Jesus, Lazarus and the plan of God vs. 1-16
Vs. 4 In Jesus mind what was the purpose for Lazarus’ sickness?
That God might be glorified.
Where else in the book of John has Jesus said something similar?
In John 9, in answering the question why the man was born blind.
Vs. 7-8 Why were the disciples surprised that Jesus would go back into Judea?
The ruling Jews has sought to stone Him twice in the past year.
Vs. 9-10 What principle was Jesus teaching by giving this saying to the disciples?
We order our life according to what is right. Men work in the day because it is light during the day. It was the right thing for Jesus to go back into Judea, the opposition didn’t matter.
Vs. 11 Why did Jesus say Lazarus was only sleeping?
Jesus sees death as only an event in life, not the end of life. Believers are often said to be “asleep” in the NT because they will awake with the resurrection of the body.
Vs. 12-15 Jesus expresses a purpose in the death of Lazarus that concerned the disciples. What was that purpose?
That they might believe.
Vs. 16 How does Thomas’ statement show their need for greater belief in who Jesus Christ was?
Thomas was brave and loyal but his statement does not reflect a belief in Jesus’ power over death and life. This was the power Jesus needed his disciples to believe in.
According to Jesus how should I view sickness, turmoil and even death?
All these are opportunities for God to be glorified.
Does God always heal in order to manifest Himself?
No, often the greater glory is seen in a believer’s courage and peace at the end of life.
According to this passage what determines healing or non-healing?
The plan and purpose of God.
How does the action of Jesus dealing with Lazarus answer the question, “How can a omnipotent loving God allow suffering?
God’s love does not contradict God’s vision. His plan for our wellbeing may of necessity include pain and heartache. It is because of His great love that he allows the suffering, that we might know more and be more than we could be without it.
Jesus, Martha and Mary vs. 17-33
Did Martha and Mary believe in Jesus as more than a teacher or prophet?
Yes, they believed in Him as the Messiah and Son of God.
Did they expect Jesus to resurrect Lazarus immediately?
No, their faith like that of the disciples was not strong enough to accept Lazarus immediate resurrection or that of Jesus Himself.
Why did Jesus weep when He knew he was going to bring Lazarus back to life?
Knowing the joy of the future does not prevent experiencing the pain of the present. Jesus loved this family and he keenly felt their suffering.
In what ways does my faith need to be strengthened and matured in order to experience Jesus’ power in my life now, and not just to wait for heaven?
Jesus, Lazarus and the Pharisees vs. 45-57
What were the two reactions to Jesus’ raising of Lazarus?
Some believed on Jesus, others in spite of the miracle returned like spies and told the Pharisees what they had seen.
When confronted with an undeniable resurrection at the hands of Jesus what was the reaction of the Pharisees?
They fear all will believe on Jesus and the Romans then will come and destroy the nation and the Pharisees place with it. Therefore they conspire to kill Him.
Ironically, what happened to the nation of Israel and the Pharisees in 70 AD?
The Roman General Titus in reaction to Jewish rebellions sacked the city, leveling the temple and effectively removing the Jewish people from their home until modern times.
What is the relationship between miracles and faith?
Miracles do not create faith, nor does faith produce miracles. Miracles can strengthen faith as in the case of the disciples, Mary, and Martha, but may also strengthen unbelief as the Pharisees prove. Miracles are simply God’s signposts pointing to His Son. It is not the miracles we must seek but the miracle worker, Jesus.
As Christians, our eyes must always be on God’s working through the events of time toward eternity. We must be careful to not see the events that happen in our time without considering that God is working on the greater scale of eternity, which we cannot imagine or grasp.