The Responses to the Resurrection

Mary and Martha were happy that their brother came back from the dead. There were those in the midst who were not so elated. In this lesson, we will study the positive responses along with the negative responses. I would like to point out that Jesus’ words and actions always elicited some kind of response from the people.

Scriptural Passage

For many Jews, this miracle was clear proof of Jesus’ claim. This caused them to trust Him. Others were hardened against Him. They walked in sin or confusion. With this attitude, they went to His enemies, and they told the religious leaders what He had done. This was a significant sign to the chief priests and the Pharisees. These individuals decided to call an emergency session of the Sanhedrin. They could not allow Jesus to continue His ministry. His influence was spreading too far, and too many people were turning to Him. They may have thought Jesus was some kind of magician who dealt in secret arts which deceived the people.

The council could not do what they were doing to deal with Jesus. Such actions as


-official disapproval


-counter teaching

were not working. The feared outcome would bring insurrection. The threat from the Roman government would manifest in the crushing of the Jewish revolt. Note that this is mentioned in verse 48. The temple and the nation would suffer lose.

Caiaphas was the high priest at the time of this meeting. Originally, the high priest held his position for a lifetime. The Romans were afraid to allow this. They were afraid that if they allowed this, the man would gain too much power. Men were appointed to this position by the Romans. Caiaphas had the office from A.D. 18 to 36. His contempt is expressed in his words. He accused them of knowing nothing. He spoke without fear. His judgment revealed that this man (Jesus Christ) must be sacrificed if the nation was to continue in Rome’s favor. The alternative to this judgment was destruction of the Jewish nation in war. See John 11:48. Their rejection of Jesus solved nothing. The Jewish people followed false shepherds into a war against Rome. This took place from A.D. 66 to 70. Their nation was destroyed.



Lazarus Rise!

John 11:38-39 (KJV)

(38) “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. (39) Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

Jesus was disturbed emotionally. Such showing of emotion told of His great love for these three people. Jesus came to the tomb. Tombs were made of limestone. People made caves in the side of a wall of rock. Once the person’s body was placed in the tomb, a stone was placed over the entrance. Jesus told them to move the stone. Such action would result in defilement. Obedience was demanded if Jesus’ miracle was to be revealed. The crowd, having heard Jesus’ words, looked on and listened. Mary was weeping, and Martha objected saying that her brother had been dead four days.


John 11:40-42 (KJV)

(40)”Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (41) 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. (42) And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”


If Martha believed His Word concerning Him being the resurrection and the Life, then all would be well. She had to trust Him, and God would be glorified. The sisters’ faith had shown. They gave their permission to move the stone.


Tension mounted. What would Jesus do now that the stone had been removed? Jesus thanked His Father for granting His request. The Father’s will is being manifested in His love and power. Jesus gave a public prayer of thanksgiving. Jesus did not want to be honored as a Wonder-Worker. He wanted them to know He was the Father’s obedient Son. The granting of the Jesus’ prayer would give clear evidence to the people that He had been sent by the Father. (Note Elijah’s prayer in I Kings 18:37.


Jesus spoke three words: Lazarus come out! It should be noted that if Jesus had not called Lazarus’ name, all the dead would have come forth. Immediately, the dead man came out. He was wrapped in strips of linen. Jesus gives a directive to the people. Remove his grave clothes. This enabled Lazarus to move on his own. This was evidence that he was alive.


The Bible Knowledge Commentary makes the following statement concerning this miracle:

“This event is a marvelous picture of God’s Son bringing life to people. He will do this physically at the Rapture for church saints. I Thess. 4:16, and at His return for Old Testament saints Daniel 12:2, and the Tribulation saints (Rev. 20:4, 6).”


Today Jesus speaks and calls the spiritually dead to spiritual life. Many people are dead in trespasses and sins. They have the opportunity to believe and come to life by the power of God.



Jesus wept


The Greeks believed that God could not feel anger, love, pain, disappointment, hope, or any of the other emotions that humanity experienced. If God could feel emotions, then someone could have an effect upon Him. Someone else causes such emotions. In order to have an effect upon God the Father, the person must have control of the Father. This is not true. God is in control of all things. Since nobody can control God, then it means that He cannot have feelings. How do we reconcile this fact with what we are seeing here? It can be said that God the Father is lonely, isolated and compassionless. He can only be approached through reason–if that is possible. He cannot be reached based on His love or pity.


In great contrast with the Greek gods’ apathy or lack of emotion, Jesus’ emotional life attests the reality of His union with people. He had a deep emotional connection with these three individuals. In John 11:33-34, Jesus “groaned” which can be more likely translated “angered.” The Greek word enebrimesato (from embrimaomai) seems to connote anger or sternness. This Greek word is used five times in the New Testament. Each time it expresses the Lord’s words or feelings. Note the following verses:


Why would Jesus be angry? He may have been angry because of the people’s unbelief. This may have been His response to the hypocritical wailing by the mourners. This is not true to the text though. This makes us have to look at why Jesus groaned in the spirit. Jesus may have been angry at the tyranny of Satan who had brought sorrow and death to people through sin. Compare, . Jesus was troubled (etaraxen, lit., “stirred” or “agitated,” like the pool water in Compare,,, This disturbance was because of His conflict with sin, death, and Satan.

Jesus’ weeping differed from that of the people. His quiet shedding tears (edakrysen) differed from their loud wailing (klaiontas v. 33). His weeping was over the tragic consequence of sin. The crowd interpreted Jesus’ tears as an expression of love, or frustration at not being there to heal Lazarus.


Jesus and Mary


After the conversation with Jesus, Martha tells Mary that Jesus has arrived. When Mary hears that the Christ has come, she arises from her place and heads for the grave of her brother. The mourners arise thinking she is going to the sepulcher to mourn her brother’s death. Mary falls at Jesus’ feet saying almost the same thing her sister said. When Jesus sees her weeping, He groans in His spirit, and He was troubled. Jesus asks her where is the place where Lazarus’ body was lain.

Jesus wept. Why did He weep? Was He moved by the deep sorrow of Martha and Mary? This verse will be discussed in the next lesson.



Isaiah 61:10-11 (KJV)
(10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (11) For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Conversation with Jesus

We have looked at Martha’s response to Jesus’ arrival. Now we turn to Jesus. We will see how He responded to her lack of full faith in Him. We need to see how He dealt with her poor kind of faith. He could have responded by saying something like the following:

“Martha, Martha, what poor thoughts you have of me. I have been with you for a long time, and you still do not know that I am both willing to and will raise your brother.”

Jesus could have said something like that, but He did not. Such rebuke is not helpful during deep sorrow. It may have been misunderstood. Martha thought she was expressing great faith in Jesus when she said, “But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask.” (v. 22)

Jesus took the opportunity to teach Martha more about Himself at this point. He made the following statement: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (verses 25-26)

Jesus spoke to her condition specifically. She had attempted to push the resurrection off to the last day. Jesus taught her that He was the resurrection. Wherever Jesus is there is life. Jesus was present physically. This meant there was going to be physical life. Lazarus would live again. Jesus is now present spiritually. There is a spiritual resurrection. If you are a believer in the Christ, you have experienced this resurrection. You are dead in trespasses and sin. Therefore, your life is hid in Christ. Colossians 3:3

I Corinthians 15:45-46 says that the first man was a living soul, and the last Adam (Jesus Christ) was made a “quickening spirit.” First comes the natural, and then the spiritual. Note that Jesus teaches Martha this truth by saying “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (Verses 25-26). What then is the direct application of these verses? This brings us to the conclusion of this lesson.

Jesus asks Martha does she believe this. (Verse 26) Jesus had made another “I am” statement,and He had elaborated on it.

As I close this lesson, I would like to ask you same question Jesus asked Martha. Do you believe this? This is a personal question to you the reader. Do you believe what is recorded in the Bible? Do you possess the faith that is mentioned here? Do you have what it takes to stand strong in the storms and trials of life? You have a hope that goes beyond the grave.

Read I Corinthians 15:51-58


Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Old Testament

The genuineness of Jesus’ resurrection was the final witness to all the other signs and wonders as performed by Him.


The topic of resurrection is found in both the Old and New Testaments.


Jesus is the center of apostolic preaching, especially his resurrection.


Acts 2:24 (KJV)
(24) Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.


This verse speaks of Jesus when He rose from the dead. The chains of death could not hold Jesus in their grasp. In Acts 2:29-32, Paul speaks of the patriarch, David. God tells David his seed will bring forth the Messiah. Jesus Christ would fulfill the Davidic Covenant. He speaks of the resurrection of Christ (v. 31). His soul would not be left in hell. Neither would His body see corruption. Paul states that this has been witnessed by the apostles and disciples.


The thing, which the agency of God brings about, is a new or spiritual birth, a resurrection from spiritual death, the inducing of a new and holy life.

Christ speaks of the Old Testament Scriptures after His resurrection. He says “all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me.” Luke 24:44



Where I am

I am suppose to be writing on the second half of John 11, but I’m at an impasse. I am seeking Jesus about how to write about the different responses that the resurrection miracle revealed. This miracle caused Jesus’ enemies to come to the conclusion that He must die. Others believed in Him. I might be trying too hard to write about this portion of Scripture.

Please keep me in your prayers as I face this task.