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Matthew Henry's Commentary

John Chapter 11 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: John the Apostle
Date Penned: (85-90 AD)
Overview: Eternal Life is in Jesus-Christ Alone (c 1-21)
Theme:  Message & Ministry of Jesus Christ, The Son of God (c 2-12)
Message: Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (v 1-57)

John 11 Commentary

(11:1-16) Lazarus Becomes Ill and Dies - The Gospels tell us that Jesus raised others from the dead, including Jairus’s daughter (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:41-42; Luke 8:40-56) and a widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17). These people represent a cross section of ages and social backgrounds to whom Jesus gave back human life. All of them, including Lazarus, were raised but eventually died again. Lazarus’s story stands out because John used it as a sign of Jesus’ ultimate life-giving power and a picture of his own coming resurrection. And, as with all the miracles recorded in this gospel, it glorifies God. From John’s perspective, this miracle was the turning point; it caused the Jewish leaders to take decisive action against Jesus.

(11:17-37) Jesus Comforts Mary and Martha - Although we get many glimpses of Jesus’ compassion throughout the Gospels, his tender conversations with Mary and Martha are the most moving. His words reveal patient pastoral concerns. Elsewhere we see him confront people with the truth; here we see him console as the gentle Master. Jesus did not ridicule or belittle grief. He affirmed our need for comfort by providing it to the sisters without hesitation. It is a tribute to the family that many from Jerusalem came to Bethany to pay their respects and offer their support to the sisters.

(11:38-44) Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead - As this chapter opens, we see Mary, Martha, and the crowd expressing conditional belief in the power of Jesus. They believed that Jesus could have worked a miracle if Lazarus had still been alive. But death intervened, and they thought it was irreversible. Little did they know that what they considered impossible would soon be overcome by God’s power.

(11:45-57) Religious Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus - Some eyewitnesses to the raising of Lazarus reported to the Pharisees in Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away. This fresh evidence of Jesus’ power threw the Pharisees into a panic. What followed is a priceless opportunity for us who know the full story to see how badly mistaken people can be in their assessment of events.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Do You Have the Compassion of Christ?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of John with Chapter 11. In our text today we see Lazarus becomes ill and dies to see Jesus raise his good friend from the dead. In this process we see the humanity to Jesus as he weeps and comforts Mary and Martha before raising Lazarus. In making application we that today Jesus is making application for you as He sits at the right hand of the Father. Not only does Jesus love you but He feels your pain and is moved to compassion over the details of your life. How about you? Do you see that Jesus Loves You? Let us learn from our text today and this account of Lazarus to see that God who loves you and is moved with compassion over the details of your life which should cause us to love Him more and be compassionate about serving Him and Others. 


John 11

John 11

 1Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

 2(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

 3Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

 4When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

 5Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

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

 7Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

 8His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

 9Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

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

 11These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

 12Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

 13Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

 14Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

 15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

 16Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

 17Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

 18Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

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

 20Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

 21Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

 22But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

 23Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

 24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

 25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

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

 29As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

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

 31The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

 32Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

 33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

 34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

 35Jesus wept.

 36Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

 37And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

 38Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

 39Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

 40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

 41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

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

 43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

 45Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

 46But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

 47Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

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

 49And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

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

 51And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

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

 53Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

 54Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

 55And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

 56Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?

 57Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.