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1 Now a certaine man was sicke, named Lazarus of Bethanie, the towne of Mary, and her sister Martha.

2 (It was that Mary which anoynted the Lord with oyntment, and wiped his feete with her haire, whose brother Lazarus was sicke.)

3 Therefore his sister sent vnto him, saying, Lord, behold, hee whom thou louest, is sicke.

4 When Iesus heard that, hee said, This sicknesse is not vnto death, but for the glory of God, that the Sonne of God might be glorified thereby.

5 Now Iesus loued Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

6 When he had heard therefore that he was sicke, he abode two dayes still in the same place where he was.

7 Then after that, saith hee to his disciples, Let vs go into Iudea againe.

8 His disciples say vnto him, Master, the Iewes of late sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither againe?

9 Iesus answered, Are there not twelue houres in the day? If any man walke in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

10 But if a man walke in the night, hee stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

11 These things said hee, and after that, hee saith vnto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I goe, that I may awake him out of sleepe.

12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleepe, he shall doe well.

13 Howbeit Iesus spake of his death: but they thought that hee had spoken of taking of rest in sleepe.

14 Then saide Iesus vnto them plainly, Lazarus is dead:

15 And I am glad for your sakes, that I was not there (to the intent yee may beleeue:) Neuerthelesse, let vs goe vnto him.

16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, vnto his fellow disciples, Let vs also goe, that we may die with him.

17 Then when Iesus came, hee found that hee had lien in the graue foure dayes already.

18 (Now Bethanie was nigh vnto Hierusalem, about fifteene furlongs off:)

19 And many of the Iewes came to Martha, and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soone as shee heard that Iesus was comming, went and met him: but Mary sate still in the house.

21 Then saide Martha vnto Iesus, Lord, if thou hadst bene here, my brother had not died.

22 But I know, that euen now, whatsoeuer thou wilt aske of God, God will giue it thee.

23 Iesus saith vnto her, Thy brother shall rise againe.

24 Martha sayeth vnto him, I know that he shall rise againe in the resurrection at the last day.

25 Iesus said vnto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: hee that beleeueth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he liue.

26 And whosoeuer liueth, and beleeueth in mee, shall neuer die. Beleeuest thou this?

27 She saith vnto him, Yea Lord, I beleeue that thou art the Christ the Sonne of God, which should come into the world.

28 And when shee had so said, shee went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

29 Assoone as she heard that, she arose quickely, and came vnto him.

30 Now Iesus was not yet come into the towne, but was in that place where Martha met him.

31 The Iewes then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she rose vp hastily, and went out, followed her, saying, Shee goeth vnto the graue, to weepe there.

32 Then when Mary was come where Iesus was, and saw him, shee fell downe at his feete, saying vnto him, Lord, if thou hadst beene here, my brother had not dyed.

33 When Iesus therefore sawe her weeping, and the Iewes also weeping which came with her, hee groned in the Spirit, and was troubled,

34 And said, Where haue ye laid him? They say vnto him, Lord, come, & see.

35 Iesus wept.

36 Then said the Iewes, Behold, how he loued him.

37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blinde, haue caused that euen this man should not haue died?

38 Iesus therefore againe groning in himselfe, commeth to the graue. It was a caue, and a stone lay vpon it.

39 Iesus said, Take yee away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, sayth vnto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath beene dead foure dayes.

40 Iesus saith vnto her, Said I not vnto thee, that if thou wouldst beleeue, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

41 Then they tooke away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Iesus lift vp his eyes, and said, Father, I thanke thee, that thou hast heard me.

42 And I knewe that thou hearest me alwayes: but because of the people which stand by, I said it, that they may beleeue that thou hast sent me.

43 And when hee thus had spoken, he cryed with a loude voice, Lazarus, come foorth.

44 And he that was dead, came forth, bound hand & foot with graue-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Iesus saith vnto them, Loose him, and let him goe.

45 Then many of the Iewes which came to Mary, and had seene the things which Iesus did, beleeued on him.

46 But some of them went their wayes to the Pharises, and tolde them what things Iesus had done.

47 ¶ Then gathered þe chiefe Priests and the Pharises a councell, and said, What doe wee? for this man doeth many miracles.

48 If we let him thus alone, all men will beleeue on him, and the Romanes shall come, and take away both our place and nation.

49 And one of them named Caiaphas, being the high Priest that same yeere, said vnto them, Ye know nothing at all,

50 Nor consider that it is expedient for vs, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

51 And this spake he not of himselfe: but being high Priest that yeere, he prophecied that Iesus should die for that nation:

52 And not for that nation only, but that also hee should gather together in one, the children of God that were scattered abroad.

53 Then from that day foorth, they tooke counsell together for to put him to death.

54 Iesus therefore walked no more openly among the Iewes: but went thence vnto a countrey neere to the wildernesse, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

55 ¶ And the Iewes Passeouer was nigh at hand, and many went out of the countrey vp to Hierusalem before the Passeouer to purifie themselues.

56 Then sought they for Iesus, and spake among themselues, as they stood in the Temple, What thinke ye, that he will not come to the feast?

57 Now both the chiefe Priests and the Pharises had giuen a commandement, that if any man knew where hee were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

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Commentary for John 11

The sickness of Lazarus. (1-6) Christ returns to Judea. (7-10) The death of Lazarus. (11-16) Christ arrives at Bethany. (17-32) He raises Lazarus. (33-46) The Pharisees consult against Jesus. (47-53) The Jews seek for him. (54-57)1-6 It is no new thing for those whom Christ loves, to be sick; bodily distempers correct the corruption, and try the graces of God's people. He came not to preserve his people from these afflictions, but to save them from their sins, and from the wrath to come; however, it behoves us to apply to Him in behalf of our friends and relatives when sick and afflicted. Let this reconcile us to the darkest dealings of Providence, that they are all for the glory of God: sickness, loss, disappointment, are so; and if God be glorified, we ought to be satisfied. Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. The families are greatly favoured in which love and peace abound; but those are most happy whom Jesus loves, and by whom he is beloved. Alas, that this should seldom be the case with every person, even in small families. God has gracious intentions, even when he seems to delay. When the work of deliverance, temporal or spiritual, public or personal, is delayed, it does but stay for the right time.

7-10 Christ never brings his people into any danger but he goes with them in it. We are apt to think ourselves zealous for the Lord, when really we are only zealous for our wealth, credit, ease, and safety; we have therefore need to try our principles. But our day shall be lengthened out, till our work is done, and our testimony finished. A man has comfort and satisfaction while in the way of his duty, as set forth by the word of God, and determined by the providence of God. Christ, wherever he went, walked in the day; and so shall we, if we follow his steps. If a man walks in the way of his heart, and according to the course of this world, if he consults his own carnal reasonings more than the will and glory of God, he falls into temptations and snares. He stumbles, because there is no light in him; for light in us is to our moral actions, that which light about us to our natural actions.

11-16 Since we are sure to rise again at the last, why should not the believing hope of that resurrection to eternal life, make it as easy for us to put off the body and die, as it is to put off our clothes and go to sleep? A true Christian, when he dies, does but sleep; he rests from the labours of the past day. Nay, herein death is better than sleep, that sleep is only a short rest, but death is the end of earthly cares and toils. The disciples thought that it was now needless for Christ to go to Lazarus, and expose himself and them. Thus we often hope that the good work we are called to do, will be done by some other hand, if there be peril in the doing of it. But when Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, many were brought to believe on him; and there was much done to make perfect the faith of those that believed. Let us go to him; death cannot separate from the love of Christ, nor put us out of the reach of his call. Like Thomas, in difficult times Christians should encourage one another. The dying of the Lord Jesus should make us willing to die whenever God calls us.

17-32 Here was a house where the fear of God was, and on which his blessing rested; yet it was made a house of mourning. Grace will keep sorrow from the heart, but not from the house. When God, by his grace and providence, is coming towards us in ways of mercy and comfort, we should, like Martha, go forth by faith, hope, and prayer, to meet him. When Martha went to meet Jesus, Mary sat still in the house; this temper formerly had been an advantage to her, when it put her at Christ's feet to hear his word; but in the day of affliction, the same temper disposed her to melancholy. It is our wisdom to watch against the temptations, and to make use of the advantages of our natural tempers. When we know not what in particular to ask or expect, let us refer ourselves to God; let him do as seemeth him good. To enlarge Martha's expectations, our Lord declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In every sense he is the Resurrection; the source, the substance, the first-fruits, the cause of it. The redeemed soul lives after death in happiness; and after the resurrection, both body and soul are kept from all evil for ever. When we have read or heard the word of Christ, about the great things of the other world, we should put it to ourselves, Do we believe this truth? The crosses and comforts of this present time would not make such a deep impression upon us as they do, if we believed the things of eternity as we ought. When Christ our Master comes, he calls for us. He comes in his word and ordinances, and calls us to them, calls us by them, calls us to himself. Those who, in a day of peace, set themselves at Christ's feet to be taught by him, may with comfort, in a day of trouble, cast themselves at his feet, to find favour with him.

33-46 Christ's tender sympathy with these afflicted friends, appeared by the troubles of his spirit. In all the afflictions of believers he is afflicted. His concern for them was shown by his kind inquiry after the remains of his deceased friend. Being found in fashion as a man, he acts in the way and manner of the sons of men. It was shown by his tears. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Tears of compassion resemble those of Christ. But Christ never approved that sensibility of which many are proud, while they weep at mere tales of distress, but are hardened to real woe. He sets us an example to withdraw from scenes of giddy mirth, that we may comfort the afflicted. And we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. It is a good step toward raising a soul to spiritual life, when the stone is taken away, when prejudices are removed, and got over, and way is made for the word to enter the heart. If we take Christ's word, and rely on his power and faithfulness, we shall see the glory of God, and be happy in the sight. Our Lord Jesus has taught us, by his own example, to call God Father, in prayer, and to draw nigh to him as children to a father, with humble reverence, yet with holy boldness. He openly made this address to God, with uplifted eyes and loud voice, that they might be convinced the Father had sent him as his beloved Son into the world. He could have raised Lazarus by the silent exertion of his power and will, and the unseen working of the Spirit of life; but he did it by a loud call. This was a figure of the gospel call, by which dead souls are brought out of the grave of sin: and of the sound of the archangel's trumpet at the last day, with which all that sleep in the dust shall be awakened, and summoned before the great tribunal. The grave of sin and this world, is no place for those whom Christ has quickened; they must come forth. Lazarus was thoroughly revived, and returned not only to life, but to health. The sinner cannot quicken his own soul, but he is to use the means of grace; the believer cannot sanctify himself, but he is to lay aside every weight and hinderance. We cannot convert our relatives and friends, but we should instruct, warn, and invite them.

47-53 There can hardly be a more clear discovery of the madness that is in man's heart, and of its desperate enmity against God, than what is here recorded. Words of prophecy in the mouth, are not clear evidence of a principle of grace in the heart. The calamity we seek to escape by sin, we take the most effectual course to bring upon our own heads; as those do who think by opposing Christ's kingdom, to advance their own worldly interest. The fear of the wicked shall come upon them. The conversion of souls is the gathering of them to Christ as their ruler and refuge; and he died to effect this. By dying he purchased them to himself, and the gift of the Holy Ghost for them: his love in dying for believers should unite them closely together.

54-57 Before our gospel passover we must renew our repentance. Thus by a voluntary purification, and by religious exercises, many, more devout than their neighbours, spent some time before the passover at Jerusalem. When we expect to meet God, we must solemnly prepare. No devices of man can alter the purposes of God: and while hypocrites amuse themselves with forms and disputes, and worldly men pursue their own plans, Jesus still orders all things for his own glory and the salvation of his people.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for John 11

  • Russell Stone
    The first 1st letter In the Bible is I. Also the first Roman numeral is I. I can be spelled ,Eye . The Eye of GOD is always watching, always hearing always seeing always loving always caring. Ecclesiastes 11:7 has 2 parts . Part A " Then shall dust return to the earth as it was ". Part B "And the spirit return into GOD who gave it." All will return to GOD.
  • Teri
    We need to heed ...while it's still day! we will by edifying the body and by witnessing to the lost. this chapter shows that there is a resurrection and also a separation from God...John 9:4 there is a time when no man can work.
  • Getto John
    It may have happened, but the Bible is a metaphor of how we're to spend time on earth. There's glory with God, here and in heaven. On earth there is trouble and floundering, doubt and disgrace. And Rome gave up on a reunion with Jesus. So why wait for his return any longer. God is who I believe, not man! His word brings life to the dead, after a time of trial of faith. On earth, troubles!!
  • Obbie Beal
    (25-26 are great example of the power of GOD as it relates to life, death, resurrection from the dead;) 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. believest thou this?
  • Ivy
    V:25! JESUS: Resurrection:LIFE: Eternal: Everlasting: Lord:God and Saviour: Jesus Christ: ONLY! Only He can Change our: dull: drab: sinful:lives:
    When we come to Him By Faith: Believing: Receiving: His Awesome: FREE: Gift of Salvation: We could never Earn it: It is Priceless: It cannot be bought: Lord gave his Ultimate: His LIFE: JESUS BOUGHT OUR SOULS: WITH HIS SHED BLOOD: AT CALVARY’S CROSS!
  • QUEEN V
    JESUS GROAN IN HIS SPIRIT AND WEPT WHEN HIS PEOPLE SUFFER.

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