Waters of Life

Biblical Studies in Multiple Languages

Search in "English":
Home -- English -- John - 071 (Jesus across the Jordan)
This page in: -- Albanian -- Arabic -- Armenian -- Bengali -- Burmese -- Cebuano -- Chinese -- Dioula? -- ENGLISH -- Farsi? -- French -- Georgian -- Greek -- Hausa -- Hindi -- Igbo -- Indonesian -- Javanese -- Kiswahili -- Kyrgyz -- Malayalam -- Peul -- Portuguese -- Russian -- Serbian -- Somali -- Spanish -- Tamil -- Telugu -- Thai -- Turkish -- Twi -- Urdu -- Uyghur? -- Uzbek -- Vietnamese -- Yiddish -- Yoruba

Previous Lesson -- Next Lesson

JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 2 - Light Shines in the Darkness (John 5:1 - 11:54)
C - Jesus' Last Journey to Jerusalem (John 7:1 - 11:54) The Parting of Darkness and Light
4. The raising of Lazarus and the outcome (John 10:40 – 11:54)

a) Jesus across the Jordan (John 10:40 – 11:16)

JOHN 11:11-16
11 He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep.” 12 The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep. 14 So Jesus said to them plainly then, “Lazarus is dead. 15 I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let’s go to him.” 16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go also, that we may die with him.”

Lazarus was described by Jesus as "our beloved". Often Jesus and his disciples had been guests at Lazarus’ home. He was therefore a friend of all the disciples. We can thus say, Lazarus as "beloved of Jesus" parallels Abraham’s title as ‘Friend of God.’

Jesus applies the term "sleep" to death, to stress the fact that death is not the end of living. Our bodies perish but our souls persist. Our rest today is in the Lord by faith. We are satisfied and restful in his life, and we shall observe our Savior’s awakening of us at the resurrection. We shall live for ever.

"I go to awaken him", said Jesus confidently. He did not say, "Let us pray to find out what God wants us to do, and how we shall comfort the family." No, Jesus was conversing with his Father for two days before news reached him of his friend’s death. He was sure Lazarus’ rising would precede his own glorious rising. This was to strengthen his followers’ faith and prove to his foes that he alone was the Messiah. Then pointedly he added, "I go to raise him," as if a mother would say, "I go to wake up my son; its time to go to school." Jesus shows no hesitation, he was life itself and Lord over death. Faith in Jesus frees us from all fear, and will confirm us in life.

The disciples failed to grasp the meaning of Christ’s victory at the time. They imagined Lazarus to be asleep; so there was no reason to go to him and waken him. More so as they were risking death at the hands of the Jews.

Then Jesus spoke frankly about Lazarus’ death, saying, "He is dead". This news disturbed the disciples, but Jesus reassured them, saying, "I rejoice." This then is the response of God’s Son to death. He sees victory and resurrection. Death is not a cause for lament but for rejoicing, for Jesus assures his followers of life. He is life; whoever believes in him shares in his life.

Jesus continued, "I rejoice for your sakes, that I was not there at his death, and did not heal him on the spot. This is the sign about the end of each person. However, faith in him starts off a new life. Let us go to him." This going indicates tears and lament for mankind, but for Jesus it speaks of resurrection. We thank God that Jesus will say, when we lie in the grave, "Let us go to him." His coming to us will mean freedom, life and light.

Thomas, the apostle, loved Jesus and was brave. When he noticed Christ’s resolve to go to the corpse, not realizing that Christ’s aim was to snatch him from his grave, Thomas turned to his comrades and said firmly, "We shall not leave Jesus alone; we love our Lord and shall accompany him till death. We are all bound to him." Thomas thus emphasized his loyalty to the end.


  1. Why did Jesus advance victoriously to rescue Lazarus?


Page last modified on February 03, 2022, at 03:29 AM | powered by PmWiki (pmwiki-2.3.3)