed” in Him (1:50; 2:11, 22; 6:69; 13:19; 14:1, 29; 16:27, 30, 31; 17:8; 20:8; 20:25-29). It is apparent that the faith of the disciples continues to grow, the more the person and work of our Lord becomes evident to them. It is my conviction that our faith, likewise, should never be static, but that it should always be growing as our knowledge of Him increases.

Jesus was glad that He had not been present when Lazarus died because the disciples would learn a strong lesson from his

resurrection that would increase their faith. The sign that Lazarus' death made possible would be the clearest demonstration of Jesus' identity so far and would convince many people that He was God's Son.

Unto him (πρὸς αὐτόν). Most touching. To him, as though he were yet living. Death has not broken the personal relation of the Lord with His friend.

 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."

I believe this is a declaration of strong devotion to Jesus.

He did not understand that the death that Jesus would die was a death that His disciples could not participate in with Him (cf. 1:29, 36). Nevertheless he spoke better than he knew. John probably recorded his exhortation because it was a call to disciples to take up their cross and follow Jesus (cf. 12:25; Mark 8:34; 2 Cor. 4:10).

  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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