John 11:1-16 – Lazarus Come Forth… For God So Loved

My sermon notes for Sunday, Feb. 4th as we continue our study through The Gospel of John. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit


FOR GOD SO LOVED – John 11:1-16

John 11:1–16

[1] Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. [2] It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. [3] So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” [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.”


[5] Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. [6] So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. [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?” [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.” [11] After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” [12] The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” [13] Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. [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.” (ESV)



LAZARUS COME FORTH…. what powerful words.  Over the next couple of weeks, we will take a close look at the greatest of Jesus 7 miracles in John (not counting His resurrection.) This miracle is personal and powerful.  He was friends with Lazarus and his sisters.  We often jump straight to the tomb, but today let’s take some time to see all that was involved in the great miracle of giving Lazarus new life.  I think we can learn much about God’s love as we walk through this first few verses.


FOR GOD SO LOVED – John 11:1-16


True love on display through:

  1. Personal love
  2. Redemptive love
  3. Sovereign love


God’s personal love… Mary, Martha, and Lazarus

(He loved them)


Luke 10:38-42 – some background


  • 2 miles from Jerusalem
  • a village. Not a grand city.  God chose an insignificant place (to the world) to do his work.


  • Received Jesus into her heart and then home v 38
  • Much serving life – giving for the Lord v 41


  • At the feet of Jesus v. 39
  • Much worshiping life – receiving from the Lord v. 42


  • A man Jesus love. This is all we know.


God’s redemptive love…Jesus greatest miracle

The last of the seven signs

  • Most powerful of his miracles. (other raising from the dead)
    • Jairus daughter had just recently died
    • Son of Nain had not been buried
    • Lazarus was dead, had the funeral, and was buried.


  • 7 Miracles of John – Point to THE THINGS ONLY GOD CAN DO THROUGH JESUS (GOSPEL)!!!! Remember… these signs pointed to who Jesus is.  His power.  His authority. His deity.  HE IS SHOWING THE WORLD THAT HE IS GOD.
    • An accumulation to the previous 6 signs
  1. 2:3 – The Wedding.  Water into wine
    • The need for true (best) joy
  2. 4:46 – Officials son sick. Near death
    • Sickness of mankind (sickness of sin)
  3. 5:7 – Paralyzed man at the pool
    • Helpless and inability of man
  4. 6:5 – Multitude without food
    • Inability to provide for self, ones need
  5. 6:28 – Storm tossed disciples
    • Headed toward obvious destruction
  6. 9:1 – Blind man from birth
    • Helpless, hopeless, Knows no difference…since birth
  7. 11 – Lazarus
    • Dead, dead, dead without the Gospel.


God’s sovereign love… His perfect timing


God’s love is not just in the event, but God’s love is working in every detail of our life.  (4 days late is right on time)

We sing about it, but do we really believe and trust that God REALLY is in control of all the details of life.  Every event has a purpose and is part of His plan.


The timing has great significance

  • In the midst of death, there is life.
    • Chapter 12 is the triumphant entry.
    • 13-17 – Upper room and Garden.
    • 18-21 – Arrest and Crucifixion


  • Only God can give new life
    • Eph. 2:1-10 (read)
    • Dead in our trespasses and sin….but God!


  • After 4 days we see God’s love on display
    • Jesus loved him. vv. 3,5,36
    • God’s love is not a pampering love but a perfecting love.
    • God’s love does not guarantee no heart ache as we live this side of heaven.
    • In the end….WE LIVE!


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