John 11:1-16

Talks for Growing Christians

The Raising of Lazarus From the Dead

John 11:1-16

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Lesson Number 51

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The death of a believer is on schedule.
  2. The death of a believer is like sleep.

Practical Application

  1. Have you run a heavenly credit check lately?


  1. Why were the disciples reluctant to go to Bethany?
  2. For what is Thomas remembered? For what else should he be remembered?
  3. Was Lazarus’ death premature and untimely?
  4. What was the purpose of Lazarus’ death at this time?
  5. In the New Testament, who died in the presence of Jesus?
  6. Is God glad when a believer dies?
  7. Explain, “The death of a believer is like sleep.”


  1. See John 10:31 and John 8:59. The Jews were ready to stone Jesus.
  2. For his doubting (John 20:24-29). For his courage (John 11:16).
  3. No. It was on schedule in the Lord’s timetable.
  4. To glorify God and His Son
  5. No one
  6. See Psalm 116:15
  7. Sleep is never used in the death of an unbeliever, but for the believer, death is temporary, awaiting the resurrection of the body. Sleep involves the body, not the soul. See Acts 7:60; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Luke 23.43; 2 Corinthians 5:6; and Philippians 1:21.


  1. If you are able, discuss the death of someone you knew which seemed “premature,” “untimely,” or accidental. How might your view of this person’s death change when thinking of it in light of this Talk?
  2. Many people today are extremely afraid of death and will go to great means to avoid it as long as possible. As believers in the Lord Jesus should our view of death be different? Why or why not? Is yours?


  1. In verse 2, Mary is referred to as “that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair.” She had a great “heavenly credit rating”! Evaluate your participation in this study, your spiritual service, your worship. What shape would you be in if you ran a heavenly credit check?

Key Verses

  • “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
  • “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” John 11:5
  • “I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.” John 11:15

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