1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Gospel of John, The Period of Conflict  -  The Clash of Belief and Unbelief, The Raising of Lazarus,  Part XCIV, John 11:17-22  - Lesson 91


Read Verses John 11:14-16 for review,  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.  Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.    


John 11:17,  Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.


Jesus knew when Lazarus breathed his last breath. 


He knew that he had died four days ago on the day the messenger was sent from Mary and Martha. 


Most likely Lazarus buried on the day he died. 


There was no delay in matters of death.


John 11:18,19,  Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:  And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.


Jerusalem was only 15 furlongs away, about a mile and three quarters. 


Bethany was a stop along the way and news of Lazarus' death attracted Jews from Jerusalem to Bethany to comfort the sisters. 


These were friends of the family. 


They came to speak tenderly, they came to console Martha and Mary in their loss. 


This is the only thing we can do. 


Comfort, console, weep. 


We cannot raise someone from the dead. 


Someone dead and in the tomb for four days. 


Not only dead but plum dead. 


Not only dead but already stinking and not fit to be around. 


He had to be put away. 


There was absolutely no hope in human terms. 


Only God could help. 


All around was sorrow but Jesus delayed his coming that God would be glorified. 


Remember what he had told his disciples? 


This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.


This was the exact time that the Father planned for his son to be here. 


God is never in a hurry but he is always on time.


He wanted four days to elapse so that all hope was gone. 


Human help was of no avail. 


The message had gone out loud and clear that Lazarus was dead. 


No doubt about it. 


God had prepared the way for his Son to be glorified.


Enough time had elapsed to guarantee that many people would be there from Jerusalem. 


There would be many witnesses to this raising of Lazarus. 


This last and greatest sign of his deity was accomplished before these many witnesses. 


The stage was carefully set by the Father.


Wasn't he right on the doorstep of the headquarters of Judaism? 


They would return to Jerusalem and pronounce the news of another miracle by the man Jesus. 


All of this had been timed in Heaven. 


Jesus Christ does not operate in the world of chance! 


All things are done decently and in order by Christ Jesus!


John 11:20-22,  Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.


We see Martha in her characteristic roll. 


She is not out of the character that the word of God describes her to be in in other parts of the Bible. 


Jesus is not yet in Bethany yet she goes to meet him. 


Yet John describes Mary as sitting still in the house. 


Mary enjoyed sitting still. 


Perhaps she was praying, perhaps she was meditating. 


But she does not follow her sister as she advances to meet Jesus. 


Remember how Luke's account showed Martha? 


Luke 10:40-42,  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.


And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.


John seems careful to show the same characteristics of Martha and Mary in this passage. 


Martha, much cumbered about with service, active, busy, unable to wait on the Lord, and Mary sitting still waiting on the Lord. 


Martha, beware of the bareness of a busy life.


But Martha does express faith in Christ. Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.


She knew that he had raised others from the dead but she conditioned it upon Jesus being in Bethany. 


He had not been there on purpose. 


She did not understand that Jesus delayed his coming on purpose. 


She did not understand that he had allowed her to grieve and mourn and sorrow on purpose that God might be glorified. 


Don't be so quick to complain against God when distress comes into your life. 


Don't be so quick to murmur against God when troubles come into your life. 


Remember Martha and Mary and the four days that they suffered. 


Jesus allowed that to happen that he might be glorified and that his disciples might believe.