John 11:25 - The Fifth I AM; Jesus is The Resurrection and The Life.
John 11:25 - The Fifth I AM; Jesus is The Resurrection and The
John 11:25 (NIV) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and
the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
One of the distinctives of the Gospel of John is its series of
"I am" sayings of Jesus. Their significance is underlined in 8:58,
in which Jesus announces that "before Abraham was born, I am!" His
hearers understood the implicit claim, for they knew full well that "I
am" is the Greek equivalent of YHWH, Yahweh, the revelatory and
personal name of God that vitalizes the Old Testament. What are the "I
am" statements in John, and how do they display the deity that Jesus
* "I am the bread of life" (6:35). Jesus is the One who sustains
physical and spiritual life.
* "I am the Light of the World" (8:12). Jesus is the source of
* "I am the Gate for the sheep" (10:7). Jesus provides access to
God and salvation.
* "I am the Good Shepherd" (10:11). Jesus lays down His life for
us, His sheep.
* "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25). Jesus is the
source and giver of life eternal.
* "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (14:6). Jesus alone
provides access to God the Father and all of the Father's good gifts to
* "I am" the true vine (15:1). Jesus is the source of spiritual
vitality. By remaining close to Him we are enabled to bring forth fruit
and so glorify God. [Victor Bible Background Commentary mod]
John 11:1-12:19 The Final Passover: The Ultimate Sign and the
Aftermath. The raising of Lazarus constitutes the final and ultimate
messianic "sign" of Jesus in this Gospel (see note on 2:11). This
spectacular miracle (recorded only by John) anticipates Jesus' own
resurrection and reveals Jesus as "the resurrection and the life" (11:25).
The raising of Lazarus also serves as a final event triggering the
Jewish leaders' resolve to have Jesus arrested and tried for blasphemy
(11:45-57). [ESV SB]
John 11:17-37 Jesus The Resurrection And The Life.
This is the fifth of Jesus' great "I am" revelations. [Bible
"I am the resurrection, and the life." This language can be used
only by the Deity. All created things live by the will and power of
God. They are dependent recipients of the life of the Son of God.
I am the resurrection: I am the author or the cause of the
resurrection. It so depends on my power and will, that it may be said that I
am the resurrection itself. This is a most expressive way of saying
that the whole doctrine of the resurrection came from him, and the
whole power to effect it was his. (Barnes' Notes)
Jesus' additional revelation (His fifth "I am" statement)
concerns His identity as the One who raises the dead, who guarantees that
those who believe in Him may die physically, but it will not last
forever (John 11:26). Physical death will be openly and finally defeated
at the future resurrection. The raising of Lazarus is a
foreshadowing of that great event (cf. 1 Cor. 15). [Believer's SB]
Martha's brother, Lazarus, had been in his tomb for four days
when Jesus arrived to speak these words. Why had Jesus waited so long
to come to the aid of His dear friend? The answer is clear: to
demonstrate in no uncertain terms that He is God. The One who gives life can
be none other than the One who "made from nothing the heavens and
the earth" (Genesis 1:1). [The 365 Daily Promise Bible By Barbour]
"If You had been here, my brother would not have died" The
words express faith, and perhaps reproach. Jesus should have been
there for His friend Lazarus. But He wasn't. And Lazarus died.
If we look back over our lives, we can all identify times
when God could have intervened for us, but did not. He could have
changed things. Yet for some reason we can't understand, He did not. At
such times it's likely that we too mix a measure of faith with a
measure of reproach.
Let's remember the rest of this story. Then let faith grow
and reproach go.
The Jews buried a corpse on the day of death, wrapping the
body in strips of cloth or in a sheet. They did, however, return to
the grave, to make sure the person was really dead and not in a
coma. Lazarus had been in his tomb four days (v. 17) when Jesus
arrived. When Lazarus responded to Jesus' call and came out from the
grave, there was not the shadow of doubt that Christ had recalled a
dead man to life. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
The words Martha blurted out put her in a category shared by
many modern Christians.
Jesus had just said, "Your brother will rise again" (v. 23).
And Martha said, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at
the last day" (v. 24).
But Jesus kept on probing. "I am the resurrection and the
life," He said. "Do you believe this?" (vv. 25-26)
You can almost see Martha nod in puzzlement. "'Yes, LORD,'
she told Him, 'I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God.'"
It was after this that Jesus went on down to the tomb where
Lazarus had laid for four days, and gave the dead man back his life. And
it is only in this event that we can understand the implications of
Jesus' conversation with Martha.
You see, Martha did believe. She was convinced that Jesus was
the Son of God. She was convinced that He could raise her brother--in
the resurrection of the last day. But Martha never stopped to think
that Jesus could also raise her brother then!
Like Martha, many modern Christians have a deep and abiding
faith in Jesus. They are sure He has won eternal life for them, and
believe in a resurrection which they will share. But, like Martha, many
modern Christians limit the power of Jesus to the future. They fail to
realize that Jesus brings life to the dead now.
He can take our dead hopes, and revive them. He can take our
dormant relationships, and revitalize them. He can transform the
spiritually indifferent, redirect the life of the sinner, and bring a
vibrant newness to every dead area within our lives.
Martha limited Jesus by expecting Him to act only in the
future. Jesus in raising Lazarus demonstrated that He is ready, willing,
and able to act in our now. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Mary and Martha had sent their friend Jesus a message about
the critical condition of their brother, Lazarus, and their urgent
need for his help; "Lord, the one you love is very sick" (John 11:3).
But instead of rushing off to Bethany, Jesus stayed where he was for
two days before responding to Mary and Martha's plea. When he did
arrive, he raised Lazarus from the dead in a magnificent display of his
Just as Mary and Martha struggled when Jesus answered their
prayers for Lazarus in a time and way different from what they had
expected, we get frustrated when the Lord delays in coming to us and
answering our prayers.
As it did for the grieving sisters, two days (or two months
or two years) of waiting can seem like an eternity to us. But in
the midst of the "delay," God is not inactive. He is teaching us
patience, perseverance, and faith and is planning to glorify himself in
our circumstances. While we are waiting, he wants to cleanse our
hearts and refocus us on Jesus. The Spirit always knows what will
glorify God, and we can trust him when we're in the waiting room.
LORD, help me to wait for you in hope and perseverance,
knowing that you will come. Remind me that your plan for Lazarus and his
sisters did not suffer because of your delay - the delay was part of
your plan so that your power would be demonstrated in an even greater
way. Grant me patience and faith in the waiting rooms of life yet to
be. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller re John 11:5-7]
Only God can restore life to something that has died. If you
find that your heart has grown cold to God, that the spiritual life
of your family or church has waned, call out to God to revive you,
for only He can give life. It is not your activity but your
relationship with God that brings life!
Spiritual fervor can ebb if left unattended. We all begin our
walk with the Lord enthusiastically, with an excited sense of
anticipation. But over time, busyness creeps in. We become distracted and let
our sin go unchallenged. We may take our relationship with God for
granted and not notice the gradual decline until we find ourselves
drained of spiritual vitality.
This descent can happen in your church just as it does in
your personal life. Do you remember a time when the Holy Spirit was
moving mightily in your church, and the members sensed God leading in
an exciting direction? Are the services now lifeless and the power
of God only a memory?
At a time like this it is futile to try to bring back life
yourself. You can organize many activities and exhort those around you,
but only God can resurrect what is dead. If God has initiated
something in your life, or family, or church, only He can sustain it or
revive it. If you sense that the spiritual vigor has gone out of your
life or the life of your church, this is God's invitation to pray. He
wants you to intercede with Him so that He might revive His work.
Jesus said that He is Life. It is unnecessary to remain spiritually
lifeless when He has promised vibrant, abundant life if you will claim
it. [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re
Jesus demonstrated that His resurrection power was not
limited to sometime in the future, but that His power to bring life
knows no limits. .... This event is a demonstration of Jesus' ability to
make His resurrection power available to His people--now!
It is one thing to believe that Jesus has the power to raise
us up on the last day. He does and He will. But it's something else
to realize that Jesus' power is unlimited now; that Jesus can bring
new life to the deadened areas of our own personalities; that
because of Jesus' power, we can risk taking actions that we might
otherwise never have the courage to take. We need never draw back from
anything God asks, for the unlimited power of new life is ours in Him.
[Victor Teacher's Commentary]
"If God is at work week by week raising men from the dead, there
will always be people coming to see how it is done. You cannot find
an empty church that has conversion for its leading feature. Do you
want to know how to fill empty chapels? Here is the answer: Get your
Lazarus." Samuel Chadwick, Methodist evangelist and educator (1860-1932)
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re John 11:25,
Tokichi Ishii had an almost unparalleled criminal record. He
had murdered men, women and children in the most brutal way. Anyone
who stood in his way was pitilessly eliminated. Now he was in prison
awaiting death. While in prison he was visited by two Canadian women who
tried to talk to him through the bars, but he only glowered at them
like a caged and savage animal. In the end they abandoned the
attempt; but they gave him a Bible, hoping that it might succeed where
they had failed. He began to read it, and, having started, could not
stop. He read on until he came to the story of the Crucifixion. He
came to the words: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they
do" and these words broke him. "I stopped," he said. "I was stabbed
to the heart, as if pierced by a five-inch nail. Shall I call it
the love of Christ? Shall I call it his compassion? I do not know
what to call it. I only know that I believed, and my hardness of
heart was changed." Later, when the condemned man went to the
scaffold, he was no longer the hardened, surly brute he once had been, but
a smiling radiant man. The murderer had been born again; Christ
had brought Tokichi Ishii to life.
It does not need to be so dramatic as that. A man can become
so selfish that he is dead to the needs of others. A man can become
so insensitive that he is dead to the feelings of others. A man can
become so involved in the petty dishonesties and the petty disloyalties
of life, that he is dead to honour. A man can become so hopeless
that he is filled with an inertia, which is spiritual death. Jesus
Christ can resurrect these men. The witness of history is that he has
resurrected millions and millions of people like them and his touch has not
lost its ancient power. [Barclay Commentary]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS TEXT:
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON EXPERIENCING GOD:
EXCELLENT BIBLE PROPHECY SERIES BY DR RON CLOUZET:
SPECIAL MUSICAL DEVOTIONAL ON CHRISTIAN LIVING:
[Be sure and listen to the first devotional thought about 2-3
minutes into the tape to get an idea of the blessings in this series.]