Lesson 67


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

11:17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already. 11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away. 11:19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 11:20 Therefore Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. 11:21 Therefore Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died. 11:22 Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you." 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, yet will he live. 11:26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

11:27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God's Son, he who comes into the world."


 Today's Lesson 

 Jesus returns to Judea and goes to the village of Bethany. It is on the outskirts of Jerusalem, about 1.7 miles away. There were many people that had come to grieve with Martha and Mary. When Martha heard that Jesus was finally coming, she went out of the house to come and talk to Him. She did not want to share her first moments with Jesus with the mourners. She had something to say to Him first.

 

There does not seem to be any bitterness in her first words, though they might seem as such. "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died." She expresses faith that if Jesus had been with her brother when he was ill, that Jesus could have healed Him immediately. Nor do we know exactly what she had in mind by her second thought; "Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you." It is almost certain she did not guess the extent that God was truly willing to move to answer the prayer of His Son. She does not guess Jesus' true reason for arriving at this time or what He plans to do.

 

Jesus tells her plainly that her brother will rise again. There is no doubt or ambiguity in His words. Even so, they are so incredulous that she does not understand them. She responds by affirming that she believes that he will indeed rise again in the resurrection of the last day. As often happens, the enormity of what Jesus says is so amazing that people often choose to believe that He means something less than He says until they see what He does.

 

His response to her is one of the most beautiful in scripture. It is filled with tenderness and hope. "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, yet will he live. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die." Here is the foundational truth of the gospel. If a person knows this, and understands the One who claims this for Himself, they will be saved.

 

Jesus is the resurrection because He is the life. There is no life outside of Him. And there is no death that can overcome Him. All life exists in relation to Him. He is the creator and sustainer of all things. It is impossible to live in Christ and die because He is life. Death cannot hold Him. Nor can it have those who are His, the sheep of His pasture.

 

Jesus asks Martha if she believes these things and her answer is brave and noble. Even so, I do not think that even now she fully understands what Jesus has in mind. He has lifted her up to a new level of understanding, but he is not finished yet.

 

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