|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:17-32 Here was a house where the fear of God was, and on which his blessing rested; yet it was made a house of mourning. Grace will keep sorrow from the heart, but not from the house. When God, by his grace and providence, is coming towards us in ways of mercy and comfort, we should, like Martha, go forth by faith, hope, and prayer, to meet him. When Martha went to meet Jesus, Mary sat still in the house; this temper formerly had been an advantage to her, when it put her at Christ's feet to hear his word; but in the day of affliction, the same temper disposed her to melancholy. It is our wisdom to watch against the temptations, and to make use of the advantages of our natural tempers. When we know not what in particular to ask or expect, let us refer ourselves to God; let him do as seemeth him good. To enlarge Martha's expectations, our Lord declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In every sense he is the Resurrection; the source, the substance, the first-fruits, the cause of it. The redeemed soul lives after death in happiness; and after the resurrection, both body and soul are kept from all evil for ever. When we have read or heard the word of Christ, about the great things of the other world, we should put it to ourselves, Do we believe this truth? The crosses and comforts of this present time would not make such a deep impression upon us as they do, if we believed the things of eternity as we ought. When Christ our Master comes, he calls for us. He comes in his word and ordinances, and calls us to them, calls us by them, calls us to himself. Those who, in a day of peace, set themselves at Christ's feet to be taught by him, may with comfort, in a day of trouble, cast themselves at his feet, to find favour with him.
Verse 30. - Now Jesus was not yet come into the village, but was still in that place where Martha met him. At no great distance from the grave or from the village. The Lord probably sought to comfort the sisters apart from the crowd. Thus say most commentators. This is not in the text. If it were his purpose, it was frustrated. Hengstenberg thinks our Lord did not object to the crowds witnessing the miracle, but if so, it would be without any arrangement on his part.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now Jesus was not yet come into the town,.... Of Bethany, but stayed without, being nearer to Lazarus's grave, which he intended to go to, in order to raise him to life, it being usual to bury the without the towns and cities; See Gill on Matthew 8:28, See Gill on Luke 7:12.
but was in that place where Martha met him; here he stopped, and here he continued: the Persic version reads, "but was sitting in the same place", &c. waiting for the coming of Mary along with Martha; judging this to be a more suitable place to converse together in, than their own house, which was thronged with Jews; and especially he chose it for the reason above given.
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