Books of the Book: John

Mary, Martha & Lazarus

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00016A

00:20 Hello and welcome to this program
00:21 called "Books of the Book."
00:23 We're so happy that you are able to join us
00:25 and-- in this Bible study.
00:27 My name is Deyvy Rodriguez.
00:29 And we are studying today the Gospel of John
00:32 and in particular today we are in chapter 11.
00:35 And we're gonna talk about the resurrection of Lazarus.
00:39 And with us in this study is Dr. Jon Pauline,
00:42 he is a Bible scholar
00:43 and he comes from Loma Linda University
00:46 in Loma Linda, California.
00:48 And we want to thank you again,
00:50 Dr. Pauline, for being with us.
00:51 We're so happy, we are so delighted
00:53 that you are able to share your insights in this Gospel.
00:57 And you shared with us early in another program
01:00 that you love this gospel, this book
01:04 because you said it's a spiritual
01:06 and in so many spiritual applications.
01:09 And you also mentioned a favorite verse in this gospel
01:13 which is chapter 3 and verse 20-- Verse 8.
01:18 Verse 8, which tells again what is it saying,
01:21 why is it important to you?
01:22 The wind blows wherever it wants to,
01:25 no one knows where it's coming from or where it's going.
01:28 So is everyone who is born in the spirit.
01:32 And it encourages us to--
01:33 when the spirit comes into our lives,
01:35 we don't become cookie cutter people,
01:38 rather we become uniquely who God intended us to be
01:41 and that for me is so exciting. Amen.
01:44 Well, now if you are-- if you do have a Bible with you
01:47 and you want to join us in this Bible study again,
01:50 we are in chapter 11 and thus far
01:54 we have been studying,
01:56 the life of Jesus in this gospel.
01:59 And we've learned, Dr. Pauline, that Jesus is define--
02:03 the leaders of the church.
02:06 We've learned in chapter 2 that He disrupts worship.
02:09 Chapter 5, He heals in the Sabbath.
02:12 Again disrupts worship in chapter 7.
02:14 He is accused of blasphemy for calling or--
02:18 for placing Himself as God.
02:21 Chapter 9, He is healing on the Sabbath one more time
02:25 and chapter 10, blasphemy again.
02:29 Now we are in chapter 11.
02:31 So tell us what is the context here
02:34 and what are we now?
02:36 What is now Jesus gonna do to defy the leaders
02:39 and to make them upset?
02:41 There's been conflict all along there,
02:43 all six of those as you point out.
02:46 And I don't know if this is intentional or not.
02:49 But it's fascinating that the first and third encounters
02:54 with the religious leaders are in relation to a worship service
02:59 that gets disrupted by Jesus' presence.
03:02 The fourth and sixth of these are accusations of blasphemy.
03:06 And the second and fifth are relating to the Sabbath,
03:12 accusations relating to the Sabbath.
03:14 So it's like you've two sets of three
03:17 in which an incident related to the Sabbath
03:20 is between a couple of other incidents.
03:23 So I find that interesting.
03:26 Really with chapter 11,
03:28 this is therefore the last straw.
03:31 In other words the raising of Lazarus is the final thing
03:35 and from that moment on people are saying,
03:38 okay, we've had enough of Jesus, we got to get rid of Him.
03:41 So right after the Lazarus story,
03:44 you have the story of the Sanhedrin
03:47 coming together to the side what to do with Jesus.
03:50 If we let Him go on like this, everybody's gonna follow Him
03:54 and the Romans are gonna come
03:55 and destroy our temple and our city and everything.
03:58 So we got to do something.
03:59 So raising of Lazarus becomes the final provocation,
04:05 not what you would think,
04:07 you know, was intentional by Jesus.
04:08 I mean, He simply raising a friend.
04:11 But the fact that He could raise the dead like this,
04:16 it just brings to an end, I think the opposition
04:21 which has been trying to resist the idea
04:23 that He is Messiah and even God.
04:26 But when He raises the dead, it's gonna like,
04:28 okay, now what do we do that this is going too far.
04:32 Now-- so now we are in what,
04:36 the chapter says Bethany-- Right.
04:39 This is the place where He has friends--
04:42 Bethany is a small village
04:44 on the other side of the Mount of Olives.
04:46 So it's very close to Jerusalem,
04:48 two or three kilometers from Jerusalem.
04:52 And it's a place that Jesus when He was in Jerusalem
04:55 would often spend the night there.
04:57 So He was there with friends.
05:00 Something I should mention
05:03 that the Rabbis at the time had a teaching
05:07 that when a person dies the soul of that person,
05:12 not all the Rabbis really understood
05:14 the biblical perspective on human nature
05:17 which is that body and soul are one.
05:19 You know, that we're complete unity.
05:21 That's very clear in the Old Testament
05:23 but some Jews after the time of the Old Testament
05:27 began to read Plato and Philo
05:30 and some of these Greek philosophers
05:32 and come up with this idea of a division
05:34 between soul and body. So that's being reflected here.
05:38 But those who believe that way thought that when a person died,
05:41 the soul would kind of hover over the body for three days.
05:46 And if the person didn't comeback to life,
05:48 it would then, you know, just go off to God
05:53 or wherever they thought it might be.
05:55 So the point here is that after three days
05:59 they believed there's no more hope.
06:02 Now you'll notice that Jesus delays
06:06 a couple of days before He comes.
06:08 The sister sends a-- you know, your friend is sick.
06:12 And instead of coming, Jesus spends two more days there
06:15 and then comes, and He arrives on the fourth day.
06:19 And what does He say when He arrives?
06:22 We are in verse--
06:23 Yeah, I think it's verse 15, you've read it to me before.
06:26 Okay. I'm glad--
06:27 "I am glad for your sakes that I was not there,
06:29 that you may believe.
06:31 Nevertheless let us go to him."
06:33 Now this sounds bit disrespectful,
06:36 bit rude for Jesus to say
06:39 "I am glad that I was not there"
06:41 you know, so His-- His good friend has died,
06:45 His two sisters are mourning and Jesus is glad. Yeah.
06:50 What's with that comment there? Yeah.
06:52 Well, it appears, I think if you go back to chapter 7
06:57 you realize that Jesus' timetable is not set by friends,
07:02 by mother, by brothers, by anybody.
07:06 Jesus schedule is set by His Father.
07:10 And so Jesus delays two days
07:13 not out of disrespect for Lazarus
07:15 but because he does not sense
07:17 the Father wants Him to go just yet.
07:19 He apparently is not aware that Lazarus had died
07:23 when He actually comes but He is glad that He delayed,
07:29 because now the glory of God can be seen.
07:31 And so He arrives four days in,
07:34 raising Lazarus at the four day period is an undeniable miracle.
07:39 Nobody's gonna doubt it, this is indisputable.
07:44 And so the delay ends up
07:46 showing of the glory of God as we see in verse 4.
07:50 "Now the disciple seem to be confused for what Jesus said.
07:55 And earlier He said that our friend Lazarus is sleeping.
08:01 And so I-- I go so that I can wake him up.
08:05 And so verse 16 says,
08:07 "Then Thomas, who was called the Twin,
08:09 said to his fellow disciples,
08:10 'Let us go, also that we may die with him.'"
08:13 That's after Jesus said, Lazarus is dead.
08:16 Now I don't know what Thomas means by that to say
08:20 Okay, let's go with Jesus that we may die with Him.
08:23 I think he is reflecting back on those six encounters
08:28 with religious leaders that the gospel has been
08:31 full of your time after time after time.
08:33 Jesus has been in contention with them.
08:37 And the last couple of times, they pick up stones.
08:40 So when he says let us go that we may die with Him,
08:43 referring-- with Him Jesus,
08:45 or with him who is already dead, Lazarus. No.
08:49 I think he's saying there with Jesus,
08:50 that Jesus is gonna die if He goes back to Jerusalem.
08:53 Remember they are by the Jordan because of the encounter.
08:59 When he was last in the temple on the Feast of Dedication
09:02 He says, "I and the Father are one."
09:04 And they pick up stones to stone Him.
09:06 This is the second time.
09:08 So disciple are saying, don't go back to the temple.
09:12 Every time you go, they are ready to beat you up,
09:14 you know? Don't go there.
09:17 So Jesus takes His disciples at the end of chapter 10,
09:20 they go out in to this quite place
09:23 and disciples are glad that,
09:25 you know, things are little better.
09:27 But now, Jesus wants to go back
09:29 in to the lion's den and Thomas says,
09:30 alright, let just go with Him and to die with Him.
09:32 And apparently they are ready to die for Him at least,
09:34 Thomas--at least they say they are ready to die.
09:37 This is doubting Thomas. This is doubting Thomas.
09:38 You see, that's absolutely,
09:40 He's not really doubting Thomas, see.
09:42 He was put in an unusual situation.
09:45 When he was doubting and it turns out in chapter 20
09:50 that God was able to use that situation
09:54 to set the tone for the entire gospel,
09:56 which I think is powerful.
09:58 The real doubter in Gospel of John is Phillip.
10:03 He is the one that constantly questioning
10:04 and--do we have enough bread to feed all these people?
10:06 You know, hey Lord, you said, we've seen the Father,
10:10 come on, I've never seen the Father, you know.
10:12 So Phillip's the one that's kind of--
10:14 So doubting Phillip would be more appropriate.
10:15 Yeah. Perhaps. In this case.
10:17 But I guess Thomas did the more spectacular crime, you know.
10:22 He is the person with the really spectacular crime
10:24 that's remembered I think,
10:25 and that's where Thomas gets it.
10:27 But he-- in this case is the one
10:29 who really express his courage.
10:32 Now go back to this idea
10:34 of Jesus saying that Lazarus sleeps.
10:38 Why did Jesus say that Lazarus is sleeping
10:41 and later He says that he is dead?
10:44 Well, sleeping was a way of saying
10:47 that a person is dead in the ancient world.
10:51 You know, when the person is dead
10:52 and kind of like this, looks like
10:54 they are taking a nap that sort of--
10:56 so this is widely, you know, in the Greek world
10:58 and the Jewish world and so on.
11:02 But I think it's an excellent reference to death
11:06 because as we see with Lazarus,
11:08 the death that we suffer in this life
11:11 is not the ultimate death. It's like a sleep.
11:15 It's a diminishment of death when Christians use this term
11:20 because the death that really matters
11:22 is eternal separation from God
11:25 or what Revelation calls the second death.
11:29 So here when He says, Lazarus is asleep,
11:31 it's one of those misunderstandings,
11:34 you know, Jesus is saying
11:36 he is asleep, they take him literally.
11:39 Oh, well good, he's gonna get better.
11:41 But no, Jesus is saying he has died in the final sense
11:45 that human beings experience in this life.
11:48 But the resurrection of Lazarus
11:50 proves that the death as we experience
11:53 it is not the ultimate thing.
11:54 It's not the thing to be most feared
11:57 and people live their lives in consciousness of death,
12:02 in almost fear of death.
12:04 And one of the beauties of Christian faith
12:05 is it takes away the fear of death.
12:08 Because really we know that's not the ultimate thing.
12:10 With the resurrection of Jesus,
12:13 something better is coming for all of us.
12:16 So it takes away some of the fear of death.
12:21 But just summarizing this chapter as a whole--
12:25 it goes through the story and people can read it,
12:29 Jesus greets the sisters again.
12:30 We've have more to say about that after the break.
12:33 But then He goes and He raises Lazarus from the dead.
12:37 And as I said, that's the last straw,
12:39 raising Lazarus from the dead.
12:40 And the next thing that happens,
12:42 you know, the council
12:43 and the council is trying to kill Jesus.
12:47 So here is the thing,
12:49 the raising of Lazarus is the seventh action of Jesus
12:54 that creates hostility.
12:56 And as a result of the raising of Lazarus
12:59 three things happened.
13:00 Mary has increased faith.
13:03 When she sees Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead,
13:06 her faith comes up to its fullness.
13:10 On the other hand, the raising of Lazarus
13:13 creates hostility in the Sanhedrin
13:17 and even for Judas.
13:18 It seems that Judas starts turning his head
13:21 to betraying Jesus after this.
13:23 Why exactly would not be clear?
13:26 But more than this, it creates a lot of inadequate faith.
13:30 Remember the three types of faith?
13:33 The inadequate faith is the kind that gets excited by miracles.
13:37 And a huge crowd goes into Jerusalem saying,
13:40 Jesus raised the dead.
13:42 And when Jesus rides into Jerusalem the next day,
13:45 huge crowd is waiting for them.
13:47 Are they true believers? No.
13:49 They were excited about another miracle.
13:51 So the death of Lazarus creates hostility,
13:54 genuine faith and inadequate faith.
13:57 All three of those in chapters 11 and 12.
14:00 Okay, well, we're gonna continue on this story of Lazarus
14:04 after this short break, so stay with us.


Revised 2014-12-17