July 30 – August 5, 2017
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death” (John 8:51).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 524–536; My Life Today, 208.
“In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. … The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 530.
1 A SICK FRIEND
What disciples did Jesus have in Bethany? John 11:5.
Note: “At the home of Lazarus, Jesus had often found rest. The Saviour had no home of His own; He was dependent on the hospitality of His friends and disciples, and often, when weary, thirsting for human fellowship, He had been glad to escape to this peaceful household.” The Desire of Ages, 524.
In whose homes is Christ present with His blessings? Proverbs 3:33, last part.
Note: “Our Saviour appreciated a quiet home and interested listeners. He longed for human tenderness, courtesy, and affection. Those who received the heavenly instruction He was always ready to impart were greatly blessed.” The Desire of Ages, 524.
What happened to Lazarus? John 11:1.
What message did Lazarus’ sisters send to Jesus and what response did they receive? John 11:3, 4.
2 JESUS REMAINS AWAY
How much longer did Jesus remain away from Bethany, and what thoughts began troubling the minds of the disciples? John 11:6.
Note: “When Christ heard the message, the disciples thought He received it coldly. He did not manifest the sorrow they expected Him to show. Looking up to them, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby’ (John 11:4). For two days He remained in the place where He was. This delay was a mystery to the disciples. What a comfort His presence would be to the afflicted household! they thought. His strong affection for the family at Bethany was well known to the disciples, and they were surprised that He did not respond to the sad message, ‘He whom Thou lovest is sick’ (verse 3).
“During the two days Christ seemed to have dismissed the message from His mind; for He did not speak of Lazarus. The disciples thought of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. They had wondered why Jesus, with the power to perform wonderful miracles, had permitted John to languish in prison, and to die a violent death. Possessing such power, why did not Christ save John’s life? This question had often been asked by the Pharisees, who presented it as an unanswerable argument against Christ’s claim to be the Son of God. The Saviour had warned His disciples of trials, losses, and persecution. Would He forsake them in trial? Some questioned if they had mistaken His mission. All were deeply troubled.” The Desire of Ages, 526.
Describe the reaction of the disciples when Jesus proposed His next course of action. John 11:7, 8.
Note: “After waiting for two days, Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Let us go into Judea again’ (John 11:7). The disciples questioned why, if Jesus were going to Judea, He had waited two days. But anxiety for Christ and for themselves was now uppermost in their minds. They could see nothing but danger in the course He was about to pursue. ‘Master,’ they said, ‘the Jews of late sought to stone Thee; and goest Thou thither again’ (verse 8)?” The Desire of Ages, 526, 527.
3 LAZARUS DIES
What did Jesus reveal to the disciples, and what did they understand? John 11:11, 12.
What did the words of Christ mean? John 11:13, 14.
Note: “Christ represents death as a sleep to His believing children. Their life is hid with Christ in God, and until the last trump shall sound those who die will sleep in Him.” The Desire of Ages, 527.
Why did Jesus stay away from Bethany even after knowing that Lazarus had died? John 11:15.
What events took place in Bethany before the arrival of Jesus? John 11:17–19.
Of whom else was Jesus thinking when He decided to perform the miracle in Bethany?
Note: “In delaying to come to Lazarus, Christ had a purpose of mercy toward those who had not received Him. He tarried, that by raising Lazarus from the dead He might give to His stubborn, unbelieving people another evidence that He was indeed ‘the resurrection, and the life’ (John 11:25). He was loath to give up all hope of the people, the poor, wandering sheep of the house of Israel. His heart was breaking because of their impenitence. In His mercy He purposed to give them one more evidence that He was the Restorer, the One who alone could bring life and immortality to light. This was to be an evidence that the priests could not misinterpret. This was the reason of His delay in going to Bethany. This crowning miracle, the raising of Lazarus, was to set the seal of God on His work and on His claim to divinity.” The Desire of Ages, 529.
4 THE PROMISE OF RESURRECTION
Upon hearing that Jesus was coming to Bethany, what did Martha do and what conviction did she manifest? John 11:20–22.
What did Jesus assure Martha, and what did she understand by this? John 11:23, 24.
With what words did Jesus confirm Martha’s conviction? John 11:25.
Note: “Still seeking to give a true direction to her faith, Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life’ (John 11:25). In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life’ (1 John 5:12). The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 530.
What promise is the basis of our hope beyond the tomb? John 5:25; 11:26, first part.
How did Martha’s conviction relate to Christ’s miracle? John 11:26, last part, 27.
Note: “ ‘He that believeth in Me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this’ (John 11:25, 26)? Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming. Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death. The miracle which Christ was about to perform, in raising Lazarus from the dead, would represent the resurrection of all the righteous dead. By His word and His works He declared Himself the Author of the resurrection. He who Himself was soon to die upon the cross stood with the keys of death, a conqueror of the grave, and asserted His right and power to give eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 530.
5 COOPERATION BETWEEN GOD AND HUMANITY
Describe the actions and words of the grief-stricken Mary. John 11:28–32.
What did Jesus do when He saw Mary and some of the Jews weeping? John 11:33–35.
Note: “It was not only because of His human sympathy with Mary and Martha that Jesus wept. In His tears there was a sorrow as high above human sorrow as the heavens are higher than the earth. Christ did not weep for Lazarus; for He was about to call him from the grave. He wept because many of those now mourning for Lazarus would soon plan the death of Him who was the resurrection and the life.” The Desire of Ages, 533.
What did Jesus do next, even in the midst of accusations against Him? John 11:37–39.
What prayer did Jesus offer beside the sepulcher? John 11:41, 42.
What words did Jesus utter, and what happened when those words were spoken? John 11:43, 44.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why didn’t Jesus immediately comply with the request of Lazarus’ sisters?
2 How should death be regarded by the followers of Christ?
3 For what purpose did Christ allow Lazarus to die?
4 Why did Jesus weep?
5 Describe the actions of Lazarus upon the call of Jesus.
Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.