Resurrection and Life

John 11:17-27 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou had been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever live and believeth in me shall never die. Believe thou this? She said unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 

‘Four days’ – two days after Jesus received the message from the sisters. At least one day was spent on the road and another when the messenger went from the sisters. Bethany was about three kilometres from Jerusalem.

The rabbis had an idea that the spirit wandered about the sepulchre for three days, called days of weeping, seeking an opportunity to return to the body. When decomposition set in on the fourth day, the spirit left the grave and the people beat their breasts in loud lamentations four days, making seven days of mourning (Gen. 27:41).

It was a custom for formal visitations of friends to last several days. As soon as they returned from the grave the mourners stood in a long row, and their friends passed by, each speaking a word of comfort while passing. There were afterwards several visits of sympathy at the house. ‘Sat still in the house’ this was a customary posture in time of grief (Ps. 137:1; Isa. 47:1; Luke 1:79; Mat. 27:61).

‘Whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee’ Jesus had demonstrated His success in getting answers to prayer for years, even to raising the dead, so her statement was backed by many historical proofs. This is exactly the kind of answers Jesus promised every believer without exception (John 14:1-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26). Jesus also knew this to be a fact, hence His absolute confidence that He was going to raise Lazarus (John 11:11-16). Martha did not ask such a favor in direct terms; she only expressed the faith in His ability to do it. This is why many prayers today are not answered.

In Him is all life (1Jn. 5:11-12; John 1:4; 3:15-20, 36; 5:24; 14:6). ‘Though he were dead, yet shall he live’ even though Lazarus died physically (Heb. 9:27), yet he will be resurrected physically to live forever (1Cor. 15:20-23, 51-58; 1Thes. 4:13-18). Whosoever believes in Jesus in this life will live eternally.

‘Believe thou this?’ The answer confirmed Martha’s faith in His Messiahship and Sonship, but her faith went no further concerning the pressing need of her brother. She was like many others who stop short of a direct request and absolute faith for what they want.

I Am the Bread of Life

John 6:30-35 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 

The Jews questioned Christ and asked Him to give them a sign to prove that He is the Messiah and the Son of God. To them, His multiplying of bread didn’t prove it, because Moses gave Israel bread for 40 years and He did not claim to be the Messiah or the Son of God.

Jesus answers them that Moses did not give them the true bread that feeds the soul and sustains eternal life, but mere temporal bread that feeds the body only (Exo. 16:15; Psa. 78:24). They still understood Him as speaking of temporal food.

John 6:35 is the twelfth New Testament prophecy in John that is being fulfilled. Jesus is described as seven typologies in John: “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35-51); “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:12; 9:5); “I am the Door of the Sheep” (John 10:7-9) “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-14); “I am the Resurrection and Life” (John 11:25); “I am the Way, Truth, and Life” (John 14:6); “I am the True Vine” (John 15:1-6).

Will never thirst because he can have “rivers of living water” flowing out of his innermost being (John 7:37-39). The abundant fullness of the Holy Spirit will meet every need and solve every problem (Matt. 17:20; 21:22; John 14:12-17, 26; 15:7, 16, 26; 16:7-15; Acts 1:4-8; 8:26).