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cal staggers lazarus

When & Where: Time has passed since the last passage and this is a completely new story about Jesus. We will see that Jesus must’ve been located up north in Galilee (v 7). And we will see that this was not too long before Jesus’ last Passover (v 55)

This is a great story showing the deeply personal side of Jesus.

v2 This is interesting that John wrote about Mary as if everyone would know who she is, but he hasn’t mentioned her or the ointment story in his own gospel.  I guess he didn’t mention her earlier because it was a discipleship story and doesn’t match the purpose of John’s gospel.

This must be the incident mentioned in Luke 7:37 (the other ointment story is at the Last Supper/First Lord’s Supper, which hasn’t happened yet).  In that story, it’s said that Mary was a woman known as a sinner, which probably implies that she was a prostitute.  Jesus is such a great lover of damaged people!

v6 “Therefore” must mean that Jesus stayed in place and didn’t go help BECAUSE He loved Lazarus, Martha & Mary.  How unexpected!

v6: Let’s do some math:

v 11 & v 15 indicate that Jesus stayed in place until Lazarus died. v 6 says that took 2 days to happen after the messenger arrived. v 17 says Jesus arrived 4 days after Lazarus had been put in the tomb.  So it must take about 4 days to walk about 90 miles from Galilee to Bethany, which is – v. 18: about two miles outside of Jerusalem (not the other Bethany – Bethany beyond the Jordan – which is where John the Baptist was baptizing).

Had Jesus left immediately when the messenger arrived with the news, Lazarus would have died in the middle of Jesus’ journey and it might have appeared that Jesus tried but couldn’t get there on time.  Jesus stays in place to make sure there is no mistaking that the coming miracle wasn’t a clean-up job.

v 16 It’s good to hear this about Thomas, most descriptions are given about Peter and John.

v 19 These “many of the Jews” must’ve come from Jerusalem since it follows v 18.

v 22 Is Martha hinting that she’d like Jesus to raise Lazarus right now?

I love v 25 – 27.  This shows that the definition or role of Christ, Son of God = the one who guarantees eternal life.  This is helpful in other passages that use “Christ” (Greek) or “Messiah” (Hebrew) as shorthand for “the One who gives eternal life.”  In modern day, that connection has been lost, which is why someone saying that they believe Jesus is Son of God does not mean they have eternal life like it would have in Jesus’ day.

v 32 Mary says the exact same words that Martha said in v 21.

v 35 I think you’ve pointed out before how much love Jesus has for people, crying with/for them even though He knows he’s going to cure the problem.

v 40 In the Bible, God tells us to do things that we don’t understand, especially when we’re new believers, as these people were.  If we do them, even if we don’t understand, God promises us we’ll see the glory of God, which I suppose can be allowing the Holy Spirit to fill our lives more than if we disobey.  As an example, God tells women that their role is silence at the Lord’s Supper – but as far as I know, He does not give a reason why anywhere in Scripture.  So we then have a choice: obey or disobey? See God’s glory or not see?

v43 Is this what we will hear when Christ descends into the clouds and calls us to Himself?  Miraculously, each of us hearing our own name when He calls us?

v 46 It’s so hard to imagine people as hard-hearted as this, snitching on the fella who they know the Pharisees want to capture.

v 51 God put in place this religious leader; and as we read elsewhere, all government leaders, whose hearts he turns like a river, their decisions dictated by Him.  Including the very leaders who will later kill Jesus.  This should make me not worry one iota about our leaders today making boneheaded decisions – they serve the bigger purpose of doing God’s will (even though I don’t understand it, so does that mean as I don’t worry I’ll see the glory of God, receive His peace?).

v 54 Ephraim is not too far north of Jerusalem.

v 55-57 This would be great suspense if we were reading this for the first time, not knowing the outcome.

from Cal Staggers | Bible Studies http://ift.tt/1zK9moo