Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

Luke 11:1-46

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

Opening Prayer

Review of Last Week's Lesson (Luke 10:38-42)
    What family did Jesus meet in last week's lesson?
      Luke 10:38-39 = He met Mary and Martha while wandering through Judea
    What happened in last week's lesson?
      Luke 10:40-42 = Jesus warned of life's details & worries that keep us from hearing God
    Wasn't the story telling us to worship God instead of serving?
      Luke 4:8 = No, we are to do both - Worship and serve the Lord your God

    At what point in Jesus' ministry did He meet this family?
      Luke 9:51 = Near the end, only 4-5 months before His death
    Where did this family live?
      John 11:1 = In Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem (2 miles ESE) across Mt of Olives
    How close did Jesus become with this family during this short time?
      Matthew 21:17 = He apparently stayed with them when He was in Jerusalem

The Feast of Dedication - Hanukkah (John 10:22-42)
    What specific date do we know that today's story comes after? = 1-2 months after meeting
      John 10:22-23 = Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication) in December '29 - lesson 2 wks ago
    How had Jesus gotten into trouble with the church leaders at that time?
      John 10:24, 30-33 = He revealed that He was God, Jews wanted to stone Him
    How did Jesus avoid being killed before His time? = Bethabara, 20 miles from Bethany
      John 10:38-40 = He went across the Jordan where John had been baptizing

A Sick Friend (John 11:1-5)
    What crisis arose in the home of Jesus' friends in Bethany?
      John 11:1-2 = His friend Lazarus became sick
    Knowing that Jesus healed the sick, did the sisters send word asking Jesus to heal Lazarus?
      John 11:3 = No, they told Jesus he was sick, knowing He'd take care of His friend
    Was Jesus upset by this news?
      John 11:4 = Apparently not, He knew about it, how it would turn out and its purpose
    Did this indicate that Jesus wasn't concerned about Lazarus?
      John 11:5 = No, He loved Lazarus and his sisters

Back to Jerusalem? (John 11:6-10)
    Having this love and concern for Lazarus, did Jesus leave immediately for Bethany?
      John 11:6 = No, He purposely stayed where he was for two more days
    Did the disciples find it strange that Jesus didn't go to Lazarus at once?
      John 11:7-8 = No, they found it strange when He did decide to go, despite the danger
    Was it foolish for Jesus to risk His life going to His sick friend?
      John 15:13 = Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends

    How did Jesus explain that He knew His time for suffering and death had not yet come?
      John 11:9-10 = There was still time for Jesus, the light of God, to shine on the world
      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?
      John 11:11 = He told them He was going to wake up Lazarus
    Did the disciples at least understand this simple and clear statement?
      John 11:12-13 = No, they thought He meant Lazarus was resting off his illness
    Was Jesus using cryptic language by saying Lazarus was asleep?
      Daniel 12:2 = No, death was commonly referred to as sleeping
      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?
      John 11:14 = He plainly told them that Lazarus was dead
    How did Jesus feel about His disciples still not understanding things this late in His ministry?
      John 11:15 = He was glad that what He would do would help mature them spiritually
    Had the disciples understood any of Jesus' explanation that they would be okay in Judea?
      John 11:16 = No, they worried about being killed, overlooked what Jesus was doing
      Note: Thomas is Hebrew and Didymus is Greek for twin = Convicted, but weak, faith

A Time for Mourning (John 11:17-19)
    Had Jesus spent the extra time to wait for Lazarus to die? = Trip was a long day's journey
      John 11:17 = No, he died the day Jesus was told (1-told, 2&3-waited, 4-went)
    Had Mary and Martha spent the time mourning by themselves? = M&M were very hospitable
      John 11:18-19 = No, they had many friends who came and mourned with them

    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
      After body was removed, furniture was reversed & mourners sat on ground or low stools
    Burial followed death as soon as possible because of warm climate
    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
      As mourners left the tomb, they turned and said, "Depart in peace"
      No idle or uninvited talk, mourners were left alone with their sorrow
    After returning from the tomb, friends of the family served a meal of bread, eggs & lentils
      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?
      John 11:20 = Martha went into action and went out to meet Jesus, Mary sat still
    What did Martha say to Jesus that showed both her disappointment and faith in Jesus?
      John 11:21-22 = Upset Jesus let Laz die, but knew He'd somehow make things better
    Did Jesus have to go to Bethany to heal Lazarus?
      John 4:46-47, 49-51 = No, He had healed the official's son in Capernaum from Cana

    How did Jesus tell Martha He would make things better and did she understand Him?
      John 11:23-24 = She thought He said Lazarus would receive eternal life
    What did Martha and most Jews believe the promised Messiah would bring?
      Isaiah 26:19 = The resurrection of the dead
    How does Jesus point out to Martha that this Messiah has now brought this gift?
      John 11:25-26 = He said, "I am the resurrection and the life." - I am the Messiah
    Did Martha understand what He was saying?
      John 11:27 = Yes, she revealed her faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah
    What did Jesus mean when He said, "Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die"?
      1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 = The living will be taken to heaven alive when He returns

Jesus Wept (John 11:28-37)
    How did Martha get Mary to go to Jesus without letting the crowd know He was there?
      John 11:28 = She went back, took Mary aside and told her Jesus wanted her
    Did this work?
      John 11:29-31 = No, they thought she was going back to the tomb so they followed
    Did the worshipful Mary have a better understanding of things than her analytical sister?
      John 11:32 = No, she showed the same frustration - the same words as Martha
    Did it bother Jesus that His friends and others were so upset?
      John 11:33-34 = Yes, He was deeply moved and asked to go directly to Lazarus
    How moved was He as they went to the tomb? = Shortest verse in the Bible
      John 11:35 = He was moved to tears - shows humanity of Jesus
    How was this misunderstood by some of the crowd?
      John 11:36-37 = They thought He didn't have power to even save a loved friend

Past the Third Day (John 11:38-39)
    Did Jesus get over His emotion by the time He reached the tomb?
      John 11:38 = No, He was still deeply moved - nothing wrong with human emotions
    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?
      John 11:39 = She thought He wanted to see His friend's body; now well decomposed
    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?
      John 11:40 = Have faith! This is happening so you will see the glory of God!
    Did Jesus then ask God for the power to raise His friend?
      John 11:41-42 = No, but He prayed to the Father to make sure they knew His source
    What ceremony did Jesus perform to bring Lazarus back to life?
      John 11:43-44 = None, He just called to Lazarus and he came out alive
    How was Lazarus' resurrection similar to the one we will realize (if we die before He returns)?
      John 5:28-29 = We will rise when we hear the voice of Jesus

The Response (John 11:45-12:19)
    How did the Jewish leaders react when they heard of this amazing miracle?
      John 11:48, 53 = They decided to find a way to kill Him to stop Him
    Read John 11:45-12:19 for more details = Wanted to also kill Lazarus to eliminate the proof

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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