John 11:38-44 – Jesus Raises Lazarus

John 11:38-44 (ESVST)
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 

In verse 33 when Jesus saw Mary weeping, he was deeply moved in his Spirit and in verse 35, he wept. Verse 38 starts with Jesus still deeply moved. The reason for the word again is because of what I just explained about verse 33. John tells us that Jesus came to the tomb where Lazarus was laid. It was custom during that time to bury people in caves like this one. Apparently people were often buried in caves; stones, usually disk- shaped, would be rolled along a groove into place in front of the tomb, protecting its contents from animals, the elements and occasionally robbers. 

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “ Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 

Apparently in those days, as people were buried, the body would be wrapped and left lying on the floor in the tomb’s antechamber; only after a year, when the flesh had rotted off, would family members return to collect the bones into a box, which they would then slide into a slot on the wall. After four days, decomposition was well under way, especially because it was no longer winter. Whatever spices they may have used to delay the stench, would no longer be effective.

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 

In verse 25, Jesus said to Martha that those that believe will not die but shall live. Jesus is reminding her that he said if anyone believes, they would see the glory of God. In this case, the glory of God refers to the power of God which as Jesus indicated in verse 25, those that believe, by the power of God they will not die and those that are dead, by the power of God, shall live. 

41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “ Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 

Jesus did not say “Father, please hear me”, but he said father I thank you that you have heard me. This means Jesus had already prayed and had already gotten an answer for his prayer. In verse 42, Jesus said that he knows that God always listens to him but, he thanked him for hearing him so that those around him may know that what he is about to do, was granted to him by God, and that they may believe that he has been send by God and he is the Messiah. 

43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “ Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “ Unbind him, and let him go.”

After this Jesus called Lazarus to come out and he did. When he came out he was still dressed in grave clothes as described in the verse. 
Posted in John 11, The Gospel of John.

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