John 11:1-3 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. And it was the Mary who anointed the L-rd with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. The sisters therefore sent to Him, saying, "L-rd, behold, he whom You love is sick."
Lazarus and his sisters were good friends of Yeshua’s.
John 11:4 When Yeshua (Jesus) heard that, He said, This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of G-d, that the Son of G-d might be glorified by it.
Yeshua’s words here reveal the real purpose behind Lazarus’ sickness; it was not death but that Yeshua might be glorified through his resurrection.
John 11:5-6 Now Yeshua (Jesus) loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was.
Yeshua, being G-d, knew that Lazarus would die. By not rushing to his side and waiting 2 more days there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Lazarus was dead. When Yeshua raised him from the dead no one would be able to say that Yeshua merely resuscitated him.
John 11:7-13 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?" Yeshua (Jesus) answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." Then His disciples said, "L-rd, if he sleeps he will get well." However, Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
The Brit Hadashah uses the term “sleeps” to refer to those who have died. This particularly refers to believers who will be raised to eternal life.
John 11:14-15 Then Yeshua (Jesus) said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless let us go to him.
Yeshua has to spell it out for them. L-A-Z-A-R-U-S I-S D-E-A-D. Lazarus’s resurrection would strengthen Yeshua’s disciple’s faith in Him as the Messiah and the Son of G-d.
John 11:16Then said Thomas, which is called the twin, to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him.
Thomas realized it could be dangerous following Yeshua. We all must consider the cost before following Him.
John 11:17 Then when Yeshua (Jesus) came, He found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
The term “tomb or grave” means a stone sepulcher. In Israel this type of grave was common. A cave or a rock area was hewn out, the floor inside leveled and graded to make a shallow decent. Shelves were cut out or constructed inside the area in order to bury additional family members. A rock, like a large round disk, was rolled in front of the entrance. There was a little gutter that the rock disk was rolled back and forth in.
Lazarus had already been in the tomb 4 days. The Jewish people did not embalm so Lazarus’ body would be decomposing.
John 11:18-21 Now Bethany was near to Jerusalem, about two miles away: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Yeshua (Jesus) was coming, went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha to Yeshua (Jesus), L-rd, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
Martha told Yeshua that Lazarus would not have died if He had been there. Martha is not rebuking Yeshua but shows her faith and trust in His healing powers.
John 11:22-28 But I know, that even now, whatsoever you will ask of G-d, G-d will give it to you. Jesus said to her, your brother shall rise again. Martha said to him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Yeshua (Jesus) said to her, “I AM” the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?
She said to Him, Yes, L-rd: I believe that you are the Messiah (Christ), the Son of G-d, which should come into the world.
Had Yeshua not been the Messiah but just a prophet or rabbi, He would have corrected her. Yeshua does not do this because she is correct in her statement.
John 11:28-34 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you." As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came to Him. Now Yeshua (Jesus) was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes to the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Yeshua was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, L-rd, if you had been here, my brother had not died. When Yeshua therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, where have you laid Him? They said to Him, L-rd, come and see.
According to Jewish oral tradition, the funeral custom indicated that even a poor family must hire at least two flute players and a professional wailing woman to mourn the dead. Lazarus’ family may have been well to do, as a large group seems to be present.
The Greek term “groaned” always suggests anger, outrage, or emotional indignation. Most likely Yeshua was angered at the emotional grief of the people because it revealed their unbelief in the resurrection and the temporary nature of death. The group was acting like pagans that had no hope. Grief is understandable, but this group was over reacting.