The “Book of Signs” ends after John 11, and so does the public ministry of Jesus. The man we have come to know so much about through the first 11 chapters of John is at a crossroads, and the only road He will take is the one He was planning on from the very beginning. Jesus finds Himself on the fast track to the Cross.
How Jesus’ story ends—on earth—though, is punctuated by the most important question He has been asking all along: Do you believe this? Because how we answer this question defines everything for us … for the rest of eternity. As “the disciple whom Jesus loved” has been communicating to us all along … Jesus is God, and He came into the world for one purpose, and one purpose only: To redeem and restore mankind to Himself, both now and forever more. This was His mission, and He chose to emphatically accept it.
However, like in everything Jesus does, He has a plan. And before reaching His final destination, He wanted to strengthen the faith of everyone who knew Him—including those who doubted.
So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. I knew that you always hear Me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent Me.’ (Jn. 11:41-42, ESV)
Moments later, not only did Lazarus come out of that tomb alive, but something else happened as well.
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what He did, believed in Him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. (Jn. 11:45-46, ESV)
And the inevitable result?
From that day on they made plans to put Him to death. Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews. (Jn. 11:53-54a, ESV)
Thus, Jesus had accomplished His mission … for now. What would come next would arrive in a rather swift climax, culminating in just one week with the result of what John has been pointing us to all along.
Here are some other takeaways from John 11:
- The raising of Lazarus from the dead is the last “sign” of the seven that John points us to in his Gospel account.
- Jesus stayed two more days after hearing that Lazarus was ill because He loved Martha and Mary. He wanted to strengthen their faith in Him. (Jn. 11:5-6)
- Jesus’ main purpose for raising Lazarus from the dead was never really about Lazarus at all. (Jn. 11:4, 14-15, 40, 42)
- Jesus accomplished exactly what He wanted to when He came to Bethany to perform His miracle. (Jn. 11:45-46)
- There are no coincidences when it comes to the Bible, including with everything that Jesus does during His earthly ministry.
- God’s timing is always perfect … even in death. But death is not the end for those who believe in Jesus.
- We have all the evidence we need to make a clear decision about who Jesus is, and what John wants us to see about Him. (Jn. 11:26)
- A.W. Tozer: “As God is exalted to the right place in our lives, a thousand problems are solved all at once.”
- Jesus is fully man and fully God. We see both aspects clearly in Jn. 11:28-37.
Now it is your turn. Write out and share with someone your biggest takeaways from Sunday’s sermon along with your own study of John 11.
Are there not 12 hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him. (Jn. 11:9-10, ESV)
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: