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?
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
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?
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
Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen
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