John 11: Lazarus Is Raised from the Dead

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 84–85

In John 10 Jesus said to those who did not believe His words that His works testified of who He was (see vv. 25, 32, 37–38). The raising of Lazarus from the dead, as recorded in John 11, was perhaps the greatest opportunity for unbelievers to receive a witness that Jesus was, in fact, their Messiah. This miracle, coming near the end of His mortal ministry, was a great testimony of His identity and power. John’s story not only testifies of Jesus’ power but also shows His love and compassion. As you read John 11, note the effect this miracle had on the Jewish leaders.

Understanding the Scriptures

John 11

Fifteen furlongs off (v. 18)About 2,800 meters away (1 3/4 miles) 
Expedient (v. 50)Necessary, proper 
Abroad (v. 52)Outside of Israel 

John 11:55—“To Purify Themselves”

Before participating in the sacred Passover meal and sacrifices, men and women would follow certain practices to make themselves ceremonially clean. This included washing in a specific way, not touching anything dead or unclean according to the law of Moses, and following other rules put in place by Jewish leaders over the years. Some demonstrated their hypocrisy when they were trying to have Jesus crucified. They were careful not to become “unclean” even as they thirsted for His innocent blood (see John 18:28).

Studying the Scriptures

Do either activity A or B as you study John 11.

Activity A iconFinish the Sentences

Write in your notebook the following sentences that tell the story of Lazarus, and complete them the best you can using the information you read in John 11.

  1. 1.

    When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick …

  2. 2.

    Jesus waited two days before going to Bethany because …

  3. 3.

    When Jesus got to Bethany, Lazarus …

  4. 4.

    Martha believed that …

  5. 5.

    Jesus wept because …

  6. 6.

    Jesus prayed aloud to the Father because …

  7. 7.

    After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many Jews … , but some Jews …

  8. 8.

    What impresses me most about this story is …

Activity B iconWrite a News Release

The reaction of Jewish leaders to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is found in John 11:47–54. Imagine that newspapers existed at that time and use those verses to help you respond to the following:

  1. 1.

    Write what you think Caiaphas would have said if asked by a Roman newspaper to give his thoughts about Jesus and His ministry.

  2. 2.

    What do you think Caiaphas would have stated for a local Jewish language newspaper he thought the Romans would not read.

  3. 3.

    What do you think Caiaphas was most worried about?

  4. 4.

    Give a modern example of how someone your age might be kept from a closer relationship with God for the same basic reason that Caiaphas was kept from having a strong testimony and relationship with God.