Bible Study series No.17 from the Gospel of John "The Meaning of Lazarus' Death."

Bible Study series No.17 from the Gospel of John "The Meaning of Lazarus' Death."



The sisters Martha and Mary and Jesus had a close relationship. Martha's home was in Bethany, and her residence was located three kilometers from Jerusalem. It seems that every time Jesus and His disciples went to Jerusalem, they stayed at this house and had some time to rest.



As we see in the conversation in verses 11-15, the disciples are still confused at this time, not knowing what Jesus is talking about. 

We can easily imagine the anxiety and fear of the family members, Martha and Mary, as well as their disappointment when Jesus did not come and their brother Lazarus died. Even the disciples could not believe Jesus' actions.

Note: The name Lazarus means "the one whom God helps.


God's plans and intentions are often beyond our common sense and imagination, and we often feel anxiety even when we try to trust Him.

However, if you want to grow in your relationship with God, you must not only know God's voice, knowing the words of the Bible, but also you must constantly seek their meaning and make a decision to follow Him first. 


It is natural to be afraid when we face the unknown, but I would recommend "trying to follow Him” as an experiment! Isn't this necessary for the growth of our faith?


After this, Jesus' popularity reached a climax when rumors circulated that the dead Lazarus had come back to life. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people welcomed Him with open arms.  It was because the fact that Lazarus had come back from the dead was proof that Jesus was the Son of God and that this eternal life was in Jesus.

They expected Jesus to perform more miracles in Jerusalem, to become the King of the Jews, and to declare the independence of the Jewish nation. The Scribes and Pharisees were striving to open the gates of heaven by their good deeds, but they failed to know God's plan that the gates of heaven would be opened only by the payment of the life of the sinless Son of God.


We have been learning about the "seven miracles" or "seven signs" in the Gospel of John. Seven does not mean perfect, but there is a much deeper hidden meaning in the miraculous events.


The following is a summary of the circumstances and results at that time.

(1) The blessed wine ran out at the wedding of Cana.

(2) The son of a government official was sick and about to die.

(3) A man had been lying sick for 38 years.

(4) There was no food for the five thousand people.

(5) A sudden gale hit the disciples as they boarded the boat. 

(6) A man who was born blind was begging.

(7) The beloved Lazarus had died.


Here we see a reality that is beyond the control of human beings. 

They represent various aspects that we encounter in our lives. 

Let's look at the results.

(1) Jesus turned the water into wine.

(2) Jesus healed a son who was sick and dying.

(3) He healed a man who had been sick for 38 years and made him walk.

(4) He gave the crowd more than enough to eat.

(5) He calmed a storm.

(6) He opened the eyes of a man born blind.

(7) He raised the dead Lazarus from the dead.


This miracle of Lazarus has a different meaning from the previous ones.


We realize that God's plan and purpose were not to heal the sick but to "show the glory of God" by raising Lazarus from the dead. In other words, it was to convince us to have "faith in the resurrection”. The "glory of God" used here in John's Gospel means "the death on the cross," and this itself reveals God's love beyond human imagination, which is something we can understand only now.


All of us, without exception, will eventually face death. 

We are born with nothing, and we will die with nothing, as well. Unfortunately, all the things that a person has done in life will not help against death.


John 11:25-26 says, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”


Jesus is still asking us this question.  

Let's listen to the words of the Lord who gave us the victory over death, the last stronghold of our fear!