John 11:43
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(43) He cried with a loud voice.—Comp. John 5:25; John 5:28, and Notes there. These verses lead to the opinion that it was at the moment of the cry, and not before, as some have thought, that life returned. This is the only passage where the word rendered “cried” is used of our Lord. (Comp. Matthew 12:19.) It occurs again in this Gospel in John 12:13; John 18:40; John 19:6; John 19:12; John 19:15.

Lazarus, come forth.—He addresses him as we should address a friend whom we wished to arouse from sleep, by his name, the most familiar of all sounds, and marking his personality. (Comp. John 20:16.) Literally, the Greek means, Lazarus, Hither, out! and contains no verb. There is a fitness in them as addressed to one already lying in the sepulchre. Comp. “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise” (Luke 7:15), and “Maid, arise” (Luke 8:54).





John 11:43 - John 11:44

The series of our Lord’s miracles before the Passion, as recorded in this Gospel, is fitly closed with the raising of Lazarus. It crowns the whole, whether we regard the greatness of the fact, the manner of our Lord’s working, the minuteness and richness of the accompanying details, the revelation of our Lord’s heart, the consolations which it suggests to sorrowing spirits, or the immortal hopes which it kindles.

And besides all this, the miracle is of importance for the development of the Evangelist’s purpose, in that it makes the immediate occasion of the embittered hostility which finally precipitates the catastrophe of the Cross. Therefore the great length to which the narrative extends.

Of course it is impossible for us to attempt, even in the most cursory manner, to go over the whole. We must content ourselves with dealing with one or two of the salient points. And there are three things in this narrative which I think well worthy of our notice. There is the revelation of Christ as our Brother, by emotion and sorrow. There is the revelation of Christ as our Lord by His consciousness of divine power. There is the revelation of Christ as our Life by His mighty life-giving word. And to these three points I ask you to turn briefly.

I. First, then, we have here a revelation of Christ as our Brother, by emotion and sorrow.

This miracle stands alone in the whole majestic series of His mighty works by the fact that it is preceded by a storm of emotion, which shakes the frame of the Master, which He is represented by the Evangelist not so much as suppressing as fostering, and which diverges and parts itself into the two feelings expressed by His groans and by His tears. The word which is rendered in our version ‘He groaned in the spirit,’ and which is twice repeated in the narrative, is, according to the investigations of the most careful philological commentators, expressive not only of the outward sign of an emotion, but of the nature of it. And the nature of the emotion is not merely the grief and the sympathy which distilled in tears, but it is something deeper and other than that. The word contains in it at least a tinge of the passion of ‘indignation’ {as it is expressed in the margin of the Revised Version}. What caused the indignation? Cannot we fancy how there rose up, as in pale, spectral procession before His vision, the whole long series of human sorrows and losses, of which one was visible there before Him? He saw, in the one individual case, the whole genus. He saw the whole mass represented there, the ocean in the drop, and He looked beyond the fact and linked it with its cause. And as there rose before Him the reality of man’s desolation through sin, and the thought that all this misery, loss, pain, parting, death, was a contradiction of the divine purpose, and an interruption of God’s order, and that it had all been pulled down upon men’s desperate heads by their own evil and their own folly, there rose in His heart the anger which is part of the perfectness of humanity when it looks upon sorrow linked by adamantine chains with sin.

But the lightning of the wrath dissolved soon into the rain of pity and of sorrow, and, as we read, ‘Jesus wept.’ Looking upon the weeping Mary and the lamenting crowd, and Himself feeling the pain of the parting from the friend whom He loved, the tears, which are the confession of human nature that it is passing through an emotion too deep for words, came to His all-seeing eyes.

Oh! brethren, surely-surely in this manifestation, or call it better, this revelation of Christ the Lord, expressed in these two emotions-surely there are large and blessed lessons for us! On them I can only touch in the lightest manner. Here, for one thing, is the blessed sign and proof of His true brotherhood with us. This Evangelist, to whom it was given to tell the Church and the world more than any of the others had imparted to them of the divine uniqueness of the Master’s person, had also given to him in charge the corresponding and complementary message-to insist upon the reality and the verity of His manhood. His proclamation was ‘the Word was made flesh,’ and he had to dwell on both parts of that message, showing Him as the Word and showing Him as flesh. So he insists upon all the points which emerge in the course of his narrative that show the reality of Christ’s corporeal manhood.

He joins with the others, who had no such lofty proclamation entrusted to them, in telling us how He was ‘bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh,’ in that He hungered and thirsted and slept, and was wearied; how He was man, reasonable soul and human spirit, in that He grieved and rejoiced, and wondered and desired, and mourned and wept. And so we can look upon Him, and feel that this in very deed is One of ourselves, with a spirit participant of all human experiences, and a heart tremulously vibrating with every emotion that belongs to man.

Here we are also taught the sanction and the limits of sorrow. Christianity has nothing to do with the false Stoicism and the false religion which is partly pride and partly insincerity, that proclaims it wrong to weep when God smites. But just as clearly and distinctly as the story before us says to us, ‘Weep for yourselves and for the loved ones that are gone,’ so distinctly does it draw the limits within which sorrow is sacred and hallowing, and beyond which it is harmful and weakening. Set side by side the grief of these two poor weeping sisters, and the grief of the weeping Christ, and we get a large lesson. They could only repine that something else had not happened differently which would have made all different. ‘If Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.’ One of the two sits with folded arms in the house, letting her sorrow flow over her pained head. Martha is unable, by reason of her grief, to grasp the consolation that is held out to her; her sorrow has made the hopes of the future seem to her very dim and of small account, and she puts away ‘Thy brother shall rise again’ with almost an impatient sweep of her hand. ‘I know that he will rise in the resurrection at the last day. But oh! that is so far away, and what I want is present comfort.’ Thus oblivious of duty, murmuring with regard to the accidents which might have been different, and unfitted to grasp the hopes that fill the future, these two have been hurt by their grief, and have let it overflow its banks and lay waste the land. But this Christ in His sorrow checks His sorrow that He may do His work; in His sorrow is confident that the Father hears; in His sorrow thinks of the bystanders, and would bring comfort and cheer to them. A sorrow which makes us more conscious of communion with the Father who is always listening, which makes us more conscious of power to do that which He has put it into our hand to do, which makes us more tender in our sympathies with all that mourn, and swifter and readier for our work-such a sorrow is doing what God meant for us; and is a blessing in so thin a disguise that we can scarcely call it veiled at all.

And then, still further, there are here other lessons on which I cannot touch. Such, for instance, is the revelation in this emotion of the Master’s, of a personal love that takes individuals to His heart, and feels all the sweetness and the power of friendship. That personal love is open to every one of us, and into the grace and the tenderness of it we may all penetrate. ‘The disciple whom Jesus loved’ is the Evangelist who, without jealousy, is glad to tell us that the same loving Lord took into the same sanctuary of His pure heart, Mary and Martha, and her brother. That which was given to them was not taken from him, and they each possessed the whole of the Master’s love. So for every one of us that heart is wide open, and you and I, brethren, may contract such personal relations to the Master that we shall live with Christ as a man with his friend, and may feel that His heart is all ours.

So much for the lessons of the emotions whereby Christ is manifested to us as our Brother.

II. And now turn, in the next place, and that very briefly, to what lies side by side with this in the story, and at first sight may seem strangely contradictory of it, but in fact only completes the idea, viz. the majesties, calm consciousness of divine power by which He is revealed as our Lord.

At one step from the agitation and the storm of feeling there comes, ‘Take ye away the stone.’ And in answer to the lamentations of the sister are spoken the great and wonderful words, ‘Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?’ And He looks back there to the message that had been sent to the sisters in response to their unspoken hope that He would come, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby.’ And He shows us that from the first moment, with the spontaneousness which, as I have already remarked in previous sermons on these ‘signs,’ characterises all the miracles of John’s Gospel, ‘He Himself knew what He would do,’ and in the consciousness of His divine power had resolved that the dead Lazarus should be the occasion for the manifestation, the flashing out to the world, of the glory of God in the life-giving Son.

And then, in the same tone of majestic consciousness, there follows that thanksgiving prior to the miracle as for the accomplished miracle. ‘I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me, and I knew that Thou hearest Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me.’ The best commentary upon these words, the deepest and the fullest exposition of the large truths that lie in them concerning the co-operation of the Father and the Son, is to be found in the passage from the fifth chapter of this Gospel, wherein there is set forth, drawn with the firmest hand, the clearest lines of truth upon this great and profound subject. ‘The Son does nothing of Himself,’ but ‘whatsoever the Father doeth, that doeth the Son likewise.’ A consciousness of continual co-operation with the Almighty Father, a consciousness that His will continually coincides with the Father’s will, that unto Him there comes the power ever to do all that Omnipotence can do, and that though we may speak of a gift given and a power derived, the relation between the giving Father and the recipient Son is altogether different from, and other than the relation between, the man that asks and the God that bestows. Poor Martha said, ‘I know that even now, whatsoever Thou askest of God He will give Thee.’ She thought of Him as a good Man whose prayers had power with Heaven. But up into an altogether other region soars the consciousness expressed in these words as of a divine Son whose work is wholly parallel with the Father’s work, and of whom the two things that sound contradictory can both be said. His omnipotence is His own; His omnipotence is the Father’s: ‘As the Father hath life’ and therefore power in Himself, ‘so hath He given’-there is the one half of the paradox-’so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself’; there is the other. And unless you put them both together you do not think of Christ as Christ has taught us to think.

III. Lastly, we have here the revelation of Christ as our Life in His mighty, life-giving word.

The miracle, as I have said, stands high in the scale, not only by reason of what to us seems the greatness of the fact, though of course, properly speaking, in miracles there is no distinction as to the greatness of the fact, but also by reason of the manner of the working. The voice thrown into the cave reaches the ears of the sheeted dead: ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And then, in words which convey the profound impression of awfulness and solemnity which had been made upon the Evangelist, we have the picture of the man with the graveclothes wrapped about his limbs, stumbling forth; and loving hands are bidden to take away the napkin which covered his face. Perhaps the hand trembled as it was put forth, not knowing what awful sight the veil might cover.

With tenderest reticence, no word is spoken as to what followed. No hint escapes of the joy, no gleam of the experiences which the traveller brought back with him from that ‘bourne’ whence he had come. Surely some draught of Lethe must have been given him, that his spirit might be lulled into a wholesome forgetfulness, else life must have been a torment to him.

But be that as it may, what we have to notice is the fact here, and what it teaches us as a fact. Is it not a revelation of Jesus Christ as the absolute Lord of Life and Death, giving the one, putting back the other? Death has caught hold of his prey. ‘Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive delivered? Yea, the prey shall be taken from the mighty.’ His bare word is divinely operative. He says to that grisly shadow ‘Come!’ and he cometh; He says to him ‘Go!’ and he goeth. And as a shepherd will drive away the bear that has a lamb between his bloody fangs, and the brute retreats, snarling and growling, but dropping his prey, so at the Lord’s voice Lazarus comes back to life, and disappointed Death skulks away to the darkness.

The miracle shows Him as Lord of Death and Giver of Life. And it teaches another lesson, namely, the continuous persistency of the bond between Christ and His friend, unbroken and untouched by the superficial accident of life or death. Wheresoever Lazarus was he heard the voice, and wheresoever Lazarus was he knew the voice, and wheresoever Lazarus was he obeyed the voice. And so we are taught that the relationship between Christ our life, and all them that love and trust Him, is one on which the tooth of death that gnaws all other bonds in twain hath no power at all. Christ is the Life, and, therefore, Christ is the Resurrection, and the thing that we call death is but a film which spreads on the surface, but has no power to penetrate into the depths of the relationship between us and Him.

Such, in briefest words, are the lessons of the miracle as a fact, but before I close I must remind you that it is to be looked at not only as a fact, but as a prophecy and as a parable.

It is a prophecy in a modified sense, telling us at all events that He has the power to bid men back from the dust and darkness, and giving us the assurance which His own words convey to us yet more distinctly: ‘The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth.’ My brother! there be two resurrections in that one promise: the resurrection of Christ’s friends and the resurrection of Christ’s foes. And though to both His voice will be the awakening, some shall rise to joy and immortality and ‘some to shame and everlasting contempt.’ You will hear the voice; settle it for yourselves whether when He calls and thou answerest thou wilt say, ‘Lo! here am I,’ joyful to look upon Him; or whether thou wilt rise reluctant, and ‘call upon the rocks and the hills to cover thee, and to hide thee from the face of Him that sitteth upon the Throne.’

And this raising is a parable as well as a prophecy; for even as Christ was the life of this Lazarus, so, in a deeper and more real sense, and not in any shadowy, metaphorical, mystical sense, is Jesus Christ the life of every spirit that truly lives at all. We are ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ For separation from God is death in all regions, death for the body in its kind, death for the mind, for the soul, for the spirit in their kinds; and only they who receive Christ into their hearts do live. Every Christian man is a miracle. There has been a true coming into the human of the divine, a true supernatural work, the infusion into a dead soul of the God-life which is the Christ-life.

And you and I may have that life. What is the condition? ‘They that hear shall live.’ Do you hear? Do you welcome? Do you take that Christ into your hearts? Is He your Life, my brother?

It is possible to resist that voice, to stuff your ears so full of clay, and worldliness, and sin, and self-reliance as that it shall not echo in your hearts. ‘The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and they that hear shall live,’ and obtain to-day ‘a better resurrection’ than the resurrection of the body. If you do not hear that voice, then you will ‘remain in the congregation of the dead.’

11:33-46 Christ's tender sympathy with these afflicted friends, appeared by the troubles of his spirit. In all the afflictions of believers he is afflicted. His concern for them was shown by his kind inquiry after the remains of his deceased friend. Being found in fashion as a man, he acts in the way and manner of the sons of men. It was shown by his tears. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Tears of compassion resemble those of Christ. But Christ never approved that sensibility of which many are proud, while they weep at mere tales of distress, but are hardened to real woe. He sets us an example to withdraw from scenes of giddy mirth, that we may comfort the afflicted. And we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. It is a good step toward raising a soul to spiritual life, when the stone is taken away, when prejudices are removed, and got over, and way is made for the word to enter the heart. If we take Christ's word, and rely on his power and faithfulness, we shall see the glory of God, and be happy in the sight. Our Lord Jesus has taught us, by his own example, to call God Father, in prayer, and to draw nigh to him as children to a father, with humble reverence, yet with holy boldness. He openly made this address to God, with uplifted eyes and loud voice, that they might be convinced the Father had sent him as his beloved Son into the world. He could have raised Lazarus by the silent exertion of his power and will, and the unseen working of the Spirit of life; but he did it by a loud call. This was a figure of the gospel call, by which dead souls are brought out of the grave of sin: and of the sound of the archangel's trumpet at the last day, with which all that sleep in the dust shall be awakened, and summoned before the great tribunal. The grave of sin and this world, is no place for those whom Christ has quickened; they must come forth. Lazarus was thoroughly revived, and returned not only to life, but to health. The sinner cannot quicken his own soul, but he is to use the means of grace; the believer cannot sanctify himself, but he is to lay aside every weight and hinderance. We cannot convert our relatives and friends, but we should instruct, warn, and invite them.A loud voice - Greek, "A great voice." Syriac: "A high voice." This was distinctly asserting his power. He uttered a distinct, audible voice, that there might be no suspicion of charm or incantation. The ancient magicians and jugglers performed their wonders by whispering and muttering. See the notes at Isaiah 8:19. Jesus spake openly and audibly, and asserted thus his power. So, also, in the day of judgment he will call the dead with a great sound of a trumpet, Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

Lazarus, come forth! - Here we may remark:

1. That Jesus did this by his own power.

2. The power of raising the dead is the highest of which we can conceive. The ancient pagan declared it to be even beyond the power of God. It implies not merely giving life to the deceased body, but the power of entering the world of spirits, of recalling the departed soul, and of reuniting it with the body. He that could do this must be omniscient as well as omnipotent; and if Jesus did it by his own power, it proves that he was divine.

3. This is a striking illustration of the general resurrection. In the same manner Jesus will raise all the dead. This miracle shows that it is possible; shows the way in which it will be done by the voice of the Son of God; and demonstrates the certainty that he will do it. Oh how important it is that we be prepared for that moment when his voice shall be heard in our silent tombs, and he shall call us forth again to life!

43, 44. and when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice—On one other occasion only did He this—on the cross. His last utterance was a "loud cry" (Mt 27:50). "He shall not cry," said the prophet, nor, in His ministry, did He. What a sublime contrast is this "loud cry" to the magical "whisperings" and "mutterings" of which we read in Isa 8:19; 29:4 (as Grotius remarks)! It is second only to the grandeur of that voice which shall raise all the dead (Joh 5:28, 29; 1Th 4:16). When he had groaned in his spirit, and audibly given thanks to his Father for hearing of him, and testified that he did this, not because he ever had any doubt of his Father’s willing what he willed, but that the people might take notice of his favour and power with God, and that he was sent of him;

he cried with a loud voice; not whispering, nor, like wizards, peeping and muttering, Isaiah 8:19, but speaking aloud, so as all might hear, and understand, that what was done was done by his powerful word. He calls him by his name, he bids him come forth; they were not the words that raised Lazarus, but the mighty, quickening power of Christ, which attended these words.

And when he had thus spoken,.... To God his Father, in the presence and hearing of the people;

he cried with a loud voice; not on account of the dead, but for the sake of those around him, that all might hear and observe; and chiefly to show his majesty, power and authority, and that what he did was open and above board, and not done by any secret, superstitious, and magical whisper; and as an emblem of the voice and power of his Gospel in quickening dead sinners, and of the voice of the arcangel and trumpet of God, at the general resurrection;

Lazarus come forth; he calls him by his name, not only as being his friend, and known by him, but to distinguish him from any other corpse that might lie interred in the same cave; and he bids him come forth out of the cave, he being quickened and raised immediately by the power which went forth from Christ as soon as ever he lifted up his voice; which showed him to be truly and properly God, and to have an absolute dominion over death and the grave.

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
John 11:43-46. With a loud voice, He cried out; this was the vigorous medium through which He caused His miraculous power to operate.

The expression δεῦρο ἔξω (hither out! huc foras! without verb; comp. Hom. Od. θ. 192; Plat. Pol. iv. p. 445 D, v. p. 477; D. Stallb. ad Plat. Apol. p. 24 C) includes in itself the resurrection-call, but does not imply that the act of reawakening has been already performed (Origen). Nonnus correctly remarks: ἄπνοον ἐψύχωσε δέμας νεκυοσσόος ἠχώ. Jesus did not here call out ἐγείρου or ἐγέρθητι (as in the case of the daughter of Jairus, and of the son of the widow of Nain, Luke 8:54; Luke 7:15), because the words δεῦρο ἔξω seemed the most natural to employ in the case of a dead man already lying in the tomb.

δεδεμ. τ. μόδ. κ. τ. χεῖρ. κειρίαις] By Basil (θαύμαζε θαῦμα ἐν θαύματι), Chrysostom, Euth. Zigabenus, Augustine, Ruperti, Aretius, Lightfoot, Lampe, and several others, this is regarded as a new miracle, to which is reckoned, besides, even the covering up of the countenance. An arbitrary disfiguration of the fact to the point of introducing apocryphal elements. It is not necessary, with the purpose of escaping from this view, that the aor. ἐξῆλθε should be understood de conatu (Kuinoel); nor to assume that each limb was enwrapped by itself, as was the custom in Egypt (Olshausen, De Wette, B. Crusius, Maier); but the winding-sheet in which the corpse was wound from head to foot (Matthew 26:59), thus embracing the entire body (see Jahn, Arch. I. 2, p. 424), might, especially as it had to hold no spices (John 11:39), be slack and loose enough to render it possible, after it had been loosened by his movements, for the awakened man to come forth. He was not completely freed from the grave-clothes, till the command λύσατε αὐτόν had been given.

κειρία] Girdle, bandage; in the N. T. it occurs only here, but see Proverbs 7:16; Aristoph. Av. 817; Plut. Alc. 16.

καὶ ἡ ὄψις αὐτοῦ σουδ. περιεδ.] special mention is here added of the last part of the complete death-dress in which he issued forth from the tomb, not, however, in the participial form (Kühner, II. p. 423). His face was bound about with a napkin. On περιεδ. comp. Job 12:8; Plut. Mor. p. 825 E.

λέγει αὐτοῖς] to those who were present in general, as in John 11:39. Let him go away (comp. John 18:8). With strength so completely restored had he risen again. But any further excitement was now to be avoided.


On the history of the resurrection of Lazarus, which constitutes the culminating point of the miraculous activity of our Lord, we have to remark: (1) The assumption of a merely apparent death (Paulus, Gabler in his Journ. für auserl. theol. Lit. III. p. 235 ff.; Ammon, Leben Jesu, III. p. 128; Kern in the Tüb. Zeitschr. 1839, I. p. 182; Schweizer, p. 153 ff.) is decidedly opposed, both to the character of Jesus Himself, and to the style and purpose of the narrative, which is distinguished for its thoughtful tenderness, certainty, and truthfulness. (2) To reduce the account to a strange misunderstanding, according to which, either a conversation between Christ and the two sisters, on the occasion of the death of Lazarus, regarding the resurrection, led to the rise of the story of the miracle (Weisse, II. p. 260 ff.); or, the latter has been confounded with the account of the awakening of the (only apparently dead) youth of Nain,

Nain being an abridgment of the name Bethany, as Gfrörer, Heiligth. und Wahrh. p. 311 ff., thinks; as also to suppose that the Lazarus of the parable in Luke 16 has been converted, in the tradition prevailing at Ephesus, into a Lazarus raised from the dead by Jesus (Schenkel), is an arbitrary and violent procedure, simply incompatible with the genuineness of the Gospels. (3) The complete annihilation of the history into a myth (Strauss) is a consequence of presuppositions which, just in connection with so detailed and unique a narrative as this,[90] reach the very acme of boldness and arbitrariness, in order to demonstrate by misrepresentation of individual features the existence of internal improbabilities, and the want of external evidence for the credibility of the narrative. (4) The subjective theory of the occurrence, according to which it is said to be a form created[91] by the writer himself for the purpose of setting forth the idea of the ΔΌΞΑ of Christ (Baur, p. 191 ff.), which then first rightly yields itself to recognition, when it demonstrates itself in its death-denying power (comp. Keim, Gesch. J. I. p. 132), makes out of the miracle of the history a miracle which is the production of the second century, a creation of the idea in a time which bore within itself the conditions for productions of quite a different kind. That very artistic style of representation which, in the account of this last and greatest miracle, is most strikingly prominent, is only comprehensible from the personal, profound, and sympathizing recollection which had preserved and cherished, even in its finest traits, the truth and reality of the event with quite peculiar vivacity, fidelity, and inspiration. No narrative of the N. T. bears so completely the stamp of being the opposite of a later invention. But in none, again, was the glow of the hope of the Messianic fulfilment so immediately operative, in order to preserve and animate each feature of the reminiscence. This also in answer to Weizsäcker, p. 528, who leaves it undecided how far the allegorical moment of the narrative assumed by him—the setting forth, namely, of the doctrine that believers have everlasting life—is attached to actual facts. But in this way, with ideal assumptions, even the best attested history would fall into the dead condition of à priori doubt. And what an incredible height of art in the allegorical construction of history must we ascribe to the composer! Yet Holtzmann also (Judenth. u. Christenth. p. 657) appears to think only of an allegory (“living hieroglyph”). (5) It certainly appears surprising that the Synoptics are silent concerning the raising of Lazarus, since it was an event in itself so powerful to produce conviction,[92] and so influential in its operation on the last development of the life of Jesus. However, this is not inexplicable (Brückner), but is connected with the entire distinguishing peculiarity of John; and the argumentum e silentio employed against the latter must—the genuineness of the Gospel being granted—rather turn against the Synoptics if their silence were conceivable only as the consequence of their want of acquaintance with the history (Lücke, De Wette, Baur). But this silence is intelligible, not on the supposition of tender considerateness towards the family at Bethany (Epiphanius, Grotius, Wetstein on John 12:10, Herder, Schulthess, Olshausen, Baeumlein, Godet; so also with pictorial fancifulness, Lange, L. J. II. 2, p. 1133 f.), whereby—even setting aside the fact that Luke also wrote only a few years earlier than John, and not before the destruction of Jerusalem—there is suggested something that is altogether arbitrary,[93] and in unparalleled contradiction to the feeling and spirit of that early Christian time. Just as little is it to be explained from the fact that the deep and mysterious character of the history placed it in the class of what belonged to the special mission of that evangelist who had been in most confidential relations with Jesus (Hengstenberg),[94]—a view which is not to be adopted, for the reason that the synoptical raisings from the dead also are not less profound and mysterious, as lies, indeed, in the facts themselves. Rather is that silence of the Synoptics only comprehensible when we consider that the latter keep within a circle of their notices, so limited in extent that, before they open, with the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21 and parall.)—and thus with the so-called Passion-week—the scene of the last development, they have not introduced any part at all of the Lord’s ministry in the metropolis and its immediate neighbourhood; but up to that point confine themselves absolutely to the proceedings of Jesus in Galilee, and generally to those which took place at a remote distance from Jerusalem (the geographically nearest miraculous work is the healing of the blind men at Jericho, Matthew 20:29 ff.). This, as their Gospels actually prove, is the allotted province to which the older evangelistic historical writings confined their task and performance, and this task included the Galilean raisings from the dead, but excluded that of Lazarus. John, on the other hand, conversely, choosing from the different classes of miracles, selected one from the raisings from the dead, not a Galilean one, but that which lay beyond that older theatre of history, and was most closely connected with the last great period of the history. In this way he has hereby certainly supplied—as he has done in general by his notices from the Judaean ministry of the Lord—an essential defect of the older evangelical narrative. The acquaintance of the Synoptics, which is undoubtedly to be assumed, with the raising of Lazarus, makes their silence regarding it appear not inexcusable (Baur’s objection), but simply a consequence of that limitation which the older evangelistic historical writings had prescribed to themselves, so that the latter neither contain any mention of the stay of Jesus in Bethany at that time, nor of His subsequent sojourn in Ephraim, but make the Messianic entrance of Jesus to proceed from Jericho onwards, excluding any lodging in the family of Bethany; comp. on Matthew 21:1, note. (6) The fact that in the accusation and condemnation of Jesus no use was made of this miracle, neither against nor for Him (employed by Strauss, and especially by Weiss), cannot be evidence against its historical character, since the Jews were prudent enough to give a political colour to their accusation, and since the disciples could not appear in favour of Jesus, and He Himself would not enter upon a more minute defence of Himself; while Pilate, as judge, even if he had heard of the act, and had interested himself about it, yet was not warranted to introduce it into the examination, because it was not brought forward either as a confirmation or as a refutation of the charge. Moreover, had the evangelist set down this history only as an introduction to the entry which follows, etc. (Keim), he would have had least occasion to leave the further development without any reference to it. (7) The impossibility of an actual awakening from the dead is relative, not absolute (as Jesus’ own resurrection shows), and cannot yield a counter-proof à, priori, even setting aside the fact that the ἤδη ὌΖΕΙ rests on an inference only, however probable—where, as here, the worker is the bearer of the divine ζωή. He entirely ascribes the result to God; but this applies to all His miracles, which were indeed ἔργα τοῦ πατρός, and Christ was the Fulfiller through the power of God. Hence Schleiermacher’s proposal (L. J. p. 233) to put Christ—with the exception of the firm persuasion, that that which He prayed for is also done by God—outside the realm of miracle, erroneously puts aside the question. It is Christ who raised Lazarus, John 11:11, but therein also was to be seen an ἔργον ἐκ τοῦ τατρός, John 10:33.

[90] Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 484. “No narrative of this apostle is pervaded by so intense a glow and rapid liveliness of description as this, in which he undertakes to set forth, in one great picture, the trembling of Jesus for the life of His friend, the attendant struggle with the darkness of the world, and the calmness and joy of victory, prominent over all, and undisturbed from first to last; while these pierce in between the still higher tones of the consciousness of His Messianic glory and of its confirmation in power.”

[91] This self-creation is said to be, according to Baur, p. 247, an intensification of the (two) synoptical raisings from the dead (comp. Scholten): “the superlative to the lower degrees, on which the Synoptics remained stationary.” The name Lazarus is significantly taken from the parable, Luke 16. The substantial contents of the narrative are in ver. 25, and all else unsubstantial form.

[92] It is well known what Spinoza himself (according to Bayle, Dict.), is said to have confessed: “that could he have persuaded himself of the truth of the raising of Lazarus, he would have broken in pieces his whole system, and would have embraced without repugnance the ordinary faith of Christians.”

[93] It would have certainly sufficed, instead of passing over the entire history in silence, simply not to have mentioned the names, as in the case of Peter’s smiting with the sword. And is it supposed, then, that when the synoptists wrote (thirty years and more after the Lazarus incident), the resolution to put him to death, John 12:10, was still to be feared! Is it known that at so late a period Lazarus and his sisters were still alive?

[94] So also Philippi, der Eingang des Joh. Ev. 1866, p. 11 f. He thinks that Matthew related nothing of that which was reserved for John; that he knew that the latter also would write his Gospel. A classified distribution of the material of this kind is in itself very improbable when compared with the spirit of the apostolic time, even irrespective of the fact that the first Gospel, in its present form, cannot have proceeded from the hands of the apostle.

John 11:43. Having thus turned the faith of the bystanders to the Father, φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐκραύγασε, “He cried with a great voice,” “that all might hear its authoritativeness” (Euthymius). “Talis vox opposita est omni magico murmuri, quale incantatores in suis praestigiis adhibere solent.” Lampe. More probably, as Lampe also suggests, it was the natural utterance of His confidence, and of the authority He felt. κραυγάζω is an old word, see Plato, Rep., 607 B, but is principally used in late Greek (Rutherford’s New Phryn., 425).—Λάζαρε δεῦρο ἔξω. “Lazarus, come forth,” or as Weiss renders, “hier heraus,” “huc foras,” “hither, out”; but on the whole the E.V. is best. Sometimes an imperative is added to δεῦρο, as χώρει σὺ δεῦρο (Paley’s Com. Frag., p. 16).

43. cried] The Greek word (rare in N.T. except in this Gospel) is nowhere else used of Christ. It is elsewhere used of the shout of a multitude; John 12:13, John 18:40, John 19:6, (12), 15. Comp. Matthew 12:19; Acts 22:23. This loud cry was perhaps the result of strong emotion, or in order that the whole multitude might hear. It is natural to regard it as the direct means of the miracle, awakening the dead: though some would have it that ‘I thank Thee’ implies that Lazarus is already alive and needs only to be called forth.

John 11:43. Φωνῇ μεγάλῃ, with a loud voice) not as workers of enchantments, who mutter their incantations. All, who were present, heard the loud voice.—δεῦρο ἔξω, come out [forth]) Jesus recalled Lazarus out of the sepulchre, as easily as if Lazarus had been not only alive but even awake, John 11:11, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go to awake him out of sleep;” ch. John 12:17, “The people that was with him, when He called Lazarus out of his grave,” etc.

Verse 43. - And when he had thus spoken, he cried with loud voice. Ἐκραύγασε is used of the shout of a multitude (John 12:13, R.T.; John 18:40; 19:6, 15), and implies the loud, imperative command to Death to give up his prey, and relinquish the grasp which had, in answer to his prayer, been already relaxed. The loud voice keeps up the image that death is a deep sleep. The critical moment in Christ's own career has arrived, when, having pledged the rather to this manifestation of his own glory, he was prepared to take this final step, however perilous to himself; one which would finally demonstrate whether he was sent from God, or was merely boasting a power he did not possess (cf. Elijah and the priests of Baal, 1 Kings 18.). Observe the loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! or, (Hither, out!); or, Veni foras! (Origen, Chrysostom, Lampe, suggest that the awakening from death had already taken place. Meyer and Alford condemn this. It seems to me that this supposition. somewhat modified as above, throws light upon vers. 41, 42.) The words themselves are applicable to a grave from which the stone door had been removed. Weiss has made some admirable remarks on the use made by the Tübingen critics of this admission. In many cases in which such miracles took place the soul had obviously not left the body, but yet the entire surroundings here imply that, apart from miraculous energy, resuscitation was absolutely un-looked for. Even Strauss refuses utterly the trance hypothesis, and Renan has renounced the farcical drama that he thought at one time might account for the event and its record. John 11:43Come forth (δεῦρο ἔξω)

Literally, hither forth.

John 11:43 Interlinear
John 11:43 Parallel Texts

John 11:43 NIV
John 11:43 NLT
John 11:43 ESV
John 11:43 NASB
John 11:43 KJV

John 11:43 Bible Apps
John 11:43 Parallel
John 11:43 Biblia Paralela
John 11:43 Chinese Bible
John 11:43 French Bible
John 11:43 German Bible

Bible Hub

John 11:42
Top of Page
Top of Page