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New Testament Sermons

Let us go…

Sermon Text: John 11:1-16.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let us pray… Lord God, bless your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as you have promised, your Word may achieve the purpose for which you sent it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

So how is your isolation going? I can’t imagine what we would do if we didn’t have digital forms of communication like phones and computers. At times like this we really do need each other and talking to someone else helps keep us sane, just barely though. I think we could all use a really big hug.

But did you know that Jesus often isolated himself, going to some secluded place to pray or to be tempted in the wilderness or even in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus had earlier left Jerusalem because the Jews wanted to stone him (John 10:31). At the end of John 10 we read that He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. Now His isolation at that time still involved having people around, but even so, there he sat and waited with His disciples (John 10:40), pushed away by threats.

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Bible New Testament

Commentary: John 11:1-16

This is part one of the text (John 11:1-53) for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Series A, which the ESV/NKJV/NIV all end at verse 16. Below is a very basic commentary on this text.

Jesus had just left Jerusalem because the Jews wanted to stone him (10:31) for saying, I and the Father are one (10:30), but unable to act upon this they instead sought to arrest him (10:39). However, Jesus somehow escapes and travels across the Jordan to where John had been baptizing and there he stayed (10:40).

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.

The scene now shifts location to the village of Bethany, situated two miles (3 km) east of Jerusalem. It is given significance in that it is the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Luke’s Gospel (Luke 10:38-42) records an event involving these two women where Martha opens their home to Jesus and His disciples. The story also portrays Martha as a doer” and Mary as the listener, the one who has chosen the good portion (10:42). It appears that John’s note highlights the depth of their relationship, however, Luke makes no mention of the Lazarus of John’s Gospel, although in Luke Jesus doe make reference to a man named Lazarus in a parable (Luke 16:19-31). John introduces us to this Lazarus as one who is ill. The name Lazarus means “God is my help.”