14 – Jesus Raises the Dead

John 11:17–27

Jesus is able to make dead people alive

17 Jesus arrived at Bethany. He discovered that they had buried Lazarus 4 days earlier. 18 Bethany was less than two miles (about three kilometres) from Jerusalem. 19 Many Jews had come there to visit Martha and Mary. They wanted to help Martha and Mary because their brother had died.

20 Martha heard the news that Jesus was coming. So, she went out to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house with the visitors. 21 Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now, I know that God will answer you. He will do whatever you ask him.’ 23 Jesus told her, ‘Your brother will rise, to become alive again.’ 24 Martha replied, ‘I know that he will rise, to become alive again, on the last day.’ 25 Jesus said to her, ‘I have authority over death. I raise dead people, and I give people true life. Anyone who believes in me will live. Even if that person dies, he will continue to live. 26 People who live because they believe in me will never die. Do you believe that?’ 27 Martha answered, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah. You are God's Son, the one that God promised to send into the world.’

John 11:17-27 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Did you Know?

  • Mary, Martha and Lazarus were good friends of Jesus.
  • Jesus often stayed with his friends in Bethany.
  • Many Jews believed that everyone would rise from the dead at the end of time and face God’s judgment.

The Meaning of the Story

Jesus’ friend Lazarus had died. His sister, Martha, was sad that Jesus had not been there. She knew he could have healed him. Jesus promised Martha that her brother would live again. Martha thought Jesus meant that Lazarus would rise on the last day, when everyone rises to meet God. But that is not what Jesus meant.

Jesus went to the tomb where Lazarus had been buried. He called out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out’. Immediately, Lazarus came alive again.

Our greatest fear is the fear of death. We all want to live forever. Jesus tells us, ‘I am the one who raises the dead to life’. Jesus gives life to the dead by his powerful word. The same word that casts out evil spirits, brings healing, stills a storm and makes food, brings the dead back to life.

Who is Jesus?

Martha called Jesus her ‘Lord’. Jesus rules everyone and everything. He is the Christ, the King in God’s kingdom. And he is God’s Son, who has come into the world.

Jesus raised Lazarus because he loved this family. He raised Lazarus to show he can make the dead alive again. All who trust him will live again.

Jesus is the man who has power over life and death.

Thinking about the Story

  1. Why do you think Jesus did not hurry to Bethany when he heard his friend was sick?
  2. What did Martha think Jesus meant when he told her Lazarus would live again?
  3. What did Jesus mean when he said that Lazarus would rise again?
  4. How does Jesus have the power to raise the dead?
  5. Do you believe that Jesus can give you life after death?