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The Triumphal Entry: God Directs Events

Week 12 John 12:12-50: The Raising of Lazarus Leads to Public Acclaim

(Link to Outline of John) (Link to the first lesson of Gems in John)

John’s Theme: John 20:31 … these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Parallel Passages: Matthew 21:14-16, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40

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Introduction: We learn from Chapter 12 that God is in control and directs every event surrounding Jesus and his mission.

  • The timing of Lazarus’ death and raising was placed close to the Jewish celebration of Passover, because that is the moment God chose in order to coincide with Old Testament prophecy and motif concerning the sacrificial lamb.triumphal-entry
  • The raising of Lazarus directly contributed to the enthusiasm of the crowds that greeted Jesus as he entered Jerusalem for the Passover Feast.
  • Consequently, the triumphal entry forced the Pharisees’ hand to arrest and kill Jesus, not because they wanted to do so while everyone was watching, but because God had decreed in ages past that Jesus the Christ was the eternal Lamb to be slain, and symbolism required that this happen on Passover. They killed him because of jealousy and fear for their own “exalted” positions.
  • Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection were designed by God, and the crucifixion was completely voluntary on Jesus’ part. God used the Pharisees’ own hardness of heart towards His own end of salvation for all humankind.

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I. John 12:12-19 The Triumphal Entry

A. The raising of Lazarus flows right into the triumphal entry

1. The miracle caused such a stir among the people that the religious leaders had decided to arrest and kill him. John 11:45-57

2. Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, very close to Jerusalem, where the family of Lazarus gave a dinner, (John 12:1-8) and a large crowd of people gathered to catch a glimpse of Jesus and of Lazarus.

3. The next day, Jesus and his disciples joined a great crowd on their way to Jerusalem for the Feast. Part of the crowd accompanied him from Bethany, and part came out from Jerusalem when they heard that he was on his way. The people from Bethany testified and spread the word about the miracle they had witnessed when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after four days. John 12:17-19

4. As Jesus entered the city sitting on a donkey’s young colt, the crowd welcomed him with palm branches. These represent rejoicing and triumph. John 12:13-15

5. All four gospels record this event, the three synoptics adding details of their own. Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40

B. The triumphal entry causes the Pharisees to become even more excited in opposition to Jesus than they had been before.

C. The disciples did not see or understand the connection between the events of what we now call “Palm Sunday” and the Old Testament prophetic Scriptures. They only came to understand these events after Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension into glory. John 12:16

ESV  John 12:13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” purposeful-entry

LXE  Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. 23 This has been done of the Lord; and it is wonderful in our eyes. 24 This is the day which the Lord has made: let us exult and rejoice in it. 25 O Lord, save now: O Lord, send now prosperity. [verse 25 is encompassed in the single word, “Hosanna!”] 26 Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. 27 God is the Lord, and he has shined upon us: celebrate the feast with thick branches, binding the victims even to the horns of the altar.

ESV  John 12:15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

ESV  Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

D. By entering Jerusalem this way, Jesus was openly and boldly announcing that he was indeed the long-awaited Messiah, Israel’s King.

II. John 12:20-36 Jesus’ Discourse Prompted by the Greeks’ Request

A. Some Greeks ask Philip if they can meet with Jesus. John 12:20-22

1. These Greeks are God-fearing Gentiles who regularly worship among the Jewish people. (Hendriksen, Vol. 2, 193)

2. Jesus fully explains his mission of salvation for the entire world. Philip and Andrew, whom Philip had consulted, then relay his words to the Greeks.

B. Jesus responds to the Greeks. John 12:23-33

1. The setting: Jesus has just passed through the Mount of Olives, the later scene of Jesus’ Gethsemane prayers just before his crucifixion, into Jerusalem in a triumphal procession that had begun in Bethany, the village of Lazarus and his sisters. As the city first comes into his view, Jesus pauses and weeps over it tenderly and with love and affection, for he knows of the coming catastrophe of destructive judgment which will befall it in 70 A.D.

Luke 19:41-44  And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

2. Jesus also knew that he himself was about to be painfully crucified. In answer to the Greeks’ request to see him, he begins speaking about his impending death:

a. as concerns himself

John 12:23-24 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 

• the fruit of which Jesus speaks includes all Gentiles from out of the whole world, as represented by the Greeks. They are part of the offspring prophesied by Isaiah.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

 Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.

Galatians 4:26 [the Apostle Paul addressing Gentile believers in Christ in Galatia, citing Isaiah 54:1-3] But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.” 28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.

• in order to bear this fruit, Jesus knows that he must die.

b. as concerns all of his present and future disciples (the Greeks, you, me)

John 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

c. Jesus’ sacrifice is voluntary and according to the predetermined will of God. See Isaiah 53:10 and 54:1-3 above and vss 27-28 below.

John 12:27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

3. immediate confirmation of Jesus’ words from God the Father

John 28b-30 …Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.

4. Jesus summarizes and proclaims in four parts the purpose and effect of his crucifixion.

John 12:31-32 a) Now is the judgment of this world; b) now will the ruler of this world be cast out. c) 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, d) will draw all people to myself.” 

a. “This world” (the Jewish religious leaders who reject and condemn their Messiah King to death, Judas who later betrays Christ, the Roman governor Pilot who sentences him, the Roman soldiers who beat and scorn him, and all men of all men of all societies everywhere who reject him, the entire world system ruled by evil) is judged and condemned by God for the action of rejecting and killing his beloved Son.

b. “The ruler of this world” is Satan. (Revelation 12:3; Luke 4:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2, 6:12) By means of the cross (c above) he loses his power grip of death over the world and the nations, as Christ’s resurrection and ascension into glory open a pathway and invitation by God to all men everywhere to be reunited with Him in peace and love.

c. “Lifted up from the earth” is the biblical way of naming death by crucifixion. Jesus is describing the means of his death. included

d. “Will draw all people to myself” is the result. Jesus is the actor who does the drawing. “All people” refers to people from every time, nation, ethnicity, and cultural group. None are excluded who wish to be included. The coming of the Gentile Greeks to seek to see Jesus are representative of all those who will be drawn to Christ.

III. Jesus as Son of Man and the Crowd’s Skeptical Response John 12:34-36

A. Most likely, from what the crowd knew of the Law and the entire Old Testament, they expected the Christ to remain forever.

John 12:34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”

1. Sample passages: Psalm 110:4; Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 37:25

Daniel 7:13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

2. Paraphrase: What does Messiah/Son of Man have to do with crucifixion? What crucifixion?

B. Jesus as Son of Man

1. Hendriksen points out that Jesus’ designation of himself as “Son of Man” most likely is a reference to the above verses from Daniel and the fact that Jesus is transcendent by nature, being God the Son who descended from heaven in his incarnation (Hendriksen, Vol. 2, 206-207)

2. Because Jesus is man, he is connected to the entire human race. As God himself, he is Son of God and Son of Man.

3. As a man, he partakes of the suffering of all humankind, and as the Son of Man, who is the perfect sacrifice for sin, he also partakes of his own extreme sorrow.

a. suffering as God suffering over mankind

b. suffering on the cross as the sacrifice for sin, bearing the full weight of God’s wrath against sinful humanity on his own shoulders.

C. Jesus responds to the crowd’s skepticism by telling them what they must do.

John 12:35-36a So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”…

1. It is only a short while that Jesus the light will be with them.

2. They would do well to pay attention and consider the words of the light, of the one who did so many unheard of, amazing miracles among them.

3. If they do not obey the teaching of Jesus about himself, then the darkness will overtake them.

4. No one walking in darkness knows where they are going–they are lost and vulnerable.

5. If they believe in Jesus Christ the Light, then they will become sons of light.

D. After speaking the above words, Jesus leaves them, an indication of what will soon happen when he is crucified.

John 12:36b…When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.

III. John 12:37-43 The Jewish Leaders’ Response

A. John the writer steps in with narrative to describe and explain the religious leaders’ response, which was even worse than that of the crowd in general.

John 12:37-43 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,

Jesus had performed all the signs expected of Messiah. summary-entry

38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

John tells us that Isaiah had prophesied many centuries earlier that Messiah’s arrival would be met with disbelief (Isaiah 53)

39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

John further states that not only did they not believe, they could not believe. This is because at some point in Israel’s long history of disobedience as a nation, they had passed the point of no return. Their continually obstinate walk of hardened disobedience caused the Lord to harden their hearts even further, so that repentance as a nation was no longer possible.

41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

Isaiah the prophet had been shown the future Messiah’s glory and spoke about him in Scripture, nearly as much as the New Testament itself.

42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

God always leaves a pathway and door of repentance open to individuals. Many of the religious leaders did believe in Jesus, although here again, they would not confess him publicly for fear of being put out of the synagogue by the others. They loved the temporal and fading glory of man, rather than the glory that comes from God. They loved the kind of glory that we see being given by the media to one celebrity after another. Because they loved this worldly glory, they would not confess Christ publicly, even though they believed.

B. Recap: Ultimate Rejection Is How Christ’s Triumphal Entry Ended. Jesus’ Passion Has Almost Arrived.

IV. John 12:44-50  A Summary of Jesus’ Teaching as Given by John

John 12:44 And Jesus cried out and said,

“Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. (John 4:21 7:16; 8:19, 42; 12:30; 13:20)

45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. (John 14:9; 8:19; 10:38)

46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. (John 3:16; 1:4; 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35, 36)

47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. (John 3:17; 8:15, 16)

48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (John 5:24; 45-47; 8:31, 37, 51; 14:23, 24)

49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak. (John 7:16; 3:11; 8:26, 28, 38; 14:10)

50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (John 3:16; 6:63)

V. Looking Ahead: Jesus Retires to Spend His Last Hours Alone with His Disciples (cf. John 12:36b). In Chapter 13 He Washes Their Feet.

 

 

 

 

Raising Lazarus: What Kind of Miracle? Human or Divine?

Week 11 John 11:1-12:11: Raising a Man Who Has Been Dead for 4 Days

(Link to Outline of John) (Link to the first lesson of Gems in John)

John’s Theme: John 20:31 … these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Parallel Passages: No Parallels

 

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“Robert Langdon [to Sophie Neveu near end of film, “The Da Vinci Code”]: … But, Sophie, the only thing that matters is what you believe. History shows us Jesus was an extraordinary man, a human inspiration. That’s it. That’s all the evidence has ever proved. But… when I was a boy… when I was down in that well Teabing told you about, I thought I was going to die, Sophie. What I did, I prayed. I prayed to Jesus to keep me alive so I could see my parents again, so I could go to school again, so I could play with my dog. Sometimes I wonder if I wasn’t alone down there. Why does it have to be human or divine? Maybe human is divine. Why couldn’t Jesus have been a father [not divine, not the Son of God] and still be capable of all those miracles?” (Quotation from the movie version of The Da Vinci Code)

Langdon’s Words Directly Contradict John’s Thesis–

What do you think? Is a human being capable of raising a man who has been dead for four days?

ESV  John 11:17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.

A Dramatic Event

Can you tell briefly what happens in this section of Scripture? In other words, describe the miracle.

 

Can you spot?

…how this chapter is different than any chapter so far in the Gospel of John? (My own thoughts are at the bottom of Section 4 — Jesus Himself)

 

Sections

1. Jesus and his disciples

2. Jesus and the sisters

3. Jesus himself

4. Jesus at the internment site–the miracle

5. Jesus and the Jewish people

–those who believed and were glad

–those who believed and were angry

………………..

1. Jesus and His Disciples

Questions:

A. How did Jesus and the group of disciples relate? For example: Was the relationship robotic? (Did the disciples mindlessly do as they were told?) Was the relationship dictatorial?

In answering, consider the following sets of verses:

John 11:7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”

John 11:14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (Who seems to be getting the group actually moving? Was it Jesus or someone else? What do you make of that?)

B. What emotion do the disciples express when Jesus suggests they all go back to Judea? (see verses 7-8 above)

C. How does Jesus comfort them? Can you translate into your own understanding verses 9-10?

John 11:9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

Suggestions: 1–Jesus is the Light of the world. As long as he is with the disciples, that is, before he is crucified, nothing will happen to them. His “time has not yet come.” 2–Further, Jesus knew in advance all about the amazing miracle he was about to perform (John 11:4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”). He knew that by going to Bethany, located within two short miles of Jerusalem, he would be walking in the will of God for him. Walking in God’s will and favor is like walking in the day–it is safe and secure. The more specific and clear the communication from God concerning his will in a given situation, the more assurance of light and safety the Christian will have. Walking apart from God’s will or favor is like walking in the dark, a time when stumbling occurs. Unbelievers do not have the light of Christ in them.

2. Jesus and the sisters (John 11:17-33)

Jesus meets and speaks with each of the two women one at a time somewhere at or near the village and away from the house.

Questions:

1. The conclusion expressed in several commentaries is that when each of the sisters separately said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died,” (Martha in vs 21 and Mary in vs 32) they were not blaming him of neglect or lack of caring. Why do you think each of these women made this statement?

2. Why might Jesus have met the women one at a time?

3. How does this speak to your heart about your relationship with the Lord?

4. What, if anything, were they expecting when they spoke with Jesus?

5. How would you describe Martha’s faith? Did she experience any challenges? Do you think her faith grew or changed in any way as the story progresses? (See vss. 11:21-22, 24, 27, 28, and 39)

3. Jesus Himself

Questions:

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A. What do you learn about Jesus from the following verses?

John 11:3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

John 11:11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.”

John 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

John 11:38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

B. Compare and contrast the verses from Question A with those from Question B. What do you notice? How would you characterize what each set of verses teaches about Jesus?

John 11:4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

John 11:6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

John 11:11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.”

John 11:15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

John 11:23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

John 12:7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.

C. Note: Both the world and the church have for two thousand years probed and discussed the manner in which Jesus Christ encompasses both human and divine natures. A technical sample of the discussion can be found here: Council of Chalcedony, 451, Section V and a modern presentation here: Desiring God .

D. Question: As you spend time with God in prayer and Scripture, spend time thinking about his love toward humankind, and especially about his love for you in particular. What does the union of God’s divinity and humanity in Jesus Christ tell us about his love? For example, Jesus in the Gospel of John is omniscient, knowing all things, even what Nathanael was thinking (John 1:47-49). And we learn from Luke that Jesus knew and predicted what Peter would do and say later in the day (Luke 22:34). Jesus is eternal (Matthew 28:20) and (John 17:8-11). That means that he is alive and omniscient right now. He can read and know each one of our thoughts and the feelings in our hearts–right now! And he is also human. He had human friends, and he cried when they were hurting and died. He knows first-hand from the weakness of human flesh what our suffering feels like. And he wants to help. That’s why he left heaven, came to us, and died on the cross.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

 

4. Jesus at the internment site–the miracle

Jesus had been staying at Bethany across the Jordan. After waiting the extra two days from when he first heard that Lazarus was sick, he and his disciples travelled to a different Bethany, located just two miles outside Jerusalem (a short walking distance from where the angry people had recently tried to stone him to death.)

Location 1: Bethany “…across the Jordan [at] the place where John had been baptizing at first” (John 10:40) This is approximately twenty miles from the location of Lazarus and the sisters.

Location 2: Bethany near Jerusalem (a different Bethany) (John 11:18) This Bethany lies within two miles of Jerusalem (not a long walk).

This is the narration John gives of the miracle.

John 11:34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” 38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Questions:

1. What happens?

2. What words did Jesus say after they rolled the stone away and before he told Lazarus to come out? (see vss. 41-42)

3. Does the picture at the top of this post match the picture you formed in your mind as you read about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead?

4. Did Jesus ever enter the tomb? Did he touch Lazarus in any way? Why do you suppose he did this miracle in just the way he did it?

 

(My answer to “Can you Spot?” above: This chapter is one of the few, or only, chapter in John, and perhaps in the gospels, which gives a look into Jesus’ personal life as a man. For example, how did he relate to his disciples when not on the public stage? Did he have friends? What were his friendships like? John prior to this point has focused on showing that Jesus is divine. Yes, he does demonstrate Jesus’ divine nature magnificently in this chapter, and beyond this, he shows that Jesus is human, just like you or I. He is the one-of-a-kind, totally unique, God-man.)

 

5. Jesus and the Religious People

Throughout the Gospel of John, we’ve seen a division among the religious people, who in Jesus’ day were Jewish, just as he and his disciples were. Interestingly, no one doubted the fact of the miracles Jesus did. We saw this when Jesus healed the paralyzed man (Link to Week 5 Part 2), when he fed the 5,000 people and later talked about the meaning (Link to Week 7 Part 4), and when he gave sight to the man born blind (Link to Week 9). In the same way, when Jesus called Lazarus out from his tomb after he had been dead four days, the whole countryside, including the religious leaders, believed that he had really done so. Lazarus was there to tell them himself. Some believed and were glad, receiving Jesus as their own, while others believed and were angry, plotting how to destroy not only Jesus but Lazarus, the living evidence of the miracle (see below).

A. Some believed and were glad.

John 11:45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him,

John 12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him…12:9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

B. Some believed and were angry.

John 11:44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

John 11:46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

John 11:53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.

John 11:57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

John 12:9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

So was Robert Langdon correct in his personal assessment of Jesus? (see quotation at the top of this post)  What do you think?

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I would love to hear your replies to this question. You can use the Comments section at the bottom of this post. Just to be fair, I will tell you up front that I believe Jesus is who he said he is–the eternal God himself.

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