Prayerfully study John 11:1–46. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)
Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.
A Bible or a New Testament for each child.
A newly cut twig or leaf and a dead one (or a picture of each of these).
Pictures 7-27, Jesus Raising Lazarus from the Dead (Gospel Art Picture Kit 222; 62148), and 7-18, Jesus Blessing Jairus’s Daughter (Gospel Art Picture Kit 215; 62231).
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Show the children the newly cut twig or leaf and the dead one. Ask the children to talk about the difference between the two.
Is there anything we can do to make a dead twig look like the newly cut twig?
Now that the newly cut twig has been cut off from the plant, what will happen to it?
Who has power to bring life back to something that is dead?
Explain that Jesus has power over death. He brought several people who had died back to life.
Briefly review the accounts of Jesus raising the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11–17) and Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8:41–42, 49–56). Then teach the children the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead as found in John 11:1–46. Show the pictures at appropriate times. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Explain that when Jesus raised people from the dead, he performed miracles that testified that he was the Son of God and had power over death. Explain to the children that because of a Jewish custom of neighbors and friends mourning with the family for several days after a death, many people were with Martha and Mary after Lazarus died and witnessed this great miracle that Jesus performed.
Discussion and Application Questions
Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.
When Jesus received word that Lazarus was ill, how long did Jesus wait before he departed for Bethany? (John 11:6.) How long had Lazarus’s body lain in the tomb when Jesus arrived? (John 11:17.) Why do you think Jesus waited so long to go? (So everyone would know without question that Lazarus was dead, and raising him would be a stronger witness to Jesus’ divine power and mission [John 11:4, 15].)
What did Martha and Mary say to Jesus when he arrived? (John 11:21–22, 32.) What did Martha think when Jesus told her that Lazarus would rise again? (John 11:23–24.) What was Martha’s testimony even before she saw her brother raised from the dead? (John 11:27.)
Why did Jesus pray to Heavenly Father before he raised Lazarus? (John 11:41–42.) What did Jesus want the people to understand? (That he had been sent by Heavenly Father.)
How do you think Mary, Martha, and the other people felt as they witnessed this miracle? How do you think you might have felt if you had been there? What did the people do after seeing the miracle? (John 11:45–46.) How would seeing Lazarus coming out of the tomb have affected your belief in Jesus?
Why could Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? How does it make you feel to know Jesus has the power to raise someone from the dead? How does this miracle help us know that Jesus is the Son of God? (John 11:4.)
What did Jesus do later that proved his power over death? (He was resurrected. Help the children understand that when Lazarus came back from the dead, he was still mortal and would die again. When people are resurrected, they will never die again. They will live forever.)
Explain that Jesus not only has the power to bring someone back to mortal life, as he did Lazarus, he also has the more important power of raising everyone from the dead to immortality. Every person born on earth will be resurrected. Also, through his atonement Jesus has the power to give eternal life to those who obey and follow him. He is the source of resurrection and eternal life for each one of us.
Challenge the children to tell the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead to someone else during the coming week.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Ask children to pretend to be Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and the Jews who were present when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Ask another child to interview the people to find out what happened, what they witnessed, how they felt as they saw Lazarus come forth from the cave, and what they felt about Jesus.
Prepare slips of paper that refer to events, such as the following, when someone witnessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Prepare another set of papers with scriptures that describe the event:
Event: Jesus was born.
Scripture: An angel said, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
Event: Jesus was baptized.
Scripture: There was a voice from heaven saying, “Thou art my beloved Son”; the Spirit of God descended like a dove (Mark 1:9–11).
Event: Jesus walked on the water.
Scripture: Jesus’ disciples on the ship said, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:25–27, 32–33).
Event: Jesus healed a man born blind.
Scripture: “And [the man] said, Lord, I believe [you are the Son of God]. And he worshipped him” (John 9:32, 35–38).
Event: Peter testified of Christ.
Scripture: When Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was, Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13–16).
Event: Joseph Smith received his first vision.
Scripture: Heavenly Father said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith—History 1:17).
Place the papers face down on the floor or table in random order. Have a child come up and turn two papers over and try to match the event with the appropriate scripture account. If the two papers do not go together, turn the papers back over and allow another child to take a turn. If all the papers are matched before each child has a turn, play the game again.
Help the children memorize John 11:25.
Bear your testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and has power over death. Express your love for the Savior and your gratitude to him for his atonement, which made it possible for us to be resurrected and gain eternal life.
Suggested Home Reading
Suggest that the children study John 11:39–46 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.