07 April 2014

Bible Study: Martha, Mary & Lazarus (John 11:1-44)

Getting started

What hymns and Bible passages would you like included at your funeral? Why these in particular?

Exploring God’s word

1    Read John 11:1-16. What is the state of affairs as the passage opens? How does Jesus respond to the sisters’ message? Why do you suppose he chose not to go and see Lazarus immediately?
2    Move on to verses 17 to 27. What had happened when Jesus arrived at Bethany? With what plea does Martha approach Jesus? What reply does Jesus give her in verse 23? How does Martha understand these words? What do you think Jesus meant by his answer?
3    What does Jesus reveal about himself in verses 25 and 26? How does this address Martha’s statement in verse 24? How does Martha’s declaration of faith compare with Jesus’ own words about himself? What do you think he wanted her to grasp?
4    Continue with John 11:28-44. How does Jesus react when he comes to Lazarus’ grave? What would you say was the cause of these tears? Compare Mary’s meeting with Jesus with that of Martha. What response does this prompt in him?
5    What does Jesus do as he stands at the entrance to Lazarus’ tomb? What does Martha have to say about this? What would you have done in these circumstances? What was the final outcome?

For further thought and action

What important lessons may we learn about Jesus—particularly about aspects of his divine and human nature—from this passage?

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