Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany
The village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Here are just a few questions you should prayerfully consider when studying the aforementioned passage:
- John 11:1 mentions Lazarus, Mary, and her sister Martha:
- What is Lazarus relationship with Mary and Martha? Lazarus is the brother of sister Mary and Martha.
- What passages state this relationship? There are six passages of Scripture that state the relationship (John 11:2, John 11:19, John 11:21, John 11:23, John 11:32, John 11:39).
2. Why does John 11:2 mention what Mary did for our Precious JESUS? There are two answers. The first reason is found in Matthew 26:13, and Mark 14:9:
Truly I say to you
Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world
What this woman has done
Will also be spoken of in memory of her
The second reason in found at John 11:2 (we will discuss it in further detail at the next question).
- How many times and on what occasions did Mary anoint our LORD with oil, and wipe HIS feet with her hair? Mary anointed our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST with oil three times, but only two of the three times did she wipe HIS feet with her hair. All three times Mary anointed our LORD with oil is in the following chronological order with details:
- (Luk 7:36-50)
- she was the unnamed sinner in Bethany, who brought an alabaster vial of perfume (Luk 7:37)
- kneeling behind JESUS, she kissed HIS feet, as she anointed them with perfume (Luk 7:38)
- in her love and repentance she wept continually, covering JESUS feet with her tears, wiping them away with her hair (Luk 7:38)
- she was at the home of the critical, inhospitable Pharisee (Luk 7:36, Luk 7:39-47)
- JESUS forgave her sins (Luk 7:48-50)
- JESUS later identified her (Jhn 11:2)
- (Jhn 12:1-19)
- six days before the Passover, JESUS had dinner at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus home (Jhn 12:1-2)
- this occurred after HE had raised Lazarus from the dead (Jhn 12:1, Jhn 12:9-11)
- in her love and gratitude, Mary anointed the feet of JESUS a second time with perfume (Jhn 12:3)
- this second time Mary did not weep, as she anointed the feet of JESUS; but she once again used her hair to wipe his feet; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume (Jhn 12:3)
- this caused Judas Iscariot to question why was the costly perfume not sold and given to the poor (Jhn 12:4-5); Judas Iscariot had no love for our Beloved LORD JESUS, and no concern for the poor, he was a thief and only cared about himself (Jhn 12:6)
- (Mat 26:1-13, Mrk 14:1-8)
- two days before the Passover, JESUS was having dinner at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany (Mat 26:1-6, Mrk 14:1-3)
- this third time, Mary broke the alabaster vial (Mrk 14:3), and anointed the head of JESUS with the costly perfume it contained (Mat 26:7, Mrk 14:3)
- this final time, Mary was anointing HIS body beforehand for the burial (Mat 26:12, Mrk 14:8)
- this third anointing of JESUS by Mary, was more than Judas Iscariot could stand; he became indignant (Mat 26:8-9, Mrk 14:4-5); left and went to the chief priests our Beloved SAVIOR’s enemies (Mat 20:17-19, Mat 26:59, Mrk 14:10-11) to make a deal to betray HIM for the price of a slave (Mat 26:14-16, Mrk 14:10-11, Exd 21:32, Zec 11:12-13, Mat 27:3-30)
- (Luk 7:36-50)
- How did JESUS feel about Lazarus, Mary, and Martha? HE loved them (Jhn 11:5).
- Why did HE wait two days before going to heal Lazarus? JESUS was not going to heal Lazarus, HE was going to raise him from the dead. By waiting two days, JESUS knew:
- because Lazarus was in the tomb for four days (Jhn 11:17), no one would doubt he was truly dead (Jhn 11:39)
- resurrecting Lazarus from the tomb was a much greater miracle than restoring him from a sick bed. This powerful miracle would confirm HE truly was The SON of GOD, doing the works of HIS Heavenly FATHER (Jhn 10:34-38, Jhn 11:4)
- many Jews who witnessed the miracle of Lazarus’s resurrection, believed that GOD had sent HIM, and begin to believe in HIM (Jhn 11:41-45)
- If JESUS only waited two days before going to heal Lazarus, why was he dead for four days when JESUS arrived? Where JESUS was located at a place beyond the Jordan (Jhn 10:40, Mat 19:1), which took one day to walk from Bethany, and one day to walk to Bethany. So two days of traveling (walking 20-26 miles per day) and two days of waiting, is four days. Essentially, Lazarus was already dead when the messenger arrived (Jhn 11:3).
- Where is Judea located? Judea is the Greco-Roman name for Judah. Under the Romans, in the time of CHRIST, it denoted the southernmost of the three divisions of Palestine (Matt 2:1-6, Mat 3:1-6, Mat 4:25).
- The disciples objected to JESUS going to Judea, why? The Jews in Jerusalem were seeking to stone JESUS, because they accused HIM of blasphemy (Jhn 10:22-33, Jhn 10:39, Jhn 11:7-8).
- JESUS gave three answers to their objections, what were they and what did HE mean? The three answers JESUS gave to HIS disciples objections about going back to Jerusalem were:
- “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” We must work while it day (Jhn 9:4). As long as we have breath, we should be doing the will of GOD.
- “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” As long as we are doing The FATHER’s will, we are safe, as we are walking in HIS Light (Jhn 9:5, Psa 23:4, Psa 3:5-6, Psa 27:1-3).
- “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” Lazarus had died, and JESUS was going to resurrect him from the dead (Jhn 11:11-14), by calling him from the tomb (Jhn 11:43-44).
- Who is Thomas Didymus? He is one of the twelve disciples/apostles that our Beloved LORD JESUS chose after praying all night long (Luk 6:12-15). His name “Didymus” signified he was a twin. Why did he make such a statement? Either Thomas was being facetious (treating a serious issue with deliberate inappropriate humor), or he had a deep love for our LORD JESUS CHRIST and felt that returning to Jerusalem would be certain death. But he was unwilling for our LORD JESUS to do it alone. But either way, Thomas still faithfully followed our LORD JESUS.
- What did JESUS mean in John 11:25 that HE is the resurrection and the life? When we truly have faith in JESUS, our newness of life, our eternal life begins right here and now. We are no longer dead in our sins, even if we die physically, we live spiritually. And when we live spiritually, we will never die eternally (Rom 6:4-5, Jhn 12:50, Jhn 17:3)
- Why did JESUS weep, since HE knew HE would raise Lazarus from the dead? Our Precious JESUS CHRIST is the visible image of our Beloved invisible GOD (Col 1:15). So HIS every action, HIS whole being reflect our GOD. And our GOD is love (1 Cor 4:8), gracious and compassionate (Psa 116:5). HE cares for us (1 Pet 5:7), HE grieves when we sin (Psa 78:40-41), HE sympathizes with our weakness (Heb 4:15), and HE both rejoices (Zep 3:17) and weeps (Rom 12:15) with us.