The Death of Lazarus III (Final)

If you read the passage on the previous posts you noticed the humanity of Jesus and the difficulty of the situation.  I read a commentary a by Gary Burge on the train this morning and a couple of things stood out.

The first was that Lazarus had been dead for four days, but Jesus took three days to get there.  In other words Jesus did not wait for his friend Lazarus to die after hearing that he was ill.  Lazarus had died by the time Jesus got the news.  Jesus was waiting so that when Lazarus was raised to life, there would be no doubt that the man’s spirit had departed.

Second was that the words ‘deeply troubled’ in the English translate a powerful word in the Greek.  Each time Jesus is deeply troubled he is like a warhorse about to charge into battle.  There are tears and there is power.  These two things are often alien to each other in western men.

So Jesus powerfully charges into the grief and rescues his friend from death.  In a different way he will rescue each one of us as we pass through death.  He will pass through death himself on the cross.  So, who exactly is Jesus if he does the things the book of John says he does?

Prayer

You powerfully charged in to save Lazarus.  You lead me on a daily battle.  You give strength and hope in the darkest situations.  Please bring life and light to our world.

Questions

  1. How was Lazarus doing when Jesus received news of his illness?
  2. What do we miss by only reading the English translation?
  3. What does the final sign performed by Jesus point to?
  4. How do you want Jesus to charge in for you?
  5. What ‘all hope is lost’ situations have you had to endure?
Advertisements

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Death of Lazarus III (Final)

  1. Jenna says:

    1. According to commentators, Lazarus was already dead when news reached Jesus that he was ill – I’d never read that before! It does totally change the implications of Jesus’ delay and Mary and Martha’s accusations later in the chapter. It wasn’t that Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, and could have made it in time to heal him; Lazarus was already dead, and Jesus chose to wait longer to go and see him, so that the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection would be even more obvious!
    2. When the Bible says that Jesus was “deeply moved,” we can get the idea of simply being saddened or “moved” by the grief of those around them. The Greek, however, is used to describe the snorting of horses, or, in people, being painfully moved, indignant, or to rebuke. In John 11, it most likely doesn’t refers to scolding or rebuking, because that is not what we see Jesus do, in context. Instead, we see Him weep, implying that the idea implied by the Greek is that of being deeply and painfully moved and wanting to do something about it.
    3. His death and resurrection!

  2. karas says:

    Something I’ve been thinking about its how God is so vividly portrayed in the Bible as speaking, acting, feeling, and such, but I find that at times in my life I think of Him as a quiet force/person not really saying a whole lot verbally, but mysteriously acting and communicating in other ways. I have to refine my view of God and remind myself that He created words, actions, feelings, humor, and life itself. Jesus was full of passion and emotion. I do not want to feel or be distant in any way, and I want to have an accurate view of God, but this is definitely something I need to work on.

  3. Rachel says:

    Wow, Lazarus was already dead by the time Jesus was asked to come. However, Jesus in his omniscience, already knew that Lazarus was deathly ill. The English translation fails to communicate the concept of power and tears. Jesus wept and was full of power. He enters into our pain and is completely able to heal. I want Jesus to charge into my pain with this empathetic power. I want to know that he weeps with me.

  4. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) It is believed that Lazarus had already been dead before Jesus heard about it.
    2) The phrase “deeply troubled,” does not show the depth of Jesus’ emotion in the English translation.
    3) Jesus’ final sign of raising Lazarus up points to His future death on the cross and then to His resurrection.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Whoa! I have never realized that Lazarus was already dead when Jesus received the news. It is neat that Jesus waited so that no one would question the fact that Lazarus was dead and then raised to life. In the English translation, we miss the sense of power that Jesus had with his emotions. I want Jesus to charge in and bring peace to my life. School can be full of craziness and it can be difficult to be still and experience the peace of God.

  6. Dominic shortridge says:

    2.
    Sometimes we miss the gravity of a particular when we read the English version. The word Love gets watered down and often misunderstood, phrases like “deeply troubled” can be overlooked entirely because of their rarity in our speech.
    5.
    A hard situation of rme occured about 2 years ago during this time. I had been out of high school for 3 years and I was anxiously waiting to hear back from Moody on whether or not I was going to get in. I am the first person in my family to go to college and the pressure I put on myself may have been a bit excessive. Nevertheless, I was heavily weighing the option of joining the military if I did not get into Moody, because I could not stand the idea of without further education and the military would have provided, but I still did not want to join. After months of painful waiting, I was finally accepted and cried with the open letter in my hands as I considered how different my future would be by coming to Moody. I am thankful and proud that God provided for me and our family.

  7. Dylan says:

    1. Lazarus was already dead by the time Jesus received news of his illness. This makes sense when you carefully read the text but I never noticed it before.
    2. The English translation doesn’t give us the full effect of Jesus being ‘deeply troubled.’ In reality, he wasn’t helpless or anxious, he was courageous and motivated to defeat death.
    3. This final sign points to his own death and resurrection, as well as his ability to raise our spirits from the dead to new life.
    4. I want Jesus to convict me in the areas of my life which are dead. I want him to lead me through blessings as well as suffering so I can sense the power of God and be more like him, and worship him more!!
    5. One ‘all hope is lost’ situation I have been going through is low self esteem, feeling like I am dumb and constantly coming up short of perfection. In my heart I know that because the God of the universe loves me and has spared me from eternal separation from him, I should not be self centered or worried about what others think of me. However, I’ve found that these emotional habits are hard to break.

  8. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    2. What do we miss by only reading the English translation?
    We miss some of the truer and deeper meaning of the Greek words. They show a little more what was going on.
    3. What does the final sign performed by Jesus point to?
    The ressurection of His body and the ressurection of believers.
    4. How do you want Jesus to charge in for you?
    I need his strength and assurance in this crazy life. I often feel so defeated and like evil has taken over, and I need him to remind me that he has overcome this world.
    5. What ‘all hope is lost’ situations have you had to endure?
    It may seem trite, but back in junior high I had this boyfriend for a year and he broke up with me. As an 8th grader, that was heart-crushing. I couldn’t imagine life without him. It took daily reminding myself that Christ offers something far greater than any of this. Now, I look at my husband, and see potential “all hope is lost” situations if he died, had to leave for many months, became very ill, etc…. Still, I must remember Christ offers something greater than all of this.

  9. Bethany says:

    1) He was already dead by the time Jesus found our about his illness.
    2) We miss the depth and sorrow that Christ felt for Lazarus. I think that it is so interesting how weeping is such an important part in mourning for a loved one yet in Western culture it is viewed as weak for a man to weep. When I was in Turkey this summer a man that worked for my friends was weeping in public because his aunt had died. It was good for me to see how even today middle eastern culture responds strongly to loss by weeping thus inviting others to weep with you.
    4) I desperately need Christ and need him to charge in for me, so I would say I want him to come running like a war horse, ready to fight for me and carry me through my battles.

  10. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1. He was dead
    2. The true troubles of Jesus and how hurt and tearful and powerful he was.
    3. The cross and how he will do the same for us and himself. Jesus will die on the cross and come back to life and he will do the same to our bodies.
    4. I wan him to go with such great power and all of himself to save me.
    5. When my house flooded and my family lost all of our possessions. It didn’t make any sense what was happening but we trusted in God and he provided

  11. Ashley says:

    1. Lazarus had died by the time Jesus got the news.
    2. We miss the time frame of the story when we read the English translation.
    3. Jesus’ miracle points to his own death and resurrection and the resurrection of our dead souls coming to life.
    4. I want Jesus to show his power in guiding me through every step of life…
    5. A friend of mine died a few years ago and I felt as if all hope was lost. What is the point of life if we are born and we die? I still struggle with these thoughts, but try to take joy in the fact that God has chosen to create us to worship and adore him.

  12. Beth Coale says:

    1. He was dead already. It seemed like the situation was hopeless.

    2. the deep hurt He felt as He was “deeply troubled,” the idea of both tears and power

    3. That He will also pass through and overcome the power of death Himself

    4. I’m feeling a little empty and lost right now and want Him to fill me and help me to be hopeful.
    My student teaching placement is not going well and is just disappointing; I want Him to help bring something good about and give me peace about it.

    5. Right now, I am experiencing the death of a relationship. It’s hard to see why it went on so long before needing to end and it’s hard adjusting to how different life is going to be now.

  13. Ashley says:

    1. Lazarus had died by the time Jesus got the news.
    2. We miss the time frame of the story when we read the English translation.
    3. Jesus’ miracle points to his own death and resurrection and the resurrection of our dead souls coming to life.
    4. I want Jesus to show his power in guiding me through every step of life…
    5. A friend of mine died a few years ago and I felt as if all hope was lost. I wondered, what is the point of life if we are born and then we die? I still struggle with these thoughts, but try to take joy in the fact that God has chosen to create us to worship and adore him.

  14. nataliaria says:

    The interpretation given here had never occurred to me before, but given the timing mentioned in the text, it does make sense that Lazarus was already dead when Jesus heard that he was ill.

    By only reading an English version of a given passage, we have the potential to miss the depth of language and emotion that the original author intended. Some things can be said equally in multiple languages, but many things take on a slightly different tone, or change meaning entirely, when they are translated.

    The sign of Lazarus’ resurrection points to and foreshadows both Jesus’ death and resurrection, as well as the death of our sinful nature in Christ on the cross, and our resurrection to new life in Him both here on earth and in our resurrection bodies after these die.

    Honestly, I vacillate between feeling wonderfully connected to and in communion with Jesus and feeling rather intimidated by Him and struggling to wrap my mind around the connection that I truly do have with Him. All that being said, I think I envision His “charging in” for me to be a meld of these two things: both the gracious, compassionate, gentle Christ, and the conquering, reigning Lord of the Universe.

    I suppose the most “all hope is lost” situations I have endured have been times when I could not even cognitively tell myself that God was sovereign and good. I feel as if there is still a semblance of hope when you can say that cognitively, even if you do not believe it. But it is another matter entirely to doubt, to feel lost, with both mind and soul.

  15. Nick says:

    Lazarus was already dead. If we only read it in English, we miss the true emotion of Jesus in the passage. He was filled with sorrow, as well as power. It points to his own death and resurrection. The power and grief that he felt for Lazarus and how he charged in to save him from death is indicative of how Jesus would soon charge in to save us from our spiritual death.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s