John 11:1-45

John 11:1-45
Lent A18


1 Now a certain man was ill,A LazarusB of Bethany,C the village of MaryD and her sisterE Martha.F 

Notes on verse 1

A “ill” = astheneo. From asthenes (not having strength or weak in a moral sense; sick); from a (not) + sthenes (strong, vigor) [from the base of sthenoo (to strengthen so that one can be mobile); from sthenos (strength)]. This is sick, feeble, languishing, impotent. Can also refer to moral weakness.
B “Lazarus” = lazaros. 15x in NT. From Hebrew Elazar (God has helped or God is helper); {from el (God, a god) + azar ((to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid)}. This is Lazarus or Eliezer.
C “Bethany” = bethania. 12x in NT. From Aramaic beth anya (house of affliction, misery, wretchedness). This is Bethany.
D “Mary” = maria. From Hebrew Miryam (Aaron and Moses’s sister); from marah (to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, provoking, disobedient; to be or make bitter or unpleasant; figuratively, to rebel or resist; causatively to provoke). This is Miriam or Mary.
E “sister” = adelphe. From adelphos (brother in a literal or figurative sense); from a (with, sharing) + delphus (womb). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense.
F “Martha” = martha. 13x in NT. From Aramaic marta (mistress, lady); from mar (master). This is Martha, meaning mistress or lady. See also (

Mary was the one who anointedG the LordH with perfumeI and wipedJ his feet with her hair; her brotherK Lazarus was ill. 

So the sisters sentL a message to Jesus, “Lord,M he whom you loveN is ill.” 

Notes on verses 2-3

G “anointed” = aleipho. 9x in NT. From a (with) + liparos (oil, fatty; something luxurious); {from lipos (fat, grease)}. This is to anoint whether for medical reasons, as part of hospitality, for a dead body, for a celebration or festival, or to show respect.
H “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
I “perfume” = muron. 14x in NT. This is ointment, perfume, or anointing oil. Probably olive oil mixed with spices and scents such as myrrh.
J “wiped” = exmasso. 5x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + masso (to knead, squeeze, handle). This is to knead out or wipe away thoroughly. This word is used 4x to describe the anointing and 1x when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and wiped them with the towel (John 13:5).
K “brother” = adelphos. Related to “sister” in v1. See note E above.
L “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up) [probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast]. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
M {untranslated} = idou. From eido (to be away, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
N “love” = phileo. From philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person). This is friendship love and fondness with personal attachment.

But when JesusO heard it, he said, “This illnessP does not lead to death; rather it is for God’sQ glory,R so that the Son of God may be glorifiedS through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus lovedT Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6 after having heard that Lazarus was ill,U he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Notes on verses 4-6

O “Jesus” = iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be) + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
P “illness” = astheneia. Related to “ill” in v1. From asthenes (see note A above). This is weakness, frailty, illness, suffering, or calamity. It is any kind of sickness or injury that includes weakness or diminishes your ability to enjoy or accomplish what you would choose.
Q “God’s” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
R “glory” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
S “glorified” = doxazo. Related to “glory” in v4. From doxa (see note R above). This is to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate. This is ascribing weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence.
T “loved” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.
U {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation or concession.

ThenV after this he said to the disciples,W “Let us go to JudeaX again.” 

The disciples said to him, “Rabbi,Y the JewsZ were just now tryingAA to stone you, and are you goingBB there again?” 

Notes on verses 7-8

V “then” = epeita. 16x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + eita (then, next, afterward). This is properly only then. It places emphasis on the previous statement as being necessary for the next statement.
W “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from mathnao (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
X “Judea” = ioudaia. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judea, which was a Roman province.
Y “Rabbi” = rhabbi. 15x in NT – 8x in the Gospel of John. From Hebrew rab (chief); from rabab (to be many, increase, multiply). This is a title of respect for a teacher-scholar. Literally, it means great one or honorable sir. It can also be understood as my master or my teacher.
Z “Jews” = ioudaios. Related to “Judea” in v7. From ioudas (Judah, Judas); from Hebrew Yehudah (see note X above). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
AA “trying” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.
BB “going” = hupago. Related to “go” in v7. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walkCC during the day do not stumble,DD because they seeEE the lightFF of this world.GG 10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 

11 After saying this, he told them, “Our friendHH Lazarus has fallen asleep,II but I am goingJJ there to awaken him.” 

Notes on verses 9-11

CC “walk” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively) [from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)]. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.
DD “stumble” = proskopto. 8x in NT. From pros (at, towards, for) + kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is to kick against, stumble, strike, beat on, surge against like water does, or take offense. It is to trip up in a literal or figurative sense.
EE “see” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
FF “light” = phos. From phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is light, a source of light, fire, or radiance. This is light with specific reference to what it reveals. It is luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative.
GG “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is were “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
HH “friend” = philos. Related to “love” in v3. This is dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person.
II “fallen asleep” = koimao. 18x in NT. From keimai (to lie, recline, set, be appointed, be destined). This is to sleep or put to sleep. Figuratively, it can mean to die. In the New Testament, it is used 15x for death and 3x for sleep.
JJ “going” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.

12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.”KK 

13 Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thoughtLL that he was referring merely to sleep.MM 14 Then Jesus told them plainly,NN “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I am gladOO I was not there, so that you may believe.PP But let us go to him.” 

Notes on verses 12-15

KK “be all right” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.
LL “thought” = dokeo. Related to “glory” & “be glorified” in v4. From dokos (opinion). See note R above.
MM “sleep” = ho + koimesis + ho + hupnos. Literally “the resting of sleep.” Koimesis is related to “fallen asleep” in v11. 1x in NT. From koimao (see note II above). This is resting, sleep, or repose. Hupnos is 6x in NT. It is literal sleep or spiritual stagnation.
NN “plainly” = parresia. From pas (all, every, each) + rhesis (speech); {from rheo (say, speak of, command)}. This is confidence, openness, boldness, outspokenness. It can imply assurance – free speech.
OO “am glad” = chairo. From char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting. This is the root verb that the Greek word for “grace” comes from (charis).
PP “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

16 Thomas,QQ who was called the Twin,RR said to his fellow disciples,SS “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 When Jesus arrived, he foundTT that Lazarus had already been in the tombUU fourVV days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem,WW some two milesXX away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to consoleYY them about their brother. 

Notes on verses 16-19

QQ “Thomas” = thomas. 11x in NT. From Hebrew toam (twin). This is Thomas, meaning twin.
RR “Twin” = didumos. 3x in NT. From dis (twice, entirely, doubly, again); from duo (two, both). This is Didymus, the twin.
SS “fellow disciples” = summathetes. Related to “disciples” in v7. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + mathetes (see note W above). This is a fellow disciple.
TT “found” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
UU “tomb” = mnemeion. From mousikos (to remember); from mneme (memory or mention); from mnaomai (to remember; by implication give reward or consequence); perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is properly a memorial – a tomb, grave, monument.
VV “four” = tessares. Four. Sometimes symbolic of total coverage as in the four winds.
WW “Jerusalem” = hierosoluma. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
XX “two miles” = stadion + dekapente. Literally “fifteen stadia.” Stadion is 7x in NT. From the same as histemi (to stand, place, establish, appoint, stand ready, be steadfast). This is a stadium, which was a unit of length. By implication, this would refer to a racing track for a foot race.
YY “console” = paramutheomai. 4x in NT. From para (from beside, by, alongside of) + mutheomai (to speak); {from muthos (speech, story, myth, tale); perhaps from the same as mueo (to initiate someone into the secrets or mysteries of an order; to instruct learn, be disciples; properly, shutting your mouth and eyes to experience mystery); from muo (shutting eyes or mouth)}. This is comforting in a sympathetic or encouraging way. It could also be to console or exhort.

20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and metZZ him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I knowAAA that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 

24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrectionBBB on the lastCCC day.” 

Notes on verses 20-24

ZZ “went and met” = hupantao. 10x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + antao (to meet with personally) OR from hupo (see above) + anti (opposite, instead of, against). This is to encounter someone or to go to meet them.
AAA “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
BBB “resurrection” = anastasis. Related to “rise again” in v23. From anistemi (to raise up, rise, appear; to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect); from ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is literally standing up or standing again. It is used figuratively for recovering a spiritual truth. It can be raising up, rising, or resurrection.
CCC “last” = eschatos. Related to eschaton (end, last); perhaps from echo (to have, possess, hold). This is last, end, extreme, final. It is often used to discuss the end times, prophecies of the future, and the afterlife. The branch of theology focusing on all these topics is called “eschatology.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.DDD Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.EEE Do you believe this?” 

27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah,FFF the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got upGGG quicklyHHH and went to him. 

Notes on verses 25-29

DDD “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
EEE {untranslated} = eis + ho + aion. Literally “into the age.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
FFF “Messiah” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
GGG “got up” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
HHH “quickly” = tachu. 12x in NT. From tachus (quickly, promptly; without unreasonable delay). This is quickly, but not immediately. It is without undue delay.

30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, sawIII Mary get up quicklyJJJ and go out. They followedKKK her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weepLLL there. 

32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Notes on verses 30-32

III “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
JJJ “quickly” = tacheos. Related to “quickly” in v29. 10x in NT. From tachus (see note HHH above). This is soon, swiftly, suddenly. Promptly, as soon as is reasonable given circumstances.
KKK “followed” = akoloutheo. From a (with, fellowship, union) + keleutos (road, way). This is to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does.
LLL “weep” = klaio. This is to weep, lament, or sob. It is weeping aloud.

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbedMMM in spiritNNN and deeply moved.OOO 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep.PPP 36 So the Jews said, “See how he lovedQQQ him!” 

Notes on verses 33-36

MMM “greatly disturbed” = embrimaomai. 5x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + brimaomai (snorting due to anger). This is affected by anger, stern admonishment, scolding, or being deeply moved. It is snorting displeasure or anger or roaring from rage. It can also mean to blame, sigh or murmur against someone.
NNN “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
OOO “deeply moved” = tarasso. 18x in NT. This is trouble, agitate, stir up. It is motion back and forth, creating inner turmoil or confusion, roiling water.
PPP “weep” = darkuo. 1x in NT. From dakruon (tear, teardrop). This is weeping. Perhaps a silent crying in contrast to the wailing/mourning associated with “weep” in v31 (see klaio in note LLL above).
QQQ “loved” = phileo. Same as “love” in v3

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blindRRR man have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave,SSS and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of the dead man,TTT said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because 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 looked upward and said, “Father, I thankUUU you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you alwaysVVV hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 

Notes on verses 37-42

RRR “blind” = tuphlos. Derivation unclear. Perhaps from tuphoo (to be conceited, foolish, puffed up, haughty; properly, to blow smoke; figuratively being muddled or cloudy in mind; poor judgment that harms spiritual clarity; also, being covered with smoke – so filled with pride); from tuphos (smoke, vanity, arrogance); from tupho (to raise smoke, smolder, slowly consume without flame). This is blind or a blind person – perhaps in the sense of smoke making things opaque and impossible to see. This is blind literally or figuratively.
SSS “cave” = spelaion. 6x in NT. From speos (cave, grotto). This is a cavern, which implies a place to hide. So, this word can also mean den or hideout. This is the word used for “den of robbers” in Matthew 21:13. Also, this is where the word “spelunk” comes from.
TTT “dead man” = teleutao. 13x in NT. From teleute (end, finishing, consummation; can also be used for death); from teleo (to complete, fulfill, accomplish, end); from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one). This is to complete or come to the end/end goal. It can also mean to finish life or to meet one’s ultimate fate in heaven or hell.
UUU “thank” = eucharisteo. Related to “am glad” in v15. From eu (good, well done, rightly) + charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (see note OO above). This is to give thanks or be grateful. Properly, it is recognizing the goodness of God’s grace and so being thankful. It can also be used to mean saying grace before eating. This is the root of the word “eucharist.”
VVV “always” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.

43 When he had said this, he criedWWW with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet boundXXX with strips of cloth,YYY and his face wrappedZZZ in a cloth.AAAA Jesus said to them, “UnbindBBBB him, and letCCCC him go.”

45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seenDDDD what Jesus did, believed in him.

Notes on verses 43-45

WWW “cried” = kraugazo. 9x in NT. From krauge (a very emotional shout or cry generally or clamor against someone else; a cry of alarm, trouble, or grief); from krazo (to cry out, scream, shriek; onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call; figuratively, this is means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt). This is to cry, shout, clamor. It is a screaming or shrieking that is often impossible to understand exact words in. It is sound expressing feeling/urgency. Properly, this refers to loud animal sounds.
XXX “bound” = deo. This is to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel. It can also mean to declare something against the law or prohibited.
YYY “strips of cloth” = keiria. 1x in NT. This is bandage or grave cloths. It could be a winding sheet.
ZZZ “wrapped” = perideo. Related to “bound” in v44. 1x in NT. From peri (about, around, concerning, encompassing) + deo (see note XXX above). This is to tie around or enwrap.
AAAA “cloth” = soudarion. 4x in NT. From Latin sudarium (sweat cloth) This is a napkin, face cloth, or handkerchief. It can be used as a towel to wipe sweat from the face or a cloth for the head of a corpse.
BBBB “unbind” = luo. This is to loose, release, or untie. Figuratively, it can mean to break, destroy, or annul. This is  releasing what had been withheld
CCCC “let” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
DDDD “seen” = theaomai. From thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance). This is to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit like a spectator. This is the root of the word “theatre.”

Image Credit: “The Raising of Lazarus” by Henry Owasso Tanner, 1896.

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