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John 11:38-44

Talks for Growing Christians

The Raising of Lazarus From the Dead

John 11:38-44

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Lesson Number 53

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Answered prayer is evidence of the truth.
  2. There is a difference between a resurrection from the dead and a raising from the dead.
  3. The Lord’s authority over death proved His deity.

Practical Application

  1. It is our privilege to remove stones.
  2. It is our privilege to remove grave clothes.

Questions

  1. Why did the Lord delay in going to Bethany?
  2. How did the Lord show the people that the raising of Lazarus was a definite answer to prayer?
  3. What is the difference between a resurrection from the dead and a raising from the dead?
  4. What does the raising of Lazarus picture?
  5. How did the Lord’s authority over death prove His deity?
  6. What is the difference between the Lord raising someone back to life and others who raised people?

Answers

  1. So there would be no question about Lazarus being dead.
  2. By His prayer: “Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me’” John 11:41-42.
  3. Lazarus was not resurrected, but raised. A raising is when a person is brought back to mortal life. A person who is raised from the dead, dies again. A person who is resurrected from the dead has a new body, an immortal body, a glorified body. Our Lord was resurrected from the dead.
  4. It is a picture of resurrection that will take place when the Lord returns. All who are in the grave will hear His voice and come forth. See John 5:28-29. However, concerning the resurrection of the damned, unbelievers will have some kind of body in which they will live forever in hell.
  5. At the command of Christ, Lazarus comes back to life. Incidentally, it has been pointed out that if the Lord hadn’t been specific, calling Lazarus by name, all the dead would have come out of the grave.
  6. The Lord raised people at His own command. Elijah, in raising the widow of Zaraphath’s son; Elisha, in raising the Shunamite woman’s son; and Peter, in raising Dorcas, all prayed and got an answer to their prayers.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Jesus could have removed the stone as part of the miracle, but He asked the people to do it. Have you removed any stones lately that would help someone believe?
  2. Jesus could have removed the graveclothes, but He asked the people to do it. Have you removed any graveclothes lately that would help a new believer move on in his spiritual life?

Challenge

  1. Jesus waited four days after Lazarus’ death to raise him. This delay was surely distressing to Mary and Martha and perhaps even seemed cruel. But it was all a part of the Lord’s sovereign plan. Is there a situation in your life that is not working on your time schedule? Consider whether the Lord will get more glory out of this delay.

Key Verses

  • “Jesus said, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’” John 11:40
  • “Jesus lifted up His eye and said, 'Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” John 11:41-42

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