The Ministry of the Messiah, 2:1-12:50

7. Jesus the resurrection and the life, 11:1-12:19

i] I am the resurrection and the life


Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, has fallen ill and Jesus is asked to come to Bethany to help. Jesus waits two days until Lazarus has died before setting off for Bethany to "awaken him." On arriving at Bethany, Jesus meets with the two sisters and then sets off for Lazarus' grave where he calls him from the dead.


Jesus is himself the resurrection. A person who believes in Jesus, mortal though they may be, will live spiritually, now and into eternity.


i] Context: In the narrative cycle Jesus Ministers from Jerusalem to Jerusalem, 5:1-10:42, We see Jesus presenting his messianic credentials to unbelieving Israel. This cycle ends with Jesus turning his back on hostile unbelief. We now enter the third and final cycle of events encapsulating the messianic ministry of Jesus, namely, Jesus Returns to Jerusalem. In this cycle John's focus is on Jesus' ministry to believing Israel.

We also come to the final sign-discourse element of the Argument Proper - Part I, Jesus the Resurrection and the Life, 11:1-12:36. This episode concludes Jesus' public messianic ministry. As we have noted so far, John crafts the discourses around a miracle / sign / significant event which illustrates a broad theme developed in the associated dialogues / discourses. These discourses develop the true nature of Jesus' messiahship. In the last sign-discourse package we explored the theme of Jesus the Light of Life, "I am the light of the world". With this last sign, the raising of Lazarus, there is no associated discourse, rather, it is woven into the narrative itself, and as such, it explores the theme of Jesus the Resurrection and Life - "I am the resurrection and the life." As with all the sign-discourse packages, the raising of Lazarus also presents the gospel. We are reminded that those who believe in Jesus will ultimately rise from the dead, never to die again. As Stibbe puts it, in this story we are confronted by "the eschaton in person, the one who brings the end of history into the middle of time."

The raising of Lazarus is followed by another plot to arrest Jesus, 11:45-57. His raising to life causes a strong reaction from the religious authorities prompting an official gathering of the Sanhedrin. The meeting resolves that even Lazarus must be killed because he can only be a reminder of Jesus' miraculous powers. Both the anointing of Jesus by Lazarus's sister Mary and Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, 12:1-19, remind the reader that new life in Christ comes at a cost, a cost now being played out as Jesus moves toward the cross and a final showdown with unbelieving Israel. For a moment, Jesus is tested when some Greeks seek to speak with him, 12:20-36. Maybe life for the world is possible apart from the cross!! No, the way is set, a grain of wheat must die to produce the fruit of resurrection life.

The concluding verses of the chapter 12, v37-50, Dodd classifies as an epilogue to the Book of Signs as a whole, not just the last sign. First, John provides a commentary which addresses the way people respond to the signs / words of Christ, either with belief or unbelief. These responses have prophetic precedence. Then from the mouth of Jesus we have a summary of the message of his signs / words, namely that the Son of Man was sent into the world under the authority of the Father, not to judge the world, but to save the world, bless the world with life, life eternal. Those who see / hear and believe will move from darkness to light / life. Those who do not believe will stand condemned at the last day


ii] Structure: I am the resurrection and the life:

Setting, v1-4;

Travel sequence, v5-16;

Jesus' conversation with Martha, v17-27;

"I am the resurrection and the life.

The one who believes in me will live

even though they die;

and whoever lives by believing in me will never die."

Jesus' meeting with Mary, v28-37;

Jesus raises Lazarus; v38-44.


iii] Interpretation:

It is interesting how in the synoptic gospels it is Jesus' cleansing of the temple that prompts the religious authorities to take action against him, while in John's gospel it is the raising of Lazarus. Faced with the offer of life, the self-righteous choose death.

Yet this, the climax of Jesus' signs, is not about the self-righteous, it is not about Israel's rejection of their messiah. Yes, the greater the sign the greater the opposition of unbelieving Israel, but this sign proclaims another message. On the surface, at least, the sign evidences messianic verification. At this crucial point in the gospel, this final miraculous sign is the supreme demonstration of the Son of Man's power over death and life, but this is not John's prime message. In the other sign-discourse packages, the meaning of the sign is developed in the associated discourse, here it is woven into the narrative itself. The narrative-discourse proclaims that a relationship established with Jesus through faith cannot be broken by death. Jesus is the resurrection and the life, those who believe in him will live even though they die - "whoever lives by believing in me will never die" (a slight overreach by NIV11, but probably on the mark), 11:25-26. In Christ we live now; death cannot separate us from him, nor do we have to wait for the resurrection to live, in Christ we are already alive.

From this point on, the way of the cross is revealed as the means by which the Son of Man is glorified, so securing life for himself and those who believe in him.


iv] Synoptics:

Theories abound ranging from a total fabrication by the author / editor through to an artistic recreation of the synoptic tradition. Bultman argues that the story originates from a signs source which was expanded by the author / editor of the gospel. It would not be unreasonable to argue that it may go back to the apostle John and his collection of homilies, but this is not widely accepted. Most opt for the use of the synoptic gospel, particularly Luke, although Gardner-Smith in his dated work St.John and the Synoptic Gospels, 1938, strongly progresses the argument that John is totally independent of the synoptic gospels. Luke is aware of the name Lazarus; in Luke he is associated with a parable which refers to the raising of the dead, 16:19-31. Luke is also aware of the two sisters named Martha and Mary, both of whom are identified as followers of Jesus.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 11:1

The raising of Lazarus and its consequences, v1-54: i] Setting, v1-4: In the opening section of this episode, John records Jesus' response to the serious illness that has overtaken his friend Lazarus. Mary and Martha send word to Jesus of their brother's illness. On receiving the news Jesus makes the point that the illness has a positive prognosis and that it will serve to bring glory to God.

de "Now" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative, as NIV.

LazaroV "Lazarus" - [there was a certain one being sick] lazarus [from bethany]. Standing in apposition to "certain one." Greek form of the Hebrew "Eleazar" - "God helps."

asqenwn (asqenew) pres. part. "was sick" - being sick. The NIV links this participle with the verb to-be h\n to form a periphrastic imperfect construction. The participle may also be treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting "a certain one", "there was a certain person who was sick, Lazarus of Bethany." "Now a certain man was ill", ESV.

apo + gen. "from [Bethany]" - from [bethany, from the village of mary]. Expressing source / origin, so also ek, "from the village of Mary and her sister Martha", but it may also be taken as partitive, "of Bethany." Bethany is situated some 3km from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho.

MariaV (a) gen. "[the village] of Mary" - [the village] of mary [and martha]. The genitive is adjectival, limiting "village", possessive, or idiomatic / local, "the village where Mary and her sister Martha live."

thV adelqhV (h) gen. "[her] sister" - the sister [of her]. Standing in apposition to "Martha", genitive in agreement.


Treated as a parenthesis in Phillips, Moffatt, ....

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, introducing an editorial note.

h|V gen. pro. "whose [brother Lazarus]" - [it was the same mary, ........, the brother] of whom [lazarus, was sick]. The genitive relative pronoun is adjectival, relational, referring to the subject "Mary". Note that "Lazarus" stands in apposition to "brother". Note also that the imperfect is used for verb "was sick" to indicate the provision of background information. John identifies Mary with the woman who anointed Jesus in the house of Simon the Leper, Mk.14:3-9.

hJ aleiyasa (aleipw) aor. part. "was the same one who poured" - the one having anointed [the lord]. The participle, as with "having wiped", is probably best treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting "Mary"; "It was Mary who anointed the Lord ....... and wiped his feet", ESV. As with wiped, the Aorist is probably proleptic, ie., John is referring to a completed past event which is still future as far as the story is concerned, cf., 12:1-8.

murw/ (ov) dat. "perfume" - in ointment. The dative is instrumental, expressing material; "the one who anointed the Lord with ointment / perfumed liniment.

taiV qrixin (x coV) dat. "with [her] hair" - [and having wiped the feet of him] in the hairs [of her]. The dative is instrumental, expressing means / material; "with her hair."


At the end of chapter 10 John tells us that Jesus has moved from Jerusalem to Perea, on the opposite side of the Jordan river. Presumably the sisters, living with Lazarus at Bethany, 3km from Jerusalem, sent word to Jesus where he was staying in Perea. There is a Bethany (Batanea) in Perea, but it is unlikely to be the village referred to in v1. Either way, it is unclear where Jesus is at this moment in time.

oun "so" - therefore. Inferential; establishing a logical connection, "so, consequently."

legousai (legw) pres. part. "sent word" - [the sisters sent a message toward him]. saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to send"; "sent ..... and said." Typical Semitic form. "Sent a message to", CEV.

kurie "Lord" - lord. Vocative of address. Possibly just "Sir", REB, or the messianic sense, "Lord", as NIV.

ide (oJraw) aor. imp. "-" - behold, look. Interjection. Used to reinforce the urgency of the message; "you should know", REB.

o}n pro. "the one [you love]" - the one whom [you love, have affection for [is sick]. Introducing a headless relative clause. "Your dear friend"; "Your friend", REB.


Of course, Lazarus does die, and although raised to life, he will have to experience physical death again, but in Christ death has lost its sting. A classic example of Johannine ambiguity.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

akousaV (akouw) aor. part. "When he heard this" - having heard [jesus said]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "When Jesus received the message", Phillips.

proV + acc. "[will not] end [in death]" - [this sickness is not] toward [death]. The preposition here may express purpose, "for, with a view to", thus, "this illness is not for the purpose of death" - it has another purpose, namely, to glorify God. A consecutive sense, expressing result, is more likely, "with the result that" = "leading to", Harris Gk.; "this sickness will not end ultimately in death", so Carson. Lazarus may die, but resurrection awaits him; "death will not be the final result of this sickness", TH, cf. 1Jn.5:16ff.

all (alla) "no, it is" - but. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction, "not ..... but ....." - "on the contrary"; "rather it is", NAB.

uJper + gen. "for [God's glory]" - for [the glory of god]. Expressing advantage / benefit, "on behalf of", the sense being "but is to honour God", Williams, ie., the death of Lazarus will serve to display / reveal how wonderful God is. Barrett suggests purpose, "in order to reveal the glory of God", but Carson makes the point that it is not that the sickness occurred in order for God's glory to be revealed, but rather that it constituted an occasion for God's glory to be revealed.

iJna + subj. "so that" - that [the son of god may be glorified]. Possibly introducing a final clause expressing purpose, but more likely consecutive, expressing result. The sense is not so much that the purpose of Lazarus' sickness, its intention, is for the glory of Christ, but that it serves, as a consequence, to brings glory to Christ; "for it will show the glory of the Son of God", Phillips. Harris suggests that here iJna introduces an epexegetic clause redefining the prepositional phrase "for the glory of God", "or more particularly that the Son of God may be glorified in the raising of Lazarus." The "glory" may be "honour" in that Jesus' raising of Lazarus reflects on his person, but it could refer to Jesus' death and resurrection. Inevitably the murderess intention of the Pharisees is crystallised in the raising to life of Lazarus.

di (dia) + gen. "through" - Instrumental, expressing means / agency.

authV pro fem. gen. "it" - Possibly referring to God's glory, but more likely Lazarus' sickness.


ii] The travel sequence and the discussion of the issue between Jesus and his disciples, v5-16. Jesus waits two days before undertaking the day-long journey to Bethany. The sign itself will certainly honour God in Christ, but it will also set in motion the events that lead up to the ultimate expression of God's glory, namely, the death and resurrection of Christ. When Jesus finally decides to set off for Bethany, the disciples balk at going anywhere near Jerusalem, what with the present fury of the religious authorities. As far as the disciples are concerned, there is no need for a return trip, given that Lazarus is now on the mend ("sleeping"). Jesus finally explains that Lazarus is dead and that their faith is about to be strengthened.

If we link v5 with v6 rather than v4 (see Barclay), then v5 serves to explain that Jesus' delay in attending to Lazarus is not out of disinterest in him - Jesus deeply loves the members of the family. Qualifying a statement before actually making it is always a juggle in English; it may work for a Greek mind, but not an English mind. A literal translation misses the point altogether; "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard of Lazarus' illness he stayed where he was to days longer", Phillips. Reversing v5 and v6 would carry the sense better in English. "When Jesus heard ........ he stayed two days longer ...... even though he cared deeply for Martha ....." Rieu captures the sense with "Accordingly, though he loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, Jesus, after hearing of his sickness, stayed where he was for two days.

de "now" - but/and [jesus loved martha and the sister of her and lazarus]. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative. It has been argued that Lazarus may be the disciple whom Jesus love, ie., the author of this gospel. A rather speculative idea!


oun "yet / so" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection, "so, consequently", rather than introducing a logical conclusion, "therefore", so Carson. Possibly concessive, "although", BDAG 737b; Jesus loved Lazarus and his family even though, when hearing of his illness, he stayed back two more days - see above for the more likely concessive approach. See Harris and Novakovic for more details.

wJV "when" - as = when, while. Here with a temporal sense, as NIV.

oJti "that" - [he heard] that [he is sick]. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what Jesus heard.

tote adv. "-" - then. Temporal adverb.

men ...... epeita "......... and then (v7)" - The adversative de in the adversative comparative construction men .... de is replaced here with the temporal adverb epeita, "then", here as "but then"; "on the one hand, Jesus stayed where he was two more days, but then (v7), on the other hand, he said to his disciples, 'Let's go back to Judea." According to BDF, poor Greek.

en w|/ ..... topw/ dat. "[he stayed] where [he was]" - [he remained] in which place [he was]. Local, expressing space. This prepositional construction is elliptical. It stands for en tw/ topw/ w|/, "[he remained] in the place which [he was]." The article tw/ is dropped and the dative noun topw/, "place", the antecedent of the relative pronoun w|/, "which", is inserted in the relative clause introduced by w|/. Obviously Jesus stays put (presumably somewhere in Transjordan) in accord with the Father's will and the need to fulfil the sign, cf., 2:4, 7:6.

duo hJmeraV acc. "where [he was]" - two days. Accusative of time, duration.


Jesus now announces to the disciples that the mission team is to return to Judea. The reason will soon become obvious - Jesus is to raise up Lazarus, and Jesus is to be lifted-up, glorified.

epeita adv. "then" - then. Temporal adverb; "Only then", Phillips.

meta + acc. "-" - after [this]. Temporal use of the preposition. Used here for emphasis, so Barrett.

toiV maqhtaiV (hV ou) dat. "[he said] to his disciples" - [he says to] the disciples. Dative of indirect object.

agwmen (agw) pres. subj. "let us go [back]" - let us go [into judea again]. Hortatory subjunctive.


Jesus has informed the disciples that Lazarus' sickness "does not lead to death", so why tempt fate, given the murderous intent of the religious authorities back in Jerusalem?

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - [the disciples say] to him. Dative of indirect object.

rJabbi "Rabbi" - teacher. Heb.

nun adv. "a short while ago" - now. Temporal adverb. The Classical sense of the word applies here, referring to something that occurred recently; "it is not long since", REB.

liqasai (liqazw) aor. inf. "[tried] to stone [you]" - [the jews were seeking] to stone [you]. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to seek." The imperfect verb "were seeking", takes the sense of either "attempting to stone you", or "trying to stone you." The imperfect is probably used to express action outside the present narrative (both verbs, "to say" and "to go away", take a historic / narrative present tense), in this case, action in the recent past. Note that here John is using the term "the Jews" to refer to unbelieving Israel, particularly the Jewish religious authorities.

uJpageiV (uJpagw) pres. "you are going back" - [and again] you go away [there]. Expressing intention, "do you intend / plan to go"; "are you planning to go back?", TEV.


The reason the man does not stumble is because the sunlight helps him see where he is going. The Greek is often translated literally to help underline the allusion to Christ, the light of the world. Yet, does Jesus intend this allusion? Surely, the proverb is about the wisdom of actions that are based on knowledge. Jesus knows what he is doing and the disciples should recognise this by now.

ouci "not" - [jesus answered] not. This negation is used to introduce a question expecting a positive answer. "A day has twelve hours, doesn't it?" TEV.

thV hJmeraV (a) gen. "[twelve hours] of daylight" - [twelve hours are there] of the day? The genitive is adjectival, partitive / wholative - Novakovic classifies the genitive as temporal, "during the day."

ean + subj. "-" - if [anyone walks]. Introducing a 3rd. class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, ..... then [he does not stumble]" "If a person walks while it is light, they will not stumble."

en + dat. "by [day] / in [the daytime]" - in [the day he does not stumble]. Temporal use of the preposition; "daytime", JB.

oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why a person who walks in daytime does not stumble; "because ....."

tou kosmou (oV) gen. "[this] world's [light]" - [he sees the light] of [this] world. The genitive may be taken as verbal, objective, "the light shining on the world", but possibly adjectival, possessive. "If a man walks in the daytime, he does not stumble, because he has the daylight to see by", Phillips.


ean + subj. "-" - [but] if [anyone walks around]. Introducing a 3rd. class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, ..... then [he stumbles]."

en + dat. "at [night]" - in [the night he stumbles]. Temporal use of the preposition; "during the night."

oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why a person walking during the night is likely to stumble.

en "[he has no light]" - [the light is not] in [him]. Local, expressing space. Although some translations head in a theological direction, "the light is not in him", ESV, the sense is "on", there is no light shining on him enabling him to see where he is walking; "he cannot see where he is going", Phillips.


The ambiguous statement, "our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep", is an interesting euphemism for death and one that is taken up by Paul in his epistles. The image of "asleep in the arms of Jesus" is one often used by believers to describe the condition of a deceased loved-one awaiting the day of resurrection. It reflects something of the idea that deceased believers are not bound by time. Jesus' words to the thief, "this evening you will be with me in paradise", reminds us of this reality. Both the dead and the living must await the day of resurrection at Christ's return, but even now we reign with Christ in eternity. We may be bound by time, but God isn't! Given that describing the condition of deceased believers is fraught, there is no better way than see them "asleep in the arms of Jesus."

autoiV dat. pro. "[he went on to tell] them" - [these things he said, and after this he said] to them. Dative of indirect object. The preposition meta, "after", is adverbial, temporal.

hJmwn gen. pro. "our [friend]" - [lazarus, the friend] of us [has fallen asleep]. The genitive is adjectival, relational. The nominal phrase, "the friend of us", standing in apposition to "Lazarus". It is unlikely that the phrase "our friend" is a euphemism for a disciple.

alla "but" - Strong adversative / contrastive.

iJna + subj. "to" - [i am going] that. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order to awaken him."

exupnisw (exupnizw) aor. subj. "wake [him] up" - i may awaken [him]. "I will go and wake him", NEB.


The disciples are rightly confused; if Lazarus is sleeping off his illness he can wake up by himself - they do not need to put themselves in harms way.

oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection, "so".

autw/ dat. pro. "[replied]" - [the disciples said] to him. Dative of indirect object.

ei + ind. "if" - if [he has fallen asleep]. Introducing a 1st. class / real conditional clause where the proposed condition is assumed to be true; "if, as is the case, ..... then [he will be healed]. "If he's just sleeping off his illness then he will wake up in good time."

swqhsetai (swzw) fut. pas. "he will get better" - he will be healed. We may have a play on words here, "sleep" / "saved"; the disciples have taken Jesus' "asleep" literally; "He will get well", TEV, "recover", REB.


In an editorial note John points out that the disciples have not understood Jesus' metaphorical use of the world "sleep".

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, here indicating an editorial note.

peri + gen. "of [his death]" - [jesus had spoken] concerning [the death of him]. Expressing reference / respect; "with respect to his death."

oJti "-" - [but/and those men supposed] that. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what the disciples thought.

tou uJpnou (oV) gen. "natural sleep" - [about the sleep] of sleep [he speaks]. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic, limiting koimhsewV, "sleep" by specifying it, "sleep which is just normal sleep"; "sleep in the sense of slumber", NAB.


oun "so" - therefore. Transitional, "Then Jesus told them plainly", ESV, or inferential, establishing a logical connection, "so, consequently."

tote adv. "then" - then [jesus told them]. Temporal adverb. With oun, "so then" = "finally", Harris.

parrhsia/ (a) dat. "plainly" - in open = openly, clearly. The dative is adverbial, modal, expressing manner. Sometimes with the meaning "boldly"; "Jesus boldly spoke the truth, trusting that His disciples would not fail, but would receive it", Morris.


The sentence is a little messy and needs reconstructing so as to convey the idea that Jesus is happy that he refrained from attending to Lazarus' need since the miracle he will now perform will serve to encourage faith in the disciples; "and if I am glad I was not there, this is for your sake, that you may learn to believe", Cassirer.

di (dia) + acc. "for [your] sake" - [and i rejoice] because of [you]. Causal; with the sense "for the sake of you."

iJna + subj. "so that" - that. Here introducing an epexegetic clause specifying di uJmaV, "because of you", "namely ...", so Barrett, Harris, Novakovic; "for your sake, namely, that you may believe (that your faith may be strengthened), I am glad that I was not there (I'm glad that I didn't attend to Lazarus' illness)."

pisteushte (pisteuw) aor. subj. "you may believe" - you may believe. The aorist possibly identifies the commencement of belief, "that you may learn to believe", Phillips. Surely not "come to faith", rather the miracle serves as a stimulus to faith. Yet, as Novakovic notes, John only notes the faith-response of the crowd, not the disciples.

oJti "-" - i rejoice ...... that [i was not there]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing the content of Jesus cairw, his state of happiness, namely, that he was not present in Bethany to help Lazarus and this for the sake of the disciples' faith, iJna pisteushte, "that you may believe."

proV "[let us go] to [him]" - [but let us go] toward [him]. Expressing movement toward.


This brave willingness to die fails to eventuate when the chips are down. Thomas is also somewhat pessimistic, as if the mission is all but a failure and all that can now be achieved is to hurl oneself at the crushing hand of fate. This statement serves as another example of Johannine ambiguity.

oun "then" - therefore. Here resumptive / transitional, as NIV, or inferential, establishing a logical connection, "So Thomas ...", ESV.

oJ legomenoV (legw) pres. pas/mid. part. "(called [Didymus]) / ( known as [Didymus])" - [thomas said] the one being called [didymus/twin]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "Thomas"; "whose nickname was Twin", TH.

toiV summaqhtaiV (hV ou) dat. "to the rest of the disciples" - to the fellow disciples. Dative of indirect object. Used only here in the NT. The word may underline a common purpose among the disciples such that Thomas is speaking for all the disciples.

iJna + subj. "that [we may die with him]" - [let us go also] that [we may die]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose.

meta + gen. "with [him]" - with [him]. Expressing association / accompaniment.


iii] Jesus finally arrives at the outskirts of Bethany and spends time speaking with Martha, v17-27. While Mary is with the many mourners in the family home, Martha hears of Jesus' arrival on the outskirts of the village and so goes to meet him. She expresses her faith by making the point that had Jesus been able to come earlier he could have prayed for the healing of Lazarus and her brother would now be alive. She goes on to affirm Jesus' statement that Lazarus "will rise again", although her mind is on the "resurrection at the last day." Jesus, in preparation for the coming sign, takes to himself the title of "resurrection and life" - Jesus is the one who raises the dead to life, both now and in the last day, enabling them to live forever, to never to die. Martha then affirms the truth that faith in Christ is the source of this life, and this because he is the Messiah.

oun "-" - therefore. Transitional; "Now when Jesus came", ESV.

elqwn (ercomai) aor. part. "on his arrival" - [jesus] having come. The participle is adverbial, best treated as introducing a temporal clause; "when he arrived", Phillips.

econta (ecw) pres. part. "had [already been in the tomb]" - [found him] having [already been laid to rest four days in the tomb]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting the pronoun auton, "him"; "him who had already been laid to rest." The present tense may imply continuity with regard the burial. Note that there is textual disruption in the case of the adverb hdh, "already". The mention of Lazarus being buried for four days serves to underline the fact that he is dead - it was commonly held that the soul remained with the body three days before departing.


John notes the proximity of Bethany to Jerusalem and thus the presence of many of "the Jews" gathered to mourn with Martha and Mary. If John is using the term "the Jews" to refer to unbelieving Israel, particularly the religious authorities, then the implication is that Jesus is putting himself in danger. Maybe John is using the term "the Jews" here to refer in a general sense to Judeans.

de "Now" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative, here to the provision of background information. This is also indicated by the use of the imperfect verb to-be h\n.

egguV + gen. "-" - [bethany was] near [of = to jerusalem]. Followed by the genitive of what it is near to.

wJV "less than" - as = about. A particular use of the particle expressing approximation, "about."

stadiwn dekapente "two miles" - fifteen stadia [away]. 2 miles, approximately 3 kilometres. "Bethany is close to Jerusalem ......"


ek + gen. "[and many Jews]" - [but/and many] from [the jews]. Here serving as a partitive genitive. Included in "the Jews" are relatives, neighbours and friends, but it may be too inclusive to say "many people had come from the city", CEV.

elhluqeisan (ercomai) pluperf. "had come" - had come [toward martha and mary]. Expressing a past event with present ramifications, ie., the Jews had come to Mary and Martha and were still there.

iJna + subj. "to [comfort]" - that [they might console, encourage, cheer up them]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that." "To offer them sympathy over their brother's death", Phillips.

peri + gen. "in the loss of their [brother]" - about [the = their brother]. Expressing reference / respect; "concerning / about their brother."


The implication given by most translations, and underlined by some (eg., REB), is that both Mary and Martha have become aware of Jesus' arrival, but Mary remains in the family home. Yet, it is likely that John is describing two separate actions. For Martha's actions John uses aorist verbs expressing perfective / punctiliar action - she hears and comes. For Mary, John uses an imperfect verb expressing imperfective / durative action; Mary is "sitting in the house." Her "sitting" is a proper position for mourning and so it is likely that John is telling us that Mary is unaware of Jesus' arrival, since she is at home taking her turn as the family representative in the public grieving process. So, the sense may be, "Mary, on the other hand, was in the family home with the other mourners, unawares that Jesus had arrived."

oun "-" - therefore [martha]. Inferential, establishing a logical connection; "So when Martha hear that Jesus was coming", ESV.

wJV "when" - when, while, as. Here the particle is best treated as temporal, introducing a temporal clause.

hkousen (akouw) aor. "heard" - she heard. In the sense of "got wind of the news." "Then Martha, hearing of the arrival of Jesus", Moffatt.

oJti "that" - that [jesus comes]. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what Martha heard.

autw/ dat. pro. "[she went out to meet] him" - [she met up with] him - Dative of direct object after the uJpo prefix verb "to meet up with."

de "but" - but/and [mary was sitting in the house]. Transitional, indicating a change in subject from Martha to Mary, here relating what Mary was doing; Mary, on the other hand, ...."


oun "-" - therefore [martha said toward jesus]. Here resumptive / transitional, rather than inferential, and so left untranslated.

ei + imperf + an "if" ..... - if [as is not the case, you were here, then the brother of me would not have died]. Introducing a conditional clause, 2nd. class / contrary-to-fact, where the proposed condition is assumed to be not true. Martha's words can be taken as critical of Jesus' failure to come to them in their moment of need, but the words are more likely a faith statement. Martha is affirming a regrettable fact, namely, had Jesus been able to get to Lazarus before he died, he would have been able to heal him.


It is unlikely that Martha is expressing a belief in Jesus' capacity to raise the dead. It is more likely that this verse is simply a reaffirmation of v21. She knows that Jesus could have healed Lazarus if he were present because God listens to him.

alla "but" - but. Adversative - variant reading.

oida perf. "I know" - [even now] i know. Extensive perfect. Martha knows and therefore, as a consequence, believes that .....

oJti "that" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what Martha knows.

kai nun "even now" - NIV follows the bulk of translators on this phrase, but other possibilities exist. "But now - well, I know ...", Moffatt; "but nevertheless", TH.

soi dat. pro. "[God will give] you" - [god will give] to you. Dative of indirect object.

oJsa an + subj. "whatever [you ask]" - whatever [you may ask]. Serving to introduce an indefinite relative clause. Note that with the word "to ask", Jesus never uses the verb aitew of his own prayers, rather, he uses the verb erwtaw. Is John implying a distinction between the two?


Martha understands Jesus' words as a reference to the resurrection of the dead on the last day.

auth/ dat. pro. "to her" - [jesus says] to her. Dative of indirect object.

anasthsetai (anisthmi) fut. "will rise again" - [the brother of you] will rise again. The TEV suggests "will rise to life" to make Jesus' statement more explicit.


Martha is stating the accepted doctrine of the day held by devout Pharisees; it is not particularly Christian. The pie in the sky when you die doctrine is not what Jesus is teaching. Yes, Jesus' eschatology has its forward referencing aspect, the not yet element, but as we will see in the next verse, Jesus is not about offering life in the future, but life now; at this point his eschatology is realised, the now element is dominant. The kingdom of God is at hand, not some time in the distant future. Faith in Christ brings with it life in the present, a life which is eternal and cannot be snuffed out by death.

oJti "-" - [martha says to him, i know] that [he will rise]. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what Martha knows.

en "in [the resurrection] at [the last day]" - in [the resurrection] in [the last day]. Temporal use of the preposition; "at the resurrection on the last day", Rieu.


In another I AM saying, v25-26, Jesus tells Martha that he, in himself, is the resurrection, such that those who believe in him already possess the promised new life of the covenant, irrespective of whether they are alive or dead. The promised resurrection of the last day is available in the present to those who believe in Jesus.

hJ anastasiV (iV ewV) "the resurrection" - [jesus said to her, i am] the resurrection. Predicate nominative. Jesus is the one who raises the dead to life.

hJ zwh (h) "the life" - [and] the life. This predicate nominative is omitted in some manuscripts. It is easy to explain why the phrase would be added, but not why it would be omitted. JB leaves it out. If the reading is original, "resurrection" and "life" maybe the same thing, or maybe "life" explains "resurrection", or maybe "life" simply complements "resurrection." If there is a distinction between the two words, then "resurrection" is a coming to life, v25b, while "life" is a staying alive, never dying, v26a. "Jesus said to her, 'I myself am the resurrection.'"

oJ pisteuwn (pisteuw) pres. part. "he who believes" - the one believing [into me]. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "will life." The present tense, being durative, may express "everyone who continues to have faith in me", rather than just the descriptive, "believers", which is the likely sense of the aorist form. "Everyone who has faith in me", CEV.

kan + subj. "even though" - and if, as may be the case, [he should die, then he will live]. This crasis, kai + ean, introduces a conditional clause, 3rd class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true. The weight of kai is ascensive, "even", giving a concessive sense to the clause, "even if = although they may die, the person who believes in me will live"; "those who believe in me, even though they die, will live", NRSV.


oJ zwn (zaw) pres. part. "whoever lives [and believes / by believing]" - [and] all the ones living [and believing into me]. This participle, as with pisteuwn, "believing", may be classified as a substantive or as an adjective, attributive, limiting the adjective paV, "all", when taken as the substantive "everyone"; "everyone who lives and believes in me", ESV. Note how the NIV11 treats it as adverbial, instrumental (certainly makes sense). Schnackenburg, on the other hand, argues that they stand together in a conditional sense such that eternal life requires two conditions, earthly life and faith. It is often argued that "will never die" = "will never die spiritually", ie., a person who is spiritually alive will not face spiritual death, namely, separation from God. Yet, it is more likely referring to resurrection life here and now.

ou mh + subj. "[will] never [die]" - not not [dies]. A subjunctive of emphatic negation.

eiV + acc. "-" - into [the age. do you believe this]? Temporal use of the preposition. The phrase "into the age" means "forever".


Johannine ambiguity is maintained by Martha's response. She may not understand about the resurrection life promised by Christ, but she does believe that Jesus is the Christ, the messiah.

autw/ dat. pro. "[she replied]" - [she says] to him. Dative of indirect object.

egw "I" - [yes = certainly lord] i. Emphatic by position and use.

pepisteuka (pisteuw) perf. "I believe" - i have believed. The perfect tense carries the sense of a past believing in Christ that continues; she has believed and continues to believe; "I have learned to believe", Cassirer.

oJti "that" - Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing the content of her belief.

oJ cristoV "the Christ" - [you are] the christ, messiah, promised saviour of Israel, anointed one. Predicate nominative.

oJ uiJoV tou qeou "the Son of God" - the son of god. This commonly used term sometimes indicates Jesus' filial association with God, but in the mouth of others can range in meaning from little more than a godly person to someone close to God, but commonly as a title for the messiah, as here. See 5:25.

oJ ... ercomenoV "who was to come [into the world]" - the one [into the world] coming. The participle serves as a substantive; "the one whom God has determined to send into the world." This is a technical term used in Jewish circles for the messiah, cf., 4:25, 6:14, Matt.11:3, "Who was destined to come into the world", TH,


iv] Jesus speaks with Mary, v28-37. Mary now learns that Jesus has arrived and goes out to greet him. Like Martha, she expresses her belief that had Jesus been able to come earlier he would have been able to heal Lazarus. Her words are often read as a criticism of Jesus, but they are actually an expression of faith. With everyone crying, Jesus himself gets choked up. Obviously, some of the people read this as a sign of Jesus' frustration and wonder why he couldn't have kept Lazarus from dying.

eipousa (legw) aor. part. "after she said [this]" - [and] having said [this she departed]. The participle is adverbial, best taken as temporal, as NIV.

laqra/ adv. "aside" - [and called mary the sister of her] secretly. Adverb of manner; Spoke to here quietly on the side; "Privately", TEV.

eipousa (legw) aor. part. "she said" - having said. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "called"; "called .... and said."

parestin (pareimi) pres. "[the teacher] is here" - [the teacher] is present [and calls you]. "The teacher is here and is calling for you", ESV.


de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative - Mary's response to the news; "On hearing this ...."

ekeinh "-" - that woman. John's use again of a distant demonstrative pronoun for a personal pronoun, here referring to Mary; "and she (Mary), when she heard this news."

wJV "when [Mary heard this]" - when [she heard]. Here the conjunction is temporal, introducing a temporal clause, as NIV.

tacu adv. "[she got up] quickly" - [arose] quickly [and was coming toward him]. The accusative adjective, "quick" is used here as an adverb of manner, "quickly" = "without delay"; "she sprung to her feet", Phillips.


Schnackenburg suggests that Jesus stayed outside the village so that he could speak with Martha and Mary privately.

de "now" - but/and. Transitional, serving to introduce a further step in the narrative, here backgrounding indicated by the use of the pluperfect verb "to enter"; "now Jesus had not yet come into the village."

oupw adv. "[Jesus had] not yet [entered]" - [jesus had] not yet [come into the village]. Adverb of time introducing a temporal clause. Possibly "arrived at", TEV. Jesus is obviously stalled on the outskirts of the village, or moving very slowly toward it.

all (alla) "but" - but. Strong adversative in a counterpoint construction; "not yet come into the village, but was still in the place ....

e[ti adv. "still" - [he was] still. Temporal adverb.

en + dat. "at [the place]" - in [the place]. Local, expressing space.

o{pou "where" - where. Locative conjunction, expressing position.

autw/ dat. pro. "[had met] him" - [martha met] him. Dative of direct object after the uJpo prefix verb "to meet up with."


The mourners assume Mary is making a move to the grave and so follow her. This brings "the Jews" in on the miracle, although the sign is not for them - this sign is not for unbelievers, but believers. "The Jews" have had their messianic signs and rejected them - the messianic debates are over. All this sign does is prompt a murderous reaction from "the Jews" (unbelieving Israel). Still, some of "the Jews" do believe, v45.

oun "-" - therefore. Best viewed here as transitional and so left untranslated.

idonteV (eidon) aor. part. "when [the Jews] ...... noticed" - [the jews, the ones being in the house and comforting here] having seen. The participle is adverbial, best treated as a temporal clause, as NIV.

oiJ onteV (eimi) pres. part. "who had been" - the ones being. The participle serves as an adjective, attributive, limiting "Jews", as NIV.

met (meta) + gen. "with [Mary]" - with [her]. Expressing association / accompaniment.

paramuqoumenoi (paramuqew) pres. part. "comforting" - comforting, consoling. The participle could be viewed as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner in which the Jews were "being with" Mary, "Condoling her", Phillips, "consoling her", ESV, but given the coordinative kai, the participle stands with oiJ onteV, "the ones being"; "the Jews who were with here in the house and who were consoling her."

oJti "-" - that [mary quickly rose up and went out]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what they "noticed"; "saw that she had risen quickly and gone away", Cassirer.

tacewV adv. "how quickly" - Modal adverb.

auth/ dat. pro. "[they followed] her" - [followed] her. Dative of direct object after the verb akoleuqew, "to follow after."

doxanteV (dokew) aor. part. "supposing" - having supposed, thought. The participle is adverbial, probably causal, introducing a causal clause; "because they imagined that ...." "As they imagined", Moffatt. A variant has "saying".

oJti "-" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what "the Jews" supposed; "in the belief that she was on her way to the tomb", Cassirer.

iJna + subj. "to [mourn there]" - [she is going to the tomb] that [she might weep there]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order that she might weep there", TH. Possibly "wail".


Mary uses exactly the same words as Martha, v21. On seeing Jesus, Mary prostrates herself before him, ie., does obeisance.

oun "-" - therefore. Transitional, "now", or just left untranslated, as NIV; "Now when Mary came ....", ESV.

wJV "when" - [mary] when [she came]. Introducing a temporal clause.

o{pou "where" - where [jesus was]. Locative use of the conjunction.

idousa (oJraw) aor. part. "and saw" - seeing [him she fell toward the feet of him]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb hlqen, "came ... and saw."

legousa (legw) pres. part. "and said" - saying [to him]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "fell", "fell at his feet and said", or adverbial, modal, "fell at his feet saying."

ei + imperf. ind. .... an + aor. ind. "if" - if as is not the case [you were here, then my brother would not have died]. Introducing a conditional clause 2nd. class / contrary-to-fact, where the proposed condition is assumed to be untrue


John tells us that Jesus was troubled by the sorrow expressed by Mary and "the Jews." For Jesus' emotion, John chooses the word enebrimhsato. Translations of the word are many and varied, but the majority align with Louw & Nida's classic definition of "an intense, strong feeling of concern", while avoiding their "often with the implication of indignation", as NIV; "When Jesus saw how she and the Jews who had come with here were wailing, he gave way to such distress of spirit as made his body tremble", Rieu; "terribly upset", CEV; "profoundly moved", Morris. Jesus could be shedding tears of frustration; no one has yet grasped in what sense he is the resurrection. Yet, both Barrett and Beasley-Murray argue for an angry edge to Jesus emotions. The word is often used to express deep feelings of anger, and anger may well be the emotion here as Jesus is confronted by Satan's trump card, namely, death.

oun "-" - therefore. Transitional, left untranslated, or inferential, establishing a logical connection, "so when Jesus saw her weeping."

wJV "when" - Here serving to introduce a temporal clause.

klaiousan (klaiw) pres. part. "[saw her] weeping" - [jesus saw her] weeping [and the jews having come with her] weeping. The participle serves as the complement of the accusative direct object "her", standing in a double accusative construction.

touV sunelqontaV (sunercomai) aor. part. "[the Jews] who had came along with" - [and the jews] having come with. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "Jews", as NIV.

auth/ dat. pro. "her" - her [weeping, he was deeply moved]. Dative of direct object after the sun prefix verb "to come together with."

tw/ pneumati (a atoV) dat. "in spirit" - in the/his spirit. The dative is local, as NIV. Identifying the seat of our emotions, so for us, "heart" would be a better word to use, "his heart was touched", TEV.

etaraxen (tarassw) aor. "troubled" - [and] troubled, disturbed [himself]. Used with the reflective pronoun, so literally "he troubled himself"; "he shuddered", Brown; "he was visibly distressed", Phillips.


teqeikate (tiqhmi) perf. "have you laid" - [and he said where] have you placed, put [him]. John has chosen the perfect tense to express an action in the past with continuing results; "Where have you buried him?" TEV.

ercou kai ide "come and see" - This construction is somewhat conditional; "if you come then you will see", see Novakovic.

legousin (legw) pres. "they replied" - they say. John has chosen the present tense (historic / narrative present) to indicate narrative transition, here, to a new speaker.

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - to him [lord, come and see]. Dative of indirect object.


We remain unsure whether these are tears of sorrow, frustration, or anger. Given the response of the onlookers in v36, sorrow may seem likely, but often John describes the response of "the Jews" as at least inadequate, if not downright perverse. So v36 could carry the comment, "If only you knew!" Their response in v37 is particularly perverse.

edakrusen (dakruw) "wept" - [jesus] shed tears. A hapax legomenon (once only use in the NT). Although the NIV etc. has "wept" for Mary and Jesus, Mary is "wailing", while Jesus is simply shedding a tear. "Jesus was choked up" [because real men don't cry!!!]


oun "Then [the Jews said]" - therefore [the jews were saying]. Here transitional / resumptive, also indicated by the use of the imperfect verb "to speak." "The people said to one another."

ide "see" - look, behold, pay attention. This interjection can introduce an imperatival clause, but a statement probably carries the sense better, "how dearly he must have loved him", REB.

pwV "how [he loved him]" - how [fond he was of him]! This interrogative adverb is obviously exclamatory here.


This response by "the Jews" is devoid of faith. Their response in v36 may be described as inadequate; their response here is downright perverse. The healing of the blind man (ch. 9) and Jesus' ongoing debate with the religious authorities, ended in him only just avoiding being stoned. Their comment regarding the healing of Lazarus is surely cynical. It is the raising of Lazarus that signs Jesus' death warrant.

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative to a counter view, "but ....."

ex (ek) + gen. "[some] of [them" - [some] of [them said]. Here serving instead of a partitive genitive.

ouk "[could] not" - [was] not [able this man]. This negation expects an answer in the affirmative.

oJ anoixaV (anoigw) aor. part. "he who opened" - the one having opened [the eyes of the blind man]. The participle serves as a substantive standing in apposition to ou|toV, "this / this man." Morris suggests that this is a sincere comment made by those who have interpreted Jesus' tears as a sign of frustration; contra above. "He gives sight to the blind. Why couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?" CEV.

poihsai (poiew) aor. inf. "have kept" - to do something. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "was [not] able"; "was not this man able ...... to do something for Lazarus that he also ("in turn", Harris) should not die."

iJna + subj. "[this man from dying]" - that [and = also this man should not die]. Here introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that", or consecutive expressing result, "so that / with the result that." The conjunction kai, "and", is adjunctive here, "also", but possibly ascensive, "even"; "stopped Lazarus dying too", Barclay.


v] Jesus visits the cemetery where Lazarus has been laid to rest and raises him from the dead, v38-44. Jesus now moves to the grave and asks for the cover-stone to be removed. Martha knows for sure that Lazarus is dead and makes the point that a four day old dead body will smell. Since it was commonly believed that the soul left the body after three days, Lazarus is now nothing more than a decomposing corpse. Jesus reminds Martha that he has just promised her that she would experience the powerful hand of God. Jesus now enacts this promise in his last and most amazing sign. First, he declares his assurance of the Father's cooperation in the sign. Then, in an aside, Jesus notes that such a declaration serves only to drive home the sign to the onlookers and so help them come to faith. He then summons Lazarus, who stumbles out of the grave in his grave cloths and with a towel wrapped around his head. In the face of this amazing sign, many believe, v45.

oun "-" - therefore. Transitional, as NIV; "Then Jesus, deeply moved again, ...", ESV,.

embrimwmenoV (embrimaomai) pres. mid. part. "[once more] deeply moved" - [again] being deeply moved. The participle is adverbial, best treated as causal, "because he was deeply moved." For the meaning of this verb see the introductory notes for v33. "Jesus was once more shaken with emotion as he reached the tomb", Rieu.

en + dat. "-" - in [himself]. Local, space, metaphorical. Note how "in himself" replaces "in the spirit", v33. "Within himself."

sphlaion (on) "a cave" - [comes to the tomb, but/and it was] a cave, den, hideout. Predicate nominative. The common shape of a grave was a vertical shaft, but it is unclear whether John intends this word to describe such a hole.

liqoV (oV) "stone" - [and] a stone. Nominative subject of the verb "to lie upon." Used to keep animals away from a corpse.

ep (epi) + dat. "across [the entrance]" - [was laying upon] upon = against, across [it]. Spacial. Typical repetition of a prepositional prefix, here epi for the verb epekeito, "to lie upon."


Luckily for Lazarus, the Jews did not mummify their dead; in mummification they throw away some of the less vital organs, eg., the brains!

arate (airw) aor. imp. "take away [the stone]" - [jesus says] lift [the stone]. Aorist implies immediacy, do it now.

autw/ dat. pro. "[said]" - [says] to him. Dative of indirect object.

Marqa "Martha" - Standing in apposition to the nominative subject "sister."

tou teteleuthkotoV (teleutaw) gen. perf. part. "[the sister] of the dead man" - [the sister] of the one having died [martha]. The participle serves as a substantive, while the genitive is adjectival, relational.

ozei (ozw) "there is a bad odour" - [lord, already] he stinks, smells. The usual anointing of the body would not cover the smell of decomposition. This observation serves to underline the fact that Lazarus had indeed died.

gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why it is assumed that the body will smell.

tetartaioV adj. "[he has been there] four days" - [it is] fourth. Predicate adjective asserting a fact about the subject, "he is a fourth day man", Morris. "It is already four days since he died", Cassirer.


In typical fashion, John does not repeat the previous promise made to those who believe, v25-26, but restates the nub of it. "You will see how powerful God is", TH, in that you will witness a sign that proclaims that those who believe are alive, raised already in Christ, and will never again die.

auth/ dat. pro. "[Jesus said]" - [jesus says] to her. Dative of indirect object.

ouk"[did I] not" - [did i] not. The negation expects an answer in the affirmative.

soi dat. pro. "[tell] you" - [say] to you. Dative of indirect object.

oJti "that" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus had said.

ean + subj. "if" - if [you believed]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd class, where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, .... then ...."

tou qeou (oV) gen. "[the glory] of God" - [you will see the glory] of god? The genitive may be classified as ablative, expressing source / origin, "the glory radiating from God" / verbal, subjective, "the glory which is radiated by God", even verbal, objective, "glorification of God, God glorified", so Novakovic, Harris. Of course, we may just classify the genitive as adjectival, possessive, identifying God's possession of a derivative characteristic, namely "glory". This miracle "constituted an occasion for God's glory to be revealed", Kostenberger; it is an event which "displays the glory of God", Carson, serves as "a manifestation of the glory of God", Barrett.


Before calling Lazarus from the grave, Jesus gives thanks to the Father for answering his prayer. The aorist verb akousaV, "you heard", indicates that we are dealing with a particular prayer, either past or present, that is unrecorded - the verb "expresses the absolute confidence of Jesus that his prayer will be granted", Barrett. The prayer would be for the raising of Lazarus. We may be dealing with a proleptic aorist where the prayer is still future, but the outcome is assured. Is the prayer, "Lazarus, come out"? Such language is typical of Jesus healings. Yet it seems more likely that Jesus is giving thanks for the realisation of guidance already received with respect to Lazarus, ie., the Father has revealed his will on the matter, Jesus has prayed for its fulfilment, and now he gives thanks that the Father has already heard his prayer - effective prayer is always based on the will of God. So, Jesus gives thanks prior to his faith-act so that "they may believe that you sent me."

oun "so" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection, as NIV.

hren touV ofqalmouV anw "[Jesus] looked up" - [they lifted the stone and jesus] lifted the eyes up [and said]. "Looked heavenward", "looked up toward heaven", CEV; a common attitude in prayer, cf. 17:1.

eucaristw (eucaristw) pres. "I thank" - [father] i thank. A continuous action of thanking.

soi dat. pro. "you" - Dative of direct object after the verb "to give thanks."

oJti "that" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why Jesus is giving thanks, namely, because the Father has heard him; "How thankful I am to you for listening to me", Cassirer.

mou gen. pro. "me" - [you heard] me. Genitive of direct object after the verb "to hear."


Moffatt has this verse in parenthesis. It functions as a comment on Jesus' thanksgiving and is therefore somewhat misleading if left as the continuation of direct speech from v41b, as NIV. At best, the verse is an aside - a personal interchange between Jesus and the Father which is channeled by John.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative, here to an aside.

egw pro. "I" - The personal pronoun is emphatic by use and position.

hdein (oida) pluperf. "I knew" - i had known. Used as an imperfect expressing a previous knowing. Jesus was well aware that the Father would act on / support his call for Lazarus to rise from the dead.

oJti "that" - that [always]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what Jesus is aware of.

mou gen. pro. "[hear] me" - [you hear] me. Genitive of direct object after to verb "to hear."

alla "but" - Adversative / contrastive, as NIV.

dia + acc. "[I said this] for the benefit of [the crowd / people]" - because of [the crowd]. Causal, but with the sense "on account of / for the sake of" = "for the benefit of."

ton periestwta (periisthmi) perf. part. "standing here" - having stood around. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "crowd"; "the crowd which had gathered."

iJna + subj. "that [they may believe]" - [i said the thanksgiving] that [they may believe]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that ..." Jesus gave thanks for the miracle before it was performed "so that / in order that" the people might "believe". Again note, the content of belief is defined.

oJti "that [you sent me]" - that [you sent me]. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing the content of the belief, namely, "that you sent me.", ie., that the crowd might know the source of the miraculous power active in raising Lazarus from the dead.


eipwn (legw) aor. part. "when he had said [this]" - [and these things] having said. The participle is adverbial, best taken as temporal, as NIV.

ekraugasen (kraugazw) "called" - shouted, cried out loudly. Probably serving to express a forceful command by Jesus.

fwnh/ (h) dat. "in a [loud] voice" - in a [great] voice [he cried out]. The dative may be viewed as instrumental, means, "by means of", or adverbial, modal, expressing manner, modifying "called", "with a loud voice." The preposition meta + acc. was beginning to replace this construction. "He cried out with a loud voice", ESV.

exw + gen. "[come] out" - [lazarus, here / come] outside. Adverb of place. A literal translation of the interjection "here" and the adverb "outside", works quite well, "Here! outside!"


The image of Lon Chaney doing his thing in the Mummy's Curse may be a disturbing memory for some! Anyway, Lazarus walks out / crawls out / climbs out of the tomb wrapped in typical Jewish burial attire.

oJ teqnhkwV (qnhskw) perf. part. "the dead man" - [came out] the one having died. The participle serves as a substantive, the perfect tense serving to underline a past circumstance with ongoing consequences, ie., Lazarus died and is dead [but now walks]. "The man who had died", ESV.

dedemenoV (dew) perf. part. "wrapped" - having been bound [the feet and the hands in sheets of cloth]. The participle is adjectival, predicative, asserting a fact about "the one having died"; "Out came the dead man bound hand and foot with cloth sheets, and his face covered with a small towel." The accusatives "hands" and "feet" are probably adverbial, reference / respect; "bound with respect to his feet and hands." "Bound" certainly reflects the common meaning of this verb, but the so called "with strips of linen" (a dative of means) is actually keiriaiV, "with sheets", even just "grave cloths." Possibly "covered" or "draped over" would be better. Note the typical cloth / towel covering the face. It is periededeto, "wrapped around" around the head. The prefix peri "around" makes this clear.

soudariw/ (oV) dat. "a cloth [around his face]" - [and the face of him having been bound around] in a small cloth. Again the dative is instrumental, expressing means, "by means of ..."

autoiV dat. pro. "[Jesus said] to them" - [jesus says] to them. Dative of indirect object.

uJpagein (uJpagw) pres. inf. "let him go" - [untie him and allow him] to go. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to allow."


John Introduction


Exegetical Commentaries


[Pumpkin Cottage]