The Death of Lazarus
11:1Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, 1 of the village of Mary and her sister Martha.2 11:2And it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 11:3The sisters therefore sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 11:4But when Jesus heard it, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby. 11:5Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 11:6When therefore he heard that he was sick, he abode at that time two days in the place where he was.
11:7Then after this he saith to the disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 11:8The disciples say unto him, Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 11:9Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If a man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 11:10But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because the light is not in him. 11:11These things spake he: and after this he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.3 11:12The disciples therefore said unto him, Lord, if he is fallen asleep, he will recover. 11:13Now Jesus had spoken of his death: but they thought that he spake of taking rest in sleep. 11:14Then Jesus therefore said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.4 11:15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there,5 to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 11:16Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said unto his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.6
- Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus. Lazarus is the ruling thought in the intellect; the name means court of God. At its centre it is good; we could not draw to ourselves the potentialities of Being without this accumulative faculty, but its fault is in piling up thoughts and things on the material plane. When man lets his intellect spend all his energies in money getting, he is sowing the seeds of a long sleep in matter.
- Mary and her sister Martha. The human love, Mary, and the natural life, Martha, are sisters to this intellect, and although they, like all women, have faith in the Spirit, they allow themselves to fall under the mortal law thought, and believe in the reality of death. The whole world is under the hypnotism of this material belief, and it is making tombs for thousands every day.
- I go that I may awake him out of sleep. The lifting up of the whole man, spirit, soul, and body, into the Christ consciousness of power.
- Lazarus is dead. The meaning of “Lazarus” is “God is helper.” When man fails to recognize God as the one Helper and the one support of his life, spiritual understanding becomes weak in him and he sinks into materiality. To all intents, he is dead to the truth of his own being.
- I am glad for your sakes that I was not there. Jesus, who represents the I AM in each individual, is always glad of the opportunity to develop a greater faith in the disciples, or the twelve faculties of man.
- Thomas ... who is called Didymus. The phase of understanding represented by Thomas is that which includes reason and intellectual perception. Thomas did not understand that life is eternal, but did understand the truth that made Jesus fearless in the face of danger, and was loyal enough to his Master to be willing to die with Him if necessary.
Jesus the Resurrection and the Life
11:17So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already. 11:18Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off; 11:19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 11:20Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary still sat in the house.1 11:21Martha therefore said unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 11:22And even now I know that, whatsoever thou shalt ask of God, God will give thee. 11:23Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 11:24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 11:25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection,2 and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live;3 11:26and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.4 Believest thou this? 11:27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, even he that cometh into the world.
- Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary still sat in the house. Martha represents the part of the soul that is preoccupied with externals. Mary was preoccupied with the inner realities of thought and understanding. Martha ministered to His physical needs. Mary allowed Him to minister to her spiritual needs. His physical presence was not essential to her. When He drew near she “still sat in the house.”
- resurrection at the last day ... I am the resurrection. Jesus denies the belief that the resurrection of the dead occurs “at the last day.” The resurrection is an occurrence in the present. It is an inner awakening, not an external fact. The “I” is the “Word” that was made flesh, the eternal truth of life. The eternal, the primordial, that existed in the beginning, rose again in Lazarus.
- he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live This statement sets forth man’s uninterrupted consciousness of individual identity with Christ regardless of life, death, or other limiting circumstance. Man cannot lose his identity as a son of God.
- and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. The restorative and renewing functions are adequate to the perfect health, strength, and youthfulness of the body. The mind first lets go its hold upon the idea of eternal youth, and the body follows the action of the mind.
11:28And when she had said this, she went away, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Teacher is here, and calleth thee. 11:29And she, when she heard it, arose quickly, and went unto him. 11:30(Now Jesus was not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met him.) 11:31The Jews then who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going unto the tomb to weep there. 11:32Mary therefore, when she came where Jesus was, and saw him, fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 11:33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,1 11:34and said, Where have ye laid him? They say unto him, Lord, come and see. 11:35Jesus wept. 11:36The Jews therefore said, Behold how he loved him! 11:37But some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him that was blind, have caused that this man also should not die?
- Jesus ... groaned in the spirit and was troubled. There is very strong reason for believing that Lazarus was the rich young ruler referred to in Mark 10:17-22, whom Jesus loved, and whom he bade to sell all he had and follow him, but who had “much possessions,” and could not give them up. Lazarus is the ruling thought in the intellect; the name means court of God. At its centre it is good; we could not draw to ourselves the potentialities of Being without this accumulative faculty, but its fault is in piling up thoughts and things on the material plane. Jesus loves this young man, but groans in spirit and weeps over his sense sleep and entombment in matter.
Jesus is rejected by the Jews
11:38Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it.1 11:39Jesus saith, Take ye away the stone.2 Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time the body decayeth; for he hath been dead four days. 11:40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou believedst, thou shouldest see the glory of God?11:41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. 11:42And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the multitude that standeth around I said it, that they may believe that thou didst send me. 11:43And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.3 11:44He that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
- Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. The cave represents the darkness of materiality, and the stone that “lay against it” represents that which seals the thought that youth has come to an end.
- Jesus saith, Take ye away the stone. Jesus makes a denial of the thought that material conditions can confine life.
- Lazarus, come forth. The treatment for this sleep in matter is silent asking, then audible commanding. This is the formula given by Jesus, and it is found very effective by Christian healers. Then give perfect freedom: “Loose him, and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
11:45Many therefore of the Jews, who came to Mary and beheld that which he did, believed on him. 11:46But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. 11:47The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many signs. 11:48If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. 11:49But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 11:50nor do ye take account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 11:51Now this he said not of himself: but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation; 11:52and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God that are scattered abroad. 11:53So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put him to death.
11:55Now the passover of the Jews was at hand: and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the passover, to purify themselves. 11:56They sought therefore for Jesus, and spake one with another, as they stood in the temple, What think ye? That he will not come to the feast? 11:57Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given commandment, that, if any man knew where he was, he should show it, that they might take him.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks
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