Signs That Point to the Savior — John 11:38-46


Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done (John 11:45-46—NRSV).

If you see a sign pointing toward a city, that sign does not compel you to go there. You choose to go there or not. In his gospel, John called Jesus’ miracles “signs.” Jesus did not intend for His signs to compel anyone to believe in Him, but they did help people believe in Him. Believers do not irrationally place their faith in Jesus. His miracles pointed to who He is and who He claimed to be as the Messiah, the Son of God, and Savior of the world. His signs told people that if they chose, they could go to Him, believe in Him, follow Him, and receive the gift of eternal life from Him. Jesus’ signs and teachings give people good and sufficient reasons to entrust their lives and futures to Him. John’s gospel shows that after Jesus healed the sick or raised the dead some people believed in Him and saw His glory, while others did not. The man born blind that Jesus healed believed in Him. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many believed in Him. However, after Jesus healed a man who had been ill for 38 years, he refused to believe and reported what Jesus did to Jesus’ religious enemies. Some who saw Lazarus raised from the dead and had the opportunity to talk to Jesus and Lazarus refused to believe in Jesus, so they rushed to report Jesus’ actions to His enemies. After they crucified Jesus, He gave His most miraculous sign when He rose from the dead.

Make Your Comments Here
on Any of These Questions

1. Commentators seem to agree that the Greek word for “deeply moved” or “greatly disturbed” includes the meaning that Jesus was angry at death. How might this teaching influence how you look at death?

2. Why do you think Jesus waited four days before seeing Mary and Martha?

3. What is one result of our believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior according to this lesson? Can you think of other results?

4. What is one reason Jesus prayed aloud for everyone to hear Him pray?

5. Why did Jesus tell the mourners to remove Lazarus’ grave clothes rather than simply remove them miraculously himself when He could have easily done so?

Read the International Bible Study Commentary
on John 11:38-46

Being Prepared to Believe — John 11:37

But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37).

When Jesus arrived in Bethany and spoke to Martha and Mary, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days, but both expressed their faith, saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21, 32). They had sat at Jesus’ feet when He taught about the Father and himself and what it meant to follow Him, because Jesus taught everyone who would listen, whereas the rabbis of the time would not teach women. They knew that Jesus had the power to heal the sick and raise those who had died when He reached them in time. They did not express explicit faith that Jesus could raise someone who had been in a tomb four days.

After Lazarus died, mourners who were mostly women came to console Lazarus’ family. Traditionally, they would stay seven days with the family. During that time, we have every reason to suppose that Jesus—who He was, what He had done, and what He could do—had been an important part of their conversations, because Lazarus’ sisters had sent messengers to tell Jesus that Lazarus was ill. Knowing that in Jerusalem Jesus had healed a man born blind, and learning more about Jesus and what He taught from Lazarus’ sisters, the mourners were prepared to believe in Jesus after they met Him and saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead. No doubt the Holy Spirit inspired Mary and Martha to teach about Jesus while everyone eagerly awaited His hoped-for coming.  We can do the same for others whether we are rejoicing or suffering as the Holy Spirit leads us!

For the International Bible Study Commentary
and Weekly Bible Lessons
on the
Gospel of John
go to the
The International Bible Study Commentary

Facts About Living Forever — John 11:17-27

Martha said to Jesus, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (John 11:24).

Early in Jesus’ ministry, He taught, “the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” (John 5:25). Then Jesus added, “the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29).

Later in Jesus’ ministry, after Lazarus had been buried in his tomb four days, Jesus came to the home of Lazarus’ sisters. When Martha spoke to Jesus, she affirmed four facts of faith. First, Jesus could have healed her brother. Second, Jesus could still do something, because God always gives Jesus whatever He asks. Third, her brother will rise again on the last day. Fourth, Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Then, Jesus demonstrated the truth of His teachings and affirmed her trust in him. At Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus called Lazarus by name, and Lazarus heard His voice and came forth alive. After Jesus’ enemies reported that Jesus had raised Lazarus, the religious leaders plotted Jesus’ death and “planned to put Lazarus to death as well” (John 12:10). Jesus gave Lazarus life, but eventually Lazarus’ body would die again; yet, on the last day, Jesus will raise from the dead all who believe in Him. Jesus taught, “This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day” (John 6:40).

For Commentary and Weekly Bible Lessons
on the Gospel of John
go to the
The International Bible Study Commentary

How Believers In Jesus Never Die — John 11:17-27

Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

The Old Testament taught the Jews that when they died, they went to Sheol, to a shadowy existence in the place for the dead. The New Testament translates the Hebrew word “Sheol” into the Greek word “Hades.” Many Jews, including the Pharisees, believed in a resurrection of the dead from Sheol on the last day of human history as we know it. After Lazarus died, in John 11:24, Martha expressed this belief to Jesus, saying, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Martha had a firm belief in Jesus as her Lord, the Messiah, and the Son of God (John 11:27). Martha, Mary, and Lazarus believed in Jesus and had received the gift of eternal life, for Jesus’ promise to all in John 3:16, applied to them, “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus teaches more about himself to those who have received the gift of eternal life as they trust, obey, and follow Him daily. Applying the divine title or name “I am” to himself, Jesus told Martha that He was also the resurrection and the life; therefore, resurrection was not just a future event. When a believer’s body dies, Jesus’ divine power keeps them alive. Before the last day, a believer’s body may die, but their spirit united with the Holy Spirit will go to be with Jesus in Paradise, where they will look forward to receiving resurrected glorified human bodies at the return of Jesus on the last day.

For Commentary and Weekly Bible Lessons
on the Gospel of John
go to the
The International Bible Study Commentary

The Difference A Death Can Make

For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him (John 11:15—NRSV).

When Jesus learned that Lazarus was ill, He could have healed Lazarus or raised Lazarus from the dead before he was buried without speaking a word, for when Jesus was in Cana of Galilee without needing to travel to Capernaum He had healed an official’s sick son (John 4:46-54). Jesus knew that Lazarus would die, and He also knew that Lazarus’ illness would not lead to death; that is, to death as an eternal separation from God and all who love God. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He promised His disciples and all who will follow Him, “everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26). Jesus was not glad that Lazarus died, for Jesus knew the grief that Lazarus’ sisters (Mary and Martha) would suffer, though only for a brief time. Jesus was glad because He knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead and return him to the family that loved him. Jesus loved Lazarus and his family, and He knew that when He raised Lazarus from the dead the Father and He would be glorified and honored by those who witnessed Lazarus coming forth from the tomb alive; then, many would be influenced to believe in Him as the resurrection and the life. Jesus was glad when He thought of all the good that He would bring to many people after He proved He could raise the dead. Jesus was glad that His disciples would be with Him when He raised Lazarus from the tomb, for He knew that most of them with faith in Him would die as martyrs.

Go to the Commentary and Bible Lessons
0n the Gospel of John at
 The International Bible Study Commentary

Don’t Stumble! Walk in the Light!

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world” (John 11:9).

After Jesus learned Lazarus was sick, He waited two days before telling His disciples they were going back to Judea. In dismay, His disciples exclaimed, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you!” (John 11:8). Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?” In Jesus’ day, daylight was divided into twelve equal hours, but depending on the season some days and hours were longer than others. Jesus meant that when people work in the light of the sun rather than in the darkness of night, they do not stumble. But “Those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them” (John 11:10). John’s gospel teaches that Jesus is “the light of all people” and “the true light which enlightens everyone” (John 1:4,9). Jesus spoke with a double meaning. Earlier, Jesus taught, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, but He also loved and wanted to help those around Him and those traveling to see Him where He stayed. Jesus worked according to God’s timetable, so He worked two more days before going to Judea. He used His hours helping all who came to receive healing and teaching. Soon, His final hour would come, and He would die as “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). God helps everyone in the most loving ways and with the best possible timing.

For Commentary on the Gospel of John and Discussion Questions Go to:
 The International Bible Study Commentary

The Signs, the Word, and the Spirit

Many came to Jesus, and they were saying, “John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there (John 10:41-42).

John the Baptist did not need to perform signs to convince people to repent of their sins and prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah. When asked if he was the Messiah, John quoted the Scriptures to explain his work. Though John did not perform signs or work miracles, God gave John one advantage. The Bible says John was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was born. John taught and did what the Holy Spirit led him to do and the Holy Spirit helped John’s listeners believe the Scriptures and his words. Jesus became the sign that John spoke the truth. As Jesus conducted His ministry, many people who had heard John preach realized that even though John performed no sign he accurately foretold the Messiah’s coming. Jesus did everything John said the Messiah would do. Jesus did perform signs that He was the Messiah, for Jesus fed thousands of people, healed the lame, restored sight to the blind, cast out demons, and raised the dead. In addition to His signs, Jesus gave people other reasons to believe Him. First, Jesus said He did good works. Others might do great works and deceive people, but Jesus only and always did good works and His works pointed to His unity with the Father. Second, Jesus pointed people to the Bible as the ultimate authoritative teaching about who He is. When Christians share their faith in Jesus, they appeal to the Bible as John and Jesus did, and the Holy Spirit within them helps people understand the Bible and believe in Jesus.

For Commentary on the Gospel of John and Discussion Questions Go to: The International Bible Study Commentary

Seven Gifts for Jesus’ Sheep

Recently on social media, a lot of bad comments have been made about sheep, some have been called sheep in a derogatory manner, and some have been told to quit being like sheep. We now have the word “Sheeple” in our vocabulary. One online dictionary defines “Sheeple” in these words: “DEROGATORY NOUN: people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, or easily led. Example: ‘by the time the sheeple wake up and try to change things, it will be too late'”

In the Gospel of John, we find two types of sheep: those who hear the voice of Jesus and follow Him and those who do not hear the voice of Jesus because they are not His sheep. The Bible sometimes talks about separating the sheep from the goats. It is no accident that the devil is sometimes depicted as a goat-headed figure. Some have the Good Shepherd, Jesus, as their Leader, and some sheep do not. Keeping these things in mind, think about:

Seven Gifts for Jesus’ Sheep

In John 10:27-28, we read these words of Jesus:

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.”

What makes Jesus’ sheep different from other sheep? First, Jesus’ sheep believe in and believe Jesus. Some claim to believe in Jesus, but they do not indicate by their actions that they believe Jesus. They do not believe all His promises, or they disregard some of His commands. Second, those who believe Jesus hear His voice. As they pray and read the Bible, they hear Jesus speaking to them as the Holy Spirit gives them understanding of the Bible’s teachings. They hear and believe the Word of God. Third, Jesus knows His sheep and Jesus knows those who are not His sheep. Jesus told some of the religious leaders that they did not believe Him because they did not belong to His sheep. Fourth, because Jesus and His sheep know one another, Jesus’ sheep follow (obey) Jesus wherever He leads, and He always leads according to the Bible. Fifth, Jesus gives His sheep eternal life, a God-given quality of life in this world that will last throughout eternity. The gift of eternal life transforms believers into new people who love God and others. Sixth, Jesus’ sheep will never perish. They may suffer afflictions, diseases, persecutions, and physical death, but they will not perish. They cannot die spiritually but will live as Jesus’ sheep forever. Seventh, no one will be able to snatch Jesus’ sheep out the Father’s hand or Jesus’ hand. Jesus has a firm grip on those He loves and those who love Him. If one of Jesus’ sheep stray, He will find them and bring them home.

The International Bible Lesson for August 16, 2020 from the International Bible Study Commentary for August 16, 2020 (available on August 9. 2020).

John 14:1-14 Uniform Lesson

For July 26, 2020 John 14:1-14

These commentaries and lessons are from the International Bible Lesson Commentary Archives (Uniform Lesson Series) from May 27, 2012.

I hope you find them helpful in teaching your class or for personal study.

John 14:1-14 for July 26, 2020

John 14:1-14 Easy-Print Commentary

John 14:1-14 Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

Teacher Study Hints for Thinking Further

Teacher Study Hints for John 14:1-14

Teacher Study Hints for John 14:1-14 Large Print

International Bible Lesson

Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Believe in God, believe also in me”

(John 14:1).

Reasons Not to Worry

Reasons Not to Worry (Large Print)

Reasons Not to Worry (Bulletin Size)

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1. Use for private Bible study, mid-week Bible study and Sunday schools.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Study of the Second and Third Letters of John

The July 19, 2020 International Bible Study Commentary and Lesson is a study of the Second Letter of John: Links to Resources Below.

The July 26, 2020 International Bible Study Commentary and Lesson is a study of the Third Letter of John: Links to Resources Below.

These commentaries and lessons are from the International Bible Lesson Archives and include some additional materials.

I hope you find them helpful in teaching your class or for personal study. We will return to our study of the Gospel of John on August 2, 2020.

2 John 1:1-13 for July 19, 2020

English Standard Version

2 John 1:1-13 ESV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 ESV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

King James Version

2 John 1:1-13 KJV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 KJV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

New American Standard Bible

2 John 1:1-13 NASB Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 NASB Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

New International Version

2 John 1:1-13 NIV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 NIV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

New Revised Standard Version

2 John 1:1-13 NRSV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 NRSV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

Audio Edition with New International Version

Audio Edition 2 Thessalonians 3: 1-5 & 2 John 1:1-13 NIV Commentary

International Bible Lesson [New Series]

“I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children
walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father”

(2 John 1:4).

Living Truthfully in Love

Living Truthfully in Love (Large Print)

Living Truthfully in Love (Bulletin Size)

Teacher Study Hints for Thinking Further

Teacher Study Hints for 2 John 1:1-13

Teacher Study Hints for 2 John 1:1-13 Large Print

Crossword Puzzle with Answer Key

2 John 1:1-13

True and False Review Test with Answer Key

2 John 1:1-13

Word Search International Bible Lesson Puzzle

2 John 1:1-13

International Bible Lesson [Old Series]

“Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ,
but goes beyond it, does not have God;
whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son”

(2 John 1:9—NRSV).

Who Has the Father and the Son?

Who Has the Father and the Son? (Large Print)

Who Has the Father and the Son? (Bulletin Size)

________________________________________

3 John 1:1-15 for July 26, 2020

English Standard Version

3 John 1:1-15 ESV Easy-Print Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 ESV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

English Standard Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

King James Version

3 John 1:1-15 KJV Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 KJV Large Print Commentary

King James Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

New American Standard Bible

3 John 1:1-15 NASB Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 NASB Large Print Commentary

New American Standard Bible and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

New International Version

3 John 1:1-15 NIV Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 NIV Large Print Commentary

New International Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

New Revised Standard Version

3 John 1:1-15 NRSV Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 NRSV Large Print Commentary

New Revised Standard Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

Audio Edition with New International Version

Audio Edition 3 John 1:1-15 NIV Commentary

Teacher Study Hints for Thinking Further

Teacher Study Hints for 3 John 1:1-15

Teacher Study Hints for 3 John 1:1-15 Large Print

Crossword Puzzle with Answer Key

3 John 1:1-15

True and False Review Test with Answer Key

3 John 1:1-15

Word Search International Bible Lesson Puzzle

3 John 1:1-15

International Bible Lesson

“So if I come,
I will call attention to what he is doing
 in spreading false charges against us.

And not content with those charges,
 he refuses to welcome the friends,
and even prevents those who want to do so
 and expels them from the church”

(3 John 1:10—NRSV).

Facing Liars in the Church

Facing Liars in the Church (Large Print)

Facing Liars in the Church (Bulletin Size)

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1. Use for private Bible study, mid-week Bible study and Sunday schools.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.