VERSES: John 11:1-46
MEMORY VERSE: John 11:35 "Jesus wept."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Ruth. Write "Ruth" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students to take home and memorize another book of the Old Testament.
PRAYER: Thank God for the families that we have, the ones who love us and whom we love.
SPECIAL SONG: Mary, Martha, And Lazarus (see May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 for the words and the tune to this song.) Easy song to learn. The young students love it!
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see Activity below); Bible map showing Bethany, Judea.
- We have learned about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus a few lessons ago (see February 2015 - Mary, Mary, and Lazarus on this blog). We know that these three people were brothers and sisters, they showed hospitality to Jesus when He traveled, and they were friends of Jesus. We don't really think of Jesus having friends on this earth, but He did. Not only did He have His disciples, but He also had Mary, Martha, and Lazarus as friends. The Bible says that Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus because they were His friends.
- The family lived in the small town of Bethany in Judea. Jesus had been to their house at least one time before, but perhaps more times. The brother's name was Lazarus and the two sisters' names were Mary and Martha.
- One day Lazarus got sick. We don't know how he was sick, just that he was very sick. The two sisters knew that Jesus could help Lazarus, so they sent word to him that His friend was very sick. When Jesus heard about Lazarus being sick, He said that Lazarus' sickness was not unto death, but for the glory of God and stayed in the same place He had been staying for two more days. After two days, Jesus told His disciples, "Let us go to Judea." Judea was where the Jews had been searching for Jesus, so they could kill Him by throwing stones at Him. Jesus' disciples found it hard to believe that Jesus would be going again to this same area, but Jesus said that their friend, Lazarus, was sleeping there and Jesus had to go and wake him up. Jesus' disciples did not understand that Jesus was talking about Lazarus dying; they thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was only sleeping. So, Jesus told them plainly that Lazarus had died. When Jesus and His disciples arrived in Bethany at Lazarus' house, they found that Lazarus had been dead four days and was already buried.
- The town of Bethany was only about a mile from Jerusalem and many of the Jews went to Mary and Martha to comfort them in their sadness. As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. When Jesus met Martha, she said that she knew if Jesus had been there that Lazarus would not have died. She also said that even right then, that whatever Jesus asked God, that God would give it to Him. Jesus told Martha that Lazarus would rise again, but Martha thought Jesus was talking about Lazarus rising on the Resurrection Day at the end of time. Jesus said that He was the resurrection and the life and then asked Martha if she believed that whoever lived and believed in Jesus would never die. Martha said the she believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. After she said that, she turned and went back to the house. Because there were so many Jews visiting them, Martha called her sister, Mary, secretly and told her that Jesus wanted to talk to her. As soon as Mary heard that, she got up quickly and went to meet Jesus where Martha had been talking to Him.
- When the Jews saw Mary get up quickly and leave the house, they followed her because they thought she was going to cry at Lazarus' grave. When Mary saw Jesus, she fell down at his feet and said that if Jesus had been there, then Lazarus would not have died. When Jesus saw Mary crying and that the Jews behind her were also crying over Lazarus, he groaned in the spirit and was troubled. Jesus asked where Lazarus had been buried. They told Jesus to come and see. That is when Jesus cried, too. Jesus was full of compassion. The Bible says that Jesus wept which means that He cried. The Jews then knew that Jesus loved his friend, Lazarus, but some of the Jews said that if Jesus could heal the eyes of a blind man, could He not He have helped Lazarus.
- Again, Jesus was very sad and groaned again as He arrived at the grave which was really a cave. Many used a cave as a grave back then. When Jesus saw the cave, He told them to take away the stone, but Martha said that it had been four days since Lazarus had died and after all that time, he would be stinking. Jesus told Martha that He had already told her that she should see the glory of God. When they took away the stone from the grave, Jesus prayed to God. When He had finished praying, Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"...and Lazarus came out of the grave!! He still had his grave clothes on his feet and hands and a napkin on his face. Jesus said to loosen him and let him go.
- Many of the Jews believed that day that Jesus was the Son of God, but, still, there were some who went straight to the Pharisees and told them everything that Jesus had done.
- The rest of the story: The chief priests and Pharisees created a council and said, "What shall we do because this man performs miracles?" They said that if they left Jesus alone, everyone would believe that He was the Son of God and then the Romans would come and take away everything. The high priest named Caiaphas said to the Jews, "Don't you know anything at all? Or that one man should die for the people? He was talking about Jesus dying for the people. After Caiaphas had prophesied about Jesus, the Jews wanted to kill Jesus and said that if anyone knew where Jesus was that they should tell them. Because of that, from that day forward, Jesus did not walk openly anymore in front of the Jews, but went out into a country near the wilderness with His disciples (John 11:47-57).
- When Jesus prayed to God before telling Lazarus to come forth was a good example of a public prayer.
- It is interesting that the people were the ones to benefit from the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead,; it was not for Jesus' benefit.
- Also notice, in John 11:27, Martha confessed Christ as the Son of God.
(NOTE: Make certain no time is wasted during class time. With a lengthy lesson and terrific activity, time is valuable. Bible teacher might want to practice making this activity before class time, so that everything works smoothly. Time may be controlled, perhaps, by the teacher preparing a few things in advance, such as drawing lines on cave, cutting lines for the looped paper to which Lazarus is attached, etc. This is a great lesson!)
Materials needed: 9" x 12" dark brown construction paper, 5" x 7" black construction paper, .5" x 8" strip of brown construction paper, 3" x 3" white construction paper, scraps of yellow, tan, white construction paper, two round fasteners, marker, crayons, scissors, glue, tape.
- Hand out dark brown paper. This is the cave .
- Fold 4" of brown paper on the right side of the paper towards the middle of the paper. .
- Draw lines on cave.
- Cut on lines.
- Draw one small 1" line about 2" from the mouth of the cave.
- Unfold brown paper.
- Draw another 1" line about 3" or 4" from the first 1" line.
- Cut on both lines. (Small students might need an extra helping hand.)
- Insert 5" x 8" brown strip of paper from outside to inside of cave, then back out the other side of paper..
- Secure strip with tape. Strip should be looped in the paper.
- Hand out yellow and tan scraps of paper.
- Draw and cut out Lazarus.
- Cut small piece of white paper for a a napkin on Lazarus' face.
- Fold top edge of napkin.
- Glue EDGE ONLY to Lazarus' face.
- Tape Lazarus to ring on the inside of the cave.
- Test Lazarus to see if he moves freely on the ring. Before Jesus says "Come Forth,"
- Lazarus should be inside the cave, unseen from the outside of the cave.
- Hand out black paper.
- Round corners of black paper. This is the stone.
- On the front of the stone, write "Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Grave".
- Write "John 11:1-46" somewhere on cave.
- Hand out one round fastener.
- Place stone on mouth of cave, overlapping at least 1/2".
- VERY carefully, make a hole in black paper and through the brown edge of the mouth of the cave.
- Insert round fastener.
- Open up fastener to secure.
- "Roll" the stone away from the mouth of the cave , making sure that Lazarus can be seen when Jesus calls him.
- Hand out 3" x 3" white paper.
- With scissors, round corners to make a circle.
- Write at the top of the circle, "COME FORTH, LAZARUS!"
- Place white circle behind left side of brown cave.
- VERY carefully, make a hole in brown paper and through blank area on the white paper.
- Insert other round fastener.
- Open up fastener to secure.
- Make sure the white circle can move freely, yet secured with fastener.
- Twist white circle, so words are not showing; Make stone "roll" in front of the mouth of the cave.; hide Lazarus inside cave. (See picture at the very top of this blog.)
- The way it works: Jesus tells the people to move the stone away ("Roll" stone away from the cave), Jesus says, "Come forth, Lazarus!" (turn white circle, so "Come forth, Lazarus!" can be seen); and then slide Lazarus out of the cave, so he can be seen as well.
- Some might think this activity might be a lot of trouble, but if the Bible teacher uses this activity, there will always be a "picture" of this story in the minds of all the students, never to be erased!