Sunday 06 April 2014

Bible Book:

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (vv. 25-26)

John 11:1-45 Sunday 6 April 2014


The account of Lazarus being raised to life four days afterdying and being laid in a tomb is unique to John's Gospel, but forJohn this episode is pivotal in Jesus' ministry. Not only is itmade crystal clear who Jesus is when his close friend Martha says,"You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into theworld" (v. 27), but this miracle is also described as the reasonthe chief priests and the Pharisees began to plot to kill him(verse 53).

This is the seventh and final sign in John's Gospel and itsimportance is seen by the way it is given far more space than theothers (John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; 5:1-18; 6:1-15, 16-21; 9:1-41). As with the others, this sign isintended to revel more about the truth of who Jesus was, and thisis made explicit through the discourse that, as usual, accompaniesthe sign. In this case most of the explanatory discourse has takenplace before the miracle has happened. So when Jesus first hearsabout Lazarus' death he says, "it is for God's glory, so that theSon of God may be glorified through it" (v. 4), and just tounderline the point he repeats the message to Martha in verse40.

It is perhaps puzzling why Jesus delays going to visit his closefriends in Bethany when he first hears about the death of Lazarus(verse 6), although it is clearly a deliberate decision (verse 5).As the discussion with his disciples goes on to show (verses 7-10),Jesus is both fully aware of what is happening and signals that heis in control. He acts at the right time and in accordance with adivine timetable and plan for his mission. However, there is now noneed to wait until "the last day" (v. 24) to experience the newlife offered through Christ, for now he offered it there and thento anyone who believed in him (verses 25-26).

To Ponder

  • Jesus was so disturbed by this experience that he wept (verse35). Pray for those who weep today because of the difficultsituations they find themselves in.
  • Thomas bravely says to his fellow disciples, "let us also go,that we may die with him" (v. 16). Pray for those today whose faithin Christ puts them at risk of abuse or even death.
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