The Death of Lazarus in Bethany
(1) Now a man named Lazarus was very sick. He lived in Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, the village of Mary and Martha. (2) This Mary, whose brother Lazarus was sick, was the same woman who poured fragrant oil on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair (see John 12:1-8). (3) So Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, sent this message to Jesus, “Lord, Lazarus, the one you love is very sick.”
(4) When Jesus received the news, he said, “Lazarus’ sickness will not lead to his death. No, his sickness is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God will be praised through it.” (5) Now Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. (6) So after hearing that Lazarus was sick, Jesus stayed east of the Jordan River in the region of Perea for two more days.
(7) Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” (8) His disciples said, “But Teacher (Rabbi), a short while ago the Jewish religious leaders in Judea were trying to stone you to death. Why are you going back there?” (9) Jesus said, “There are 12 hours of light in a day. Whoever walks during the day will not stumble, because they see by this world’s light. (10) But it’s when a person walks in the darkness of night that they stumble, because they have no light to see.”
(11) Jesus continued and said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.” (12) His disciples said, “Lord, if he is asleep, he will wake on his own.” (13) Jesus was telling them of Lazarus’ death, but his disciples thought he was saying that Lazarus was just sleeping. (14) So then Jesus told them directly, “Lazarus is dead, (15) and I rejoice for you that I was not there when Lazarus died, so that you will believe. But let’s go to Lazarus.”
(16) Then Thomas (also known as Didymus, the Twin), said to the other disciples, “Let us also go, so that we will die with him.”
Martha and Mary
(17) When Jesus arrived at Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, Lazarus had already been in the rock tomb for four days. (18) Now Bethany was less than two miles (3 km) from Jerusalem, (19) and many Jews had come to comfort Mary and Martha because of their brother’s death. (20) When Martha heard that Jesus was coming to Bethany, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed home.
(21) Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother Lazarus would not have died. (22) But I know that even now God will do whatever you ask him.” (23) Jesus said to her, “Your brother will be raised from the dead.” (24) Martha said, “I know he will rise from the dead in the resurrection at the last day.” (25) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. (26) Whoever believes in me will live, even if they die. Do you believe what I tell you is true?” (27) Martha said, “Yes, Lord! I believe that you are the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God, who has come into this world.”
(28) After saying this, Martha went back to Bethany and called her sister Mary aside, and said, “The Teacher is here, and he is asking to see you.” (29) When Mary heard this, she left quickly and went out to meet him. (30) Now Jesus had not yet entered the village of Bethany, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. (31) When the Jews who were with Mary in the house, comforting her, saw how quickly she got up and left, they followed her, because they thought that she was going to Lazarus’ tomb to mourn.
(32) When Mary came to Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother Lazarus would not have died.” (33) When Jesus saw Mary weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead
(34) Jesus asked, “Where did you put Lazarus’ body?” They said, “Lord, come and we will show you.” (35) Jesus wept. (36) Then the Jews said to one another, “See how much he loved Lazarus.” (37) But some of the Jews said, “He healed the man who was born blind (see John 9:1-12). Couldn’t he have stopped Lazarus from dying?”
(38) Jesus arrived at the tomb, and he was deeply moved in his spirit. Now it was a cave tomb, and a large stone had been rolled across the tomb entrance. (39) Jesus said, “Roll away the stone.” Martha, Lazarus’ sister, said, “But Lord, he has been dead four days and by this time his body will stink.” (40) Then Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” (41) So they rolled the stone away from the tomb’s entrance. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed, “Father, I thank you that you hear me. (42) I know that you always hear me, but I said this so the people standing around me will believe that you sent me into this world.”
(43) After Jesus had prayed, he shouted, “Lazarus, come out of that tomb!” (44) Lazarus walked out of the tomb, his hands and feet wrapped with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus told the people, “Take off his grave clothes and set Lazarus free!”
The Plan to Kill Jesus
John 11:45-53 (Matthew 26:1-5; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-2)
(45) Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary believed in Jesus after they saw him raise Lazarus from the dead. (46) But some other Jews went and told the Pharisees what Jesus had done. (47) So the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish governing council (the Sanhedrin). They asked, “What are we going to do? For this man Jesus is doing many miraculous signs (miracles). (48) If we do not stop him, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and destroy our temple and our nation.”
(49) Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year, said, “You know nothing at all! (50) You don’t realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation be destroyed.” (51) Caiaphas did not say this in his own ability, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, (52) and not only for the nation, but also to gather together as one the children of God who were scattered abroad (the Jewish diaspora).
(53) So from that day on the Jewish religious leaders made plans to kill Jesus.
Jesus Withdraws to Ephraim Near the Judean Wilderness
(54) Therefore Jesus decided not to walk around openly among the people of Judea, because the Jews were planning to kill him. So Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and traveled to a region near the wilderness of Judea to stay in the village of Ephraim.
(55) When the time of the Jewish Passover was near, many people went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial purification (cleansing) before the Passover began. (56) People were looking for Jesus, and when they were in the temple courts they asked each other, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to celebrate Passover at all?” (57) But the Jewish chief priests and the Pharisees gave orders that whoever found out where Jesus was must report it so that they could arrest him.