John 12:11
Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
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(11) Many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.—Better, were going away, and believing on Jesus. The tenses mark the continuance of the secession, and the two words mark the two acts by which on the one hand they were going away from the authority of the priests and, on the other hand, were believing on Jesus. (Comp. John 12:18.)

12:1-11 Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled with much serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, who when found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishly run too far another way; she still served, but within hearing of Christ's gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God's Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretence. We must not think that those do no acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigning love of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to be improved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likely to be the shortest. To consult to hinder the further effect of the miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness, malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by the desperate enmity of the human heart against God. They resolved that the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself.That they might put Lazarus also to death - When men are determined not to believe the gospel, there is no end to the crimes to which they are driven. Lazarus was alive, and the evidence of his resurrection was so clear that they could not resist it. They could neither deny it, nor prevent its effect on the people. As it was determined to kill Jesus, so they consulted about the propriety of removing Lazarus first, that the number of his followers might be lessened, and that the death of Jesus might make less commotion. Unbelief stops at no crime. Lazarus was innocent; they could bring no charge against him; but they deliberately plotted murder rather than believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. 9-11. Crowds of the Jerusalem Jews hastened to Bethany, not so much to see Jesus, whom they knew to be there, as to see dead Lazarus alive; and this, issuing in their accession to Christ, led to a plot against the life of Lazarus also, as the only means of arresting the triumphs of Jesus (see Joh 12:19)—to such a pitch had these chief priests come of diabolical determination to shut out the light from themselves, and quench it from the earth! Being raised from death to life, he possibly spake of it to the honour and glory of God; for this they consult to put him to death also; and their only reason was, because that many of the Jews believed on Jesus for his sake.

Because that by reason of him,.... Of the miracle which was wrought upon him, in raising him from the dead, of which he was a living and an abiding witness:

many of the Jews went away; not from Jerusalem only, but from the chief priests and Pharisees, and the rest of the Jews, that combined against Christ; they withdrew themselves from their party, and deserted them:

and believed on Jesus; as the Messiah; so that they found their interest was decreasing and weakening every day, and that those on the side of Christ were increasing; and this they could not bear, and therefore consulted to take away the life of Lazarus, as well as Jesus; who they imagined, as long as he lived, would be a means of inducing persons to believe in Jesus as the Messiah: whereas if he was dead, the fact would be forgotten, or be more easily denied.

Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
11. went away, and believed] Better, were going away and believing. It is best to leave ‘going away’ quite indefinite: the notion of falling away from the hierarchy lies in the context but not in the word. The imperfects denote a continual process.

S. Augustine comments on the folly of the priests—as if Christ could not raise Lazarus a second time! But this ignores the ‘also’: the hierarchy meant to put both to death. Their folly consisted in failing to see, not that He could raise Lazarus again, but that He could raise Himself (John 2:19). Note that it is the unscrupulous hierarchy, who attempt this crime. Comp. John 18:35, John 19:6; John 19:15; John 19:21.

John 12:11. [314]Ὑπῆγον, went away) to Bethany.

[314] δἰ αὐτόν, by reason of him) No one truly should shrink from encountering even death, provided that a large number might be brought over thereby, and won to faith in Christ.—V. g.

John 12:11Went away (ὑπῆγον)

Withdrew from their company.

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