Daily Devotionals for Families

Day 107 - Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
John 11:1-57

When Jesus heard that His friend, Lazarus, was sick, He stated that Lazarus's sickness would not end in death, but that He would receive glory from it. Jesus, of course, was talking about how He would be glorified when Lazarus was raised from the dead.

Some people, misapplying what Jesus said, talk about how God is glorified by their sickness, thinking that God wants them to remain sick so that He can be continually glorified. But Jesus wasn't claiming to be glorified by Lazarus's sickness! He was claiming that He would be glorified by Lazarus's resurrection. Jesus isn't glorified by our being sick, but by our being healed by His power!

Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, Jesus delayed journeying to Bethany where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived. God wanted Jesus to perform a miracle that would convince everyone whose heart wasn't hopelessly hardened that Jesus was the Son of God. When Jesus finally did arrive in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Thus, no one would be able to intelligently claim that Lazarus had only been unconscious and had simply been revived!

Both Mary and Martha believed that Jesus could and would have healed Lazarus if He had been near when Lazarus was still alive. They didn't realize that Jesus had purposely stayed away so that He could heal and resurrect Lazarus, rather than just heal him! Even when Jesus promised Martha that her brother would rise again, she initially assumed He was referring to the general resurrection of many people foretold in the Old Testament. Then Jesus made another wonderful claim: "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish" (John 11:25-26). Lazarus's resurrection would serve as a proof that Jesus was the one who would be in charge of the promised future resurrection, and it would serve as a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do for everyone who believes in Him.

Notice that even though Jesus supernaturally knew that Lazarus had died, He didn't know exactly where Lazarus's tomb was and asked about the location. This is further proof that, although Jesus was the Son of God, He stripped Himself of omniscience when He became a man. In His ministry, He operated as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit, empowered with gifts of the Holy Spirit that operated as the Spirit willed. Jesus said that He could do nothing by Himself, but only what He saw His Father doing (see John 5:19). What God didn't tell Him by the Holy Spirit, He had to learn like anyone else.

Amazingly, although the leading priests and Pharisees knew of Jesus' many miracles, they refused to believe in Him. Moreover, they were fearful that the whole nation might believe in Him, resulting in political turmoil, an invasion by the Roman army, and the deaths of many people. But Caiaphas, the high priest, rebuked them, saying that the solution was simple. They didn't need to fear that many people would die---if Jesus died instead. Caiaphas unknowingly prophesied when he said it this way: "Let this one man die for the people" (John 11:50). That is exactly what happened, and what God had planned from eternity past!

Q. Why do you think Jesus at first told His disciples that Lazarus was asleep and that He was going to wake him up?

A. In the Bible, Christian death is sometimes described using the word "sleep". The reason is because death is always temporary, like sleep, for those who believe in Jesus. They know their bodies will one day be resurrected, whereas unbelievers view death as a permanent state. Additionally, for God, raising Lazarus from the dead was no more difficult than awakening someone from sleep!

Q. Jesus' disciples were fearful of Jesus' plans to journey back to Judea where the Jewish leaders were waiting to kill Him. Jesus replied, "There are twelve hours of daylight every day. As long as it is light, people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. Only at night is there danger of stumbling because there is no light" (John 11:9-10). Jesus' words have a natural and a spiritual meaning. What are they and how can you apply them to your life?

A. The natural meaning is plain. When there is light, people are safer, because evil deeds are usually done in darkness. That is when evil people normally get drunk, steal and murder, because they have a better chance of not getting caught. You can increase your chances of not being a victim of someone's crime by staying away from dark places and being extra cautious at night. For example, most people who are killed by drunk drivers are killed at night, so if you must drive after dark, you should be extra cautious. The later it is at night, the more cautious you should be. Jesus knew that He was safe in a dangerous city as long as His enemies knew where He was only during the day. It was Judas who ultimately told the Jewish leaders where Jesus was at night, and that is when He was arrested and tried before the Jewish council.

The spiritual meaning behind Jesus' words is this: When people walk in the light of Jesus and the truth of His word, they are spiritually safe, because Satan and his evil spirits can only work in spiritual darkness. When people don't follow Jesus, the spiritual light of the world, they are walking in darkness, not knowing where they are going and destined to be deceived by Satan, stumble over sin and fall into hell.

Application: In one sense, all of us who believe in Jesus are like Lazarus. With the exception of those who will be alive when Jesus returns, all of us will one day die and Jesus will be glorified as He resurrects our bodies all at the same time! So when you get to heaven, you'll have something to talk about with Lazarus when you see him!

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You can navigate through the different days below:

Day 31 - New Clothes and New Wine

Day 32 - Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

Day 33 - Jesus Chooses Twelve Apostles

Day 34 - Jesus Describes His True Followers

Day 35 - Jesus Explains God's Standards of Holiness

Day 36 - Jesus Continues to Explain God's Standards of Holiness

Day 37 - Jesus Continues to Explain God's Standards of Holiness

Day 38 - Jesus Teaches About Material Possessions

Day 39 - Jesus Teaches about Being Critical of Others

Day 40 - Jesus Teaches About Persistence and Prayer

Day 41 - Jesus Summarizes His Sermon on the Mountainside

Day 42 - A Roman Soldier's Faith

Day 43 - Jesus Heals a Royal Official's Dying Son

Day 44 - Jesus Raises a Widow's Son From the Dead

Day 45 - John the Baptist Questions Jesus

Day 46 - A Forgiven Woman Shows Her Faith and Gratitude

Day 47 - A Few Good Women

Day 48 - Jesus is Accused of Working for the Devil

Day 49 - The Pharisees Request a Sign from Jesus

Day 50 - Jesus' Mother and Brothers

Day 51 - Jesus Tells a Story About Different Soils

Day 52 - Mustard Seeds and Satan's Weeds

Day 53 - Hidden Treasures, Priceless Pearls and Fishing Nets

Day 54 - Jesus Calms a Storm

Day 55 - Jesus Delivers a Demon-Possessed Man

Day 56 - Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

Day 57 - The Blind and Mute are Healed

Day 58 - Jesus Finds Little Faith in His Hometown

Day 59 - Jesus Heals a Lame Man at the Pool of Bethesda

Day 60 - Jesus' Special Relationship with God the Father

Day 61 - Jesus Sends Out His Twelve Apostles

Day 62 - John the Baptist is Martyred

Day 63 - Jesus Multiplies Food for Five Thousand People

Day 64 - Jesus Walks on Water

Day 65 - Jesus Compares Himself with Food

Day 66 - Jesus Teaches About Inner Purity

Day 67 - A Gentile Woman Persists in Faith

Day 68 - Jesus Feeds Four Thousand

Day 69 - The Faith and Doubts of Jesus' Disciples

Day 70 - Jesus Foretells His Death, Resurrection and Glorification

Day 71 - Jesus Casts Out A Demon His Disciples Couldn't

Day 72 - Jesus Pays His and Peter's Temple Tax

Day 73 - Jesus Teaches His Disciples

Day 74 - The Value of Children

Day 75 - What To Do When a Fellow Christian Wrongs You

Day 76 - Jesus' Forbearance With Unbelievers and His Expectations of Believers

Day 77 - Demons Must Obey Christ's Followers

Day 78 - Jesus Invites Weary People to Rest

Day 79 - Jesus Teaches About Prayer

Day 80 - Jesus Criticizes the Religious Leaders

Day 81 - Jesus Warns Against Greed

Day 82 - Jesus Tells His Followers to be Ready for His Return

Day 83 - Jesus Warns People to Repent

Day 84 - Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath

Day 85 - Jesus Teaches About the Narrow Door to Heaven

Day 86 - Jesus Teaches About Humility and Servanthood

Day 87 - A Feast For Everyone

Day 88 - The Cost of True Discipleship

Day 89 - God's Lost and Found

Day 90 - The Story of the Shrewd Money Manager

Day 91 - The Rich Man and Lazarus

Day 92 - Temptation, Sin, Forgiveness, Faith and Obedience

Day 93 - Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

Day 94 - Jesus Teaches About the Coming Kingdom

Day 95 - Jesus Encourages His Followers to Trust Him for Justice

Day 96 - The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Day 97 - The Unbelief of Jesus' Brothers and People of Jerusalem

Day 98 - Jesus Offers Living Water to Thirsty People

Day 99 - Jesus Shows Mercy to an Adulterous Woman

Day 100 - Jesus Makes Amazing Claims

Day 101 - Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

Day 102 - Jesus Compares Himself to a Gate and a Good Shepherd

Day 103 - Jesus Teaches About Divorce and Remarriage

Day 104 - A Rich Young Man Rejects Jesus

Day 105 - The Parable of the Vineyard Workers

Day 106 - Jesus Claims to be One With the Father

Day 107 - Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

Day 108 - The Greatest Servant Teaches About Serving

Day 109 - Jesus Heals a Blind Man Named Bartimaeus

Day 110 - Zacchaeus is Saved

Day 111 - The Parable of the Ten Servants

Day 112 - Jesus' Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem

Day 113 - Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple

Day 114 - The Stories of the Two Sons and Evil Farmers

Day 115 - The Parable of the Wedding Guests

Day 116 - Jesus Answers Two Trick Questions

Day 117 - Jesus Answers and Asks a Difficult Question

Day 118 - The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Day 119 - Jesus Warns the Religious Leaders

Day 120 - A Poor But Generous Widow

Day 121 - Jesus Talks About Jerusalem's Destruction and the End Times

Day 122 - Jesus Exhorts Everyone to be Ready for His Return

Day 123 - Ten Bridesmaids and Three Servants

Day 124 - Jesus Talks About the Final Judgment

Day 125 - Jesus Talks Again About His Impending Death

Day 126 - Jesus Again Claims to be God

Day 127 - Jesus is Twice Anointed

Day 128 - The Last Supper

Day 129 - Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

Day 130 - Jesus Predicts Judas's Betrayal and Peter's Denial

Day 131 - Jesus Comforts His Disciples

Day 132 - We are Branches in Jesus' Vine

Day 133 - Jesus Warns His Disciples of the World's Hatred

Day 134 - Jesus' Final Words to His Disciples

Day 135 - Jesus Prays for His Disciples

Day 136 - Jesus is Arrested

Day 137 - Jesus' Trial Before the Jewish Council

Day 138 - Judas Commits Suicide

Day 139 - Jesus Stands Trial Before Pilate

Day 140 - Jesus' First Three Hours on the Cross

Day 141 - Jesus' Second Three Hours on the Cross and Death

Day 142 - Jesus' Burial

Day 143 - Jesus is Resurrected!

Day 144 - Jesus Appears to His Disciples

Day 145 - Jesus Appears to His Disciples in Galilee

Day 146 - Jesus' Final Words and Ascension to Heaven

Day 147 - Luke Summarizes Jesus' Final Days on Earth

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The Teaching Ministry of David Servant