Bible Stories for Adults
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
Welcome and Announcements
Next Week - Jesus Calms a Storm (Matthew 8:23-27)
Bible Words to Remember:
Jesus said..., "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" "Yes, Lord...I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." John 11:25-27
Review of Last Week's Lesson (Luke 10:38-42)
What family did Jesus meet in last week's lesson?
What happened in last week's lesson?
Wasn't the story telling us to worship God instead of serving?
At what point in Jesus' ministry did He meet this family?
Where did this family live?
How close did Jesus become with this family during this short time?
The Feast of Dedication - Hanukkah (John 10:22-42)
What specific date do we know that today's story comes after?
How had Jesus gotten into trouble with the church leaders at that time?
John 10:24, 30-33
How did Jesus avoid being killed before His time?
A Sick Friend (John 11:1-5)
What crisis arose in the home of Jesus' friends in Bethany?
Knowing that Jesus healed the sick, did the sisters send word asking Jesus to heal Lazarus?
Was Jesus upset by this news?
Did this indicate that Jesus wasn't concerned about Lazarus?
Back to Jerusalem? (John 11:6-10)
Having this love and concern for Lazarus, did Jesus leave immediately for Bethany?
Did the disciples find it strange that Jesus didn't go to Lazarus at once?
Was it foolish for Jesus to risk His life going to His sick friend?
How did Jesus explain that He knew His time for suffering and death had not yet come?
Note: Days were divided into twelve equal hours of daylight
The length of an hour varied according to the day and the season
The Plan Revealed (John 11:11-16)
How did Jesus explain His plan when the disciples couldn't understand His deeper statement?
Did the disciples at least understand this simple and clear statement?
Was Jesus using cryptic language by saying Lazarus was asleep?
See also Matthew 9:24; Acts 7:59-60; 1 Cor 15:6, 51; 1 Thess 4:13-14
How did Jesus even further clarify what He was trying to say to make sure they understood?
How did Jesus feel about His disciples still not understanding things this late in His ministry?
Had the disciples understood any of Jesus' explanation that they would be okay in Judea?
Note: Thomas is Hebrew and Didymus is Greek for twin
A Time for Mourning (John 11:17-19)
Had Jesus spent the extra time to wait for Lazarus to die?
Had Mary and Martha spent the time mourning by themselves?
While body was in the house, no one ate meat, drank wine, wore phylacteries or studied
No food prepared in the house or eaten in presence of the dead
Burial followed death as soon as possible because of warm climate
After body was removed, furniture was reversed & mourners sat on ground or low stools
Wrapped in simple linen clothes - traveling-dress
Tradition had been to use finest spices & ointments, magnificent robes, valuables
Rabbi Gamaliel changed tradition with orders to be buried in the simplest linen robe
Separate linen wrapping for bodies, hands, feet and head
As many as possible joined the funeral procession, led by the mourning women
Memorial speeches made at tomb, principal mourners walked back between lines
After returning from the tomb, friends of the family served a meal of bread, eggs & lentils
As mourners left the tomb, they turned and said, "Depart in peace"
No idle or uninvited talk, mourners were left alone with their sorrow
Round hard-boiled eggs & lentils symbolized life always rolling to death
7 days of deep mourning (first 3 were days of weeping) followed by 30 days of lighter mourning
Forbidden to anoint oneself, put on shoes, do any study or business, or even wash
Friends and relatives would visit family during mourning to express sympathy
All joined in hysterical wailing - The more unrestrained, the more honor to the dead
Martha, Martha (John 11:20-27)
How did Martha and Mary play their parts when they heard that Jesus was on the way?
What did Martha say to Jesus that showed both her disappointment and faith in Jesus?
Did Jesus have to go to Bethany to heal Lazarus?
John 4:46-47, 49-51
How did Jesus tell Martha He would make things better and did she understand Him?
What did Martha and most Jews believe the promised Messiah would bring?
How does Jesus point out to Martha that this Messiah has now brought this gift?
Did Martha understand what He was saying?
What did Jesus mean when He said, "Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die"?
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Jesus Wept (John 11:28-37)
How did Martha get Mary to go to Jesus without letting the crowd know He was there?
Did this work?
Did the worshipful Mary have a better understanding of things than her analytical sister?
Did it bother Jesus that His friends and others were so upset?
How moved was He as they went to the tomb?
How was this misunderstood by some of the crowd?
Past the Third Day (John 11:38-39)
Did Jesus get over His emotion by the time He reached the tomb?
Palestinian tombs - Natural caves or hewn out of the rock
Body first laid in entrance chamber, then moved to back chamber (6'L x 9'W x 10'H)
Usually 8 shelves cut into rock to hold bodies
No door, Large round stone rolled in groove in front of opening to seal the grave
How did Martha react when Jesus asked for the grave to be opened?
Mourners monitored grave for three days; believed spirit hung around body looking to get back in
Spirit left completely by fourth day since body would be too decomposed to recognize
See the Glory of God! (John 11:40-44)
How did Jesus remind Martha what He had said to her messenger four days earlier?
Did Jesus then ask God for the power to raise His friend?
What ceremony did Jesus perform to bring Lazarus back to life?
How was Lazarus' resurrection similar to the one we will realize (if we die before He returns)?
The Response (John 11:45-12:19)
How did the Jewish leaders react when they heard of this amazing miracle?
John 11:48, 53
Read John 11:45-12:19 for more details
Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen
Use of this material is provided free of charge for use in personal or group Bible Study, no permission needed.
The author reserves all rights for use in published material or in uses where fees are involved.
For permission, or to provide your comments, insights and feedback, contact the author at: