1 Now a certain man named Lazarus, from Bethany, became sick. Bethany was the town where Mary and her sister Martha lived. [See 11:18]. 2 This was the Mary who had poured the perfume on the Lord and wiped His feet with her hair [See Matt. 26:6-13], whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 So, the sisters sent [someone] to Him, saying, "Look, Lord, the person you love [i.e., your dear friend, Lazarus] is sick."
4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, "This illness will not result in [his] death, but was intended to bring honor to God, so that the Son of God would be honored by it." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister [Mary] and [her brother] Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was [i.e., on the east side of the Jordan River. See 10:40] for two [more] days. 7 Then, after this, He said to His disciples, "Let us go [back] to Judea again."
8 The disciples replied to Him, "The Jews [there] have just been trying to stone you, and you are going back again?"
9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in a day? [i.e., hours of daylight]. If a person walks during daylight, he will not stumble because he can see [by] the sun's light. 10 But if he walks at night he [might] stumble, because there is no light [to see by]. [Note: These words have a figurative meaning as Jesus is speaking about His mission in life]. 11 After saying these things He said to His disciples, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going to wake him up."
12 But the disciples said to Him, "Lord, if he is [only] asleep, he will get well."
13 Now Jesus had been talking about Lazarus' death, but the disciples thought He was referring to normal sleep. 14 So, Jesus said plainly, "Lazarus is dead. 14 miles northeast of Jerusalem, near Samaria]. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there [when he died], so that [now] you will believe [i.e., when you see him miraculously raised up]. But let us go to him [now]."
16 Then Thomas, which means, "The Twin," said to his fellow disciples, "Let us go too, so we can die with Him." [i.e., by being stoned to death with Jesus. See 11:8].
17 So, when Jesus arrived, He found out that Lazarus had already been in his grave [i.e., a cave-like tomb] for four days. 18 Now Bethany was close to Jerusalem, [being] fewer than two miles away, 19 and many of Martha and Mary's Jewish friends had come to comfort them over [the loss of] their brother. 20 So, when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went [out to the edge of town. See verse 30] to meet Him, but Mary [just] sat at home [i.e., probably grief-stricken].
21 Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if [only] you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask Him for."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again [from the dead]."
24 Martha replied to Him, "I know that he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day [i.e., the judgment day]."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; the person who believes in me will live on, even though he dies [physically]. 26 And whoever goes on living and believing in me, will never die [spiritually]. Do you believe this?"
27 Martha answered Him, "Yes, Lord, I have [already] believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
28 After saying this, she left and called her sister Mary and said to her privately, "The Teacher is here and is asking for you."
29 And when Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Jesus. 30 (Now Jesus had not yet arrived in town, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him [i.e., probably on the road near the edge of town]). 31 When Martha's Jewish friends, who had been comforting her at her house, saw Mary getting up quickly and leaving, they followed her, thinking she was going to the grave site to mourn.
32 So, when Mary arrived at where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell down at His feet and said, "Lord, if [only] you had been here, my brother would not have died."
33 When Jesus saw her and her Jewish friends, who had come with her, crying, He felt distressed in His spirit and [visibly] troubled [Note: This last word means to shake with emotion, and seems to have been caused by His deep sympathy for these grieving people], 34 and said, "Where have they laid his body?" They answered Him, "Lord, come and see."
35 Jesus shed tears.
36 [Some of] the Jewish friends then said, "Look how [much] he loved him!" [See verse 3]. 37 But others of them said, "Could not this man, who restored sight to a blind person, have kept Lazarus from dying?"
38 So, Jesus again felt distressed within Himself [as He] went to the grave site, which was a cave with a stone [slab] across its entrance. 39 Jesus said, "You people, take the stone away." [But] Martha, the dead man's sister, said to Jesus, "Lord, his body is decomposing by now, for he has been dead four days."
40 Jesus replied to her, "Did I not tell you that you would see God's glory [i.e., a miraculous resurrection. See verses 22-27] if you believed?"
41 So, they removed the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, thank you for hearing me. [Note: Jesus had already prayed for and been assured of Lazarus' resurrection]. 42 I know that you always hear me, but I said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so they would believe that you sent me." 43 And after He had said this, He called out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 [Immediately] the man who had died came out [of the cave] with his hands and feet [still] wrapped in bandages, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to his Jewish friends, "Unwrap him and let him go."
45 When many of Mary's Jewish friends, who had come to console her, saw what Jesus had done, they believed in Him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 So, the leading priests and the Pharisees assembled the Council [Note: This was the Jewish governing body called "the Sanhedrin"] and said, "What should we do, for this man is performing many [miraculous] signs? 48 If we allow him to go on [doing this], everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy our Temple and our nation [i.e., its people]."
49 But a certain member of the Sanhedrin, [named] Caiaphas, who was head priest that year, said to [the rest of] them, "You do not know what you are talking about. 50 And you are not taking into consideration that it would be profitable to you for one man to die for the people, so that the entire nation would not be destroyed." 51 Now he did not say this on his own [i.e., he was not aware of the significance of his words], but since he was head priest that year, he was prophesying [i.e., predicting] that Jesus should die for the nation. 52 And not just [die] for the [Jewish] nation, but also that He would assemble together into one body the children of God who were scattered [throughout the world]. 53 So, from that day onward, the Jewish authorities began plotting [how] to kill Jesus. 54 So, Jesus stopped traveling publicly among the Jews [in Judea], but left there and went to a district near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, where He remained with His disciples. [Note: Ephraim was a small town about
55 Now the Jewish Passover Festival was to be held soon and many people went up to Jerusalem from the countryside before the [actual] Festival in order to perform the ceremonial purification rituals. 56 So, they began looking for Jesus and saying among themselves, as they gathered in the Temple, "What do you think? He will not attend the Festival, will he?" 57 Now the leading priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where Jesus was, he was to report it, so they could arrest Him.