Saturday 09 August 2014

Bible Book:

“For your sake, I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” (v. 15)

John 11:1-16 Saturday 9 August 2014


Although we do not know how Jesus met the family of Mary, Marthaand Lazarus, it is clear from the context that they are very closeto him. Verse 2 reminds us of Mary anointing Jesus' feet withcostly perfume (John 12:1-8).

Jesus receives the message that Lazarus is ill, but delaystravelling to be with them for two days (verse 6). We do not knowthe reason for this. One suggestion is that this ensured Jesus'arrival when Lazarus was truly dead and his soul had departed(believed to be four days later; see John11:17). Another view might be that Jesus was occupied withother matters. Perhaps the most human view would be in response tothe danger of which the disciples speak: the journey would takethem back through Judea where there were people who wanted to stoneJesus (verses 7-8).

Jesus' discussion of Lazarus' death seems strangely unemotionaland almost disconnected. He speaks of Lazarus as having fallenasleep (verse 11) and then criticises the disciples formisunderstanding that (verse 12). He almost seems pleased thatLazarus has died so that it may become a sign to the disciples andto others. The contrast with the Jesus who weeps in John11:35 is striking. Jesus goes to Lazarus (verse 15), and Thomascalls on the others to go too (verse 16), expecting to die withJesus: presumably by being stoned.

To Ponder

  • Why do you think Jesus stayed where he was for two moredays?
  • How do you respond to times when God doesn't seem to act?
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