Lazarus Raised

John 11:38-44 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto him, Lord, by this time he stink: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus said unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou would believe, thou should see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 

Jews generally cut their graves out of the faces of cliffs. The stone here did not lie upon the grave-opening but leaned against it. Lazarus has putrefactive odour by now for he has been dead four days.

‘Said I not unto thee, that, if thou would believe, thou should see the glory of God?’ This is nowhere stated before this, proving that the record is not complete of everything said on this occasion (John 21:25).

‘Lifted up his eyes’ Jesus looked up to heaven, having eyes open (Mat. 17:8; Luke 6:20; 16:23; John 4:35; 6:5; 17:1). ‘Father’ Fifteen times Christ used this name in prayer when He prayed unto the Father who was in Heaven (Mat. 11:25-26; 26:39, 42; Luke 23:34, 46; John 11:41; 12:27-28; 17:1, 5, 11, 21, 24-25). ‘Thou hast heard me’ this suggests that Christ had already prayed and was heard, receiving the will of God in this case before He started on His trip to Bethany (John 11:3-6). He was no doubt led by God to delay this trip as recorded here.

‘That they may believe that thou hast sent me’ There are 14 purposes of Christ’s miracles: To make believers (John 2:23; 4:48; 11:42; 12:37; 14:11); to fulfill prophecy (Isa. 11:2; 61:1-2; Mat.8:17; Luke 4:18) to demonstrate God’s will (John 5:30; 6:38; 10:10; Heb. 10:7); to destroy works of satan (Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38; 1Jn. 3:8); to give abundant life (John 10:10); to confirm His Sonship and Messianic claims (John 5:17-19, 30-36; 10:25, 36-38; 14:10-11; 15:24; 20:30-31; Acts 2:32); to confirm God’s Word and love (John 5:20; Heb. 2:3-4); to prove that God was with Him (John 3:2; Acts 10:38); to demonstrate God’s power over satan (Luke 10:19; 13:16; Mat. 12:28; Acts 10:38); to prove the kingdom of God present (Mat. 12:28); to glorify God (John 2:11; 11:4; Mat. 9:8; 15:31; Mark 2:12; Luke 4:15; 5:26; 7:16; 13:13); to set an example for all believers (Mat. 10:1-8; 28:20; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:6; 10:9; John17:18); to demonstrate the power of the Spirit baptism (Mat. 20:22-23; Luke 4:18; John 3:34); to demonstrate full salvation for body, soul, and spirit (Mat. 4:23-24; 8:17; 9:35; 13:15; John 10:10; 1Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:4-5).

‘Cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth’ He spoke loud enough that all standing could hear the command and see that even the dead were subject to Him. Lazarus that had been dead came forth. ‘bound hand and foot with graveclothes’ This does not necessarily mean that his legs were bound together like a mummy, but bound separately, so he could not walk freely until loosed from the grave clothes or strips of linen.