John 11 Lesson

Faith in Jesus


You may remember the story of a woman named Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil.   This story is written about in all four gospels (Mathew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:36-50, and John 12:1-8).   The Lazarus that Jesus raises from the dead is the brother of this woman.   They also have another sister named Martha.  

It is significant to realize the order in which these events take place.   First Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, and then Mary anoints Jesus’ feet to prepare Him for burial.   That is assuming that John wrote His gospel in chronological order.

It is helpful to be able to put the whole Bible into context.   Through today’s study of John 11, we know that when Mary comes to anoint Jesus’ feet, she had just witnessed Jesus raising Lazarus and had a strong faith that He was the Christ.  

John tells us that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were siblings and that Jesus loved them.   John writes:

  • Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.  Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” – John 11:21.


The Bible is full of stories about people whose faith made them whole. These stories of faith include:

  • Esther,
  • Daniel,
  • Noah,
  • Job,
  • And David and Goliath.

Here in John 11, the family of Lazarus suffers a hardship, the death of their brother Lazarus.   They turn to Jesus for help and believe that He can help them, even in death.  

Jesus, who knows all, knows how strong their faith is and brings Lazarus back from the dead.

Jesus loves us and wants to work in our lives, just like He worked in the lives of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.   If we turn to Jesus in our darkest times and believe that He can help, He will.  

That is worth repeating:

If we turn to Jesus in our darkest times and believe that He can help, He will.

As it says in The Gospel of Mark

  • “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.  Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” – Mark 11:23-24.

John 11 also contains the shortest passage in the Bible:


We have a Savior that can relate to our sorrows and our pain because He experienced these emotions for Himself.   If we put our faith in the world, we will end up lost.   If we put our faith in Jesus, He will save us from our sinful natures and lead us to the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation (Mathew 7:13-14).  The road may get difficult, and there will be pain and suffering along the way.  But if we place our faith in Jesus, and remain faithful until the end, we will be rewarded!

No matter what we are going through, and how big our problems may seem, if we put our faith in Jesus, He will save us. The Bible is full of examples of people whose faith led to divine intervention. When we are suffering, we must remember how important our faith is and turn to Jesus for relief.

Sometimes, the adversity that we are going through is part of God’s plan for us. God uses adversity for three reasons:

  1. To teach us,
  2. To discipline us,
  3. To reveal His power.

When we put our faith in God and Jesus, especially during a crisis, there is nothing that they cannot do to help us. That is why Jesus said:

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” - Mathew 21:21-22.

We will end today’s lesson with a reading from the book of Hebrews. If you want to read about “The Hall of Fame of Faith,” read all of Hebrews 11. The following is a small excerpt from that chapter:

  • “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.  By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:1-6.


Dan W

It certainly IS sad to see attitudes that caused Jesus to be mistreated and crucified!


Many have pondered why Jesus wept since being the Son of God He knew everything, including the spiritual state of Lazarus. Was He weeping at the lack of faith of Lazarus'; sisters and bystanders? Or did the tears of others evoke tears in the Savior? It seems that the latter choice might fit the context. Jesus was empathetic to those who suffered: "We don't have a high priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. . . " (Hebrews 4:15).

We know what it is like to cry at a funeral because the closest relatives are crying. Jesus was touched by our grief. He still is, as our faithful and merciful High Priest.


Thanks so much for your thoughts Brother. I had not thought of this scripture that way before. It's very thought provoking - in a good way!


Jesus wept because Lazarus, whom He loved, was dead. It showed the human side of Jesus. It's incredibly significant to us that Jesus had these feelings. On the one hand, He was deity and knew that He could raise Lazarus up. But on the other hand, He was being chased by the Jewish leaders to be put to death, He knew that the time for Him to fulfill His mission was quickly approaching, his friend was dead, and for just a moment, He wept and "let it out."

We should keep this scripture in mind when we are weeping and praying to God. Our Lord and Savior understands our hurt because He experienced the same emotions that we are going through.