Day 11 – Mairi
Summary of Chapter 11
Verses 1-16: News comes to Jesus that Lazarus, the brother of Mary (the woman who poured ointment on Jesus feet) and Martha, has become ill. Jesus loves this family and, as he takes the disciples to their village, he tells them that Lazarus has died but that his resurrection will be for God’s glory and their belief.
Verses 17-27: Upon reaching the village they learn that Lazarus has been dead for four days and the house is now filled with mourners. Martha comes out to speak to Jesus and says to Him that He could have prevented her brother’s death but Jesus wants her to understand something far deeper – His signs and wonders represent something far greater than an act in the natural world. He wanted Martha to see that faith in him as the Christ would lead to resurrection into eternal life. Martha declares that He is the Saviour of the world!
Verses 28-37: Mary then leaves the grieving house and falls at Jesus feet, repeating what her sister has already said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
So moved by the mourning that he sees around him, and the loss of His friend, Jesus weeps. The shortest but, perhaps, the most revealing verse in the Bible as to the tender-hearted nature of God. The question hanging over the whole scene is asked, ‘could Jesus not have prevented this death?’.
Verses 38-44: Jesus is moved deeply by this family tragedy and asks for the tomb to be opened. Ever practical Martha is quick to remind Jesus about what a corpse after four days would involve but Jesus wants her, and those around him, to focus on God and not on the apparent problem. Jesus prays to the Father and then, in a loud voice, commands Lazarus to walk out of the tomb. And the miraculous happens. The dead man simply walks out of his tomb! We can think of this as a foretaste of 1 Thessalonians 4:16:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.
Verses 45-57: Lazarus’ miraculous resurrection drastically divides opinion all around Jesus. As a result some believe in him, while others turn to the Pharisees and chief priests. Sadly we see, once again, that the spiritual leaders of the day are far removed from spiritual understanding. They are more concerned with maintaining their traditions and their culture. God has already prophesied through Caiaphas the high priest that Jesus will die and his death will gather together the children of God. Missing the point entirely, the leaders want Jesus arrested and killed and are keen to bring about that which only God will do.
Key Thoughts From Chapter 11
“did I not tell you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?”