Sunday 10 April 2011

Bible Book:

"Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (v. 26)

John 11:1-44 Sunday 10 April 2011


Lazarus has died. And here is a moving story of Jesus' visit tobereaved and grieving friends. It gives rise to deep discussionsaround what it is to live, and what death is.

Lazarus has two sisters:

  • Martha gets into a challenging theological discussion withJesus and draws from him one of the great sentences associated withhim: "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me,even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives andbelieves in me will never die." (verses 25-26)
  • Mary has a very different style. She stayed with the guestswhile Martha went out to receive Jesus. When she did meet Jesus,her tears draw concern and tears at what has happened. Jesuswept.

John's Gospel presents Jesus as God incarnate, God who iswith us. Jesus was familiar with the question often addressed toGod in times of crisis: where were you when we needed you most?Martha conveyed this sense of bewilderment to Jesus as soon as hearrived in Bethany (verses 21-22).

Jesus' ministry is consistently about setting people freefrom whatever it is that binds or imprisons them: "Unbind him, andlet him go." (verse 44)

The good news declared in Jesus is that God desires allpeople to have the fullness of life: life that is not extinguishedby death; life that, in union with God, knows no bounds orbondage.


To Ponder

What might have been Jesus' reasoning fordelaying his visit to Lazarus' distressed family?

What meaning are we to derive from theobservation that "Jesus began to weep" (verse 35)?

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