The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet 1511
John chapter 11

Now, don't be as ill informed as the folks in (John 11:36)! They believed Jesus was weeping because He was as mournful for Lazarus' death as they were! WRONG!

Jesus is about to perform the 7th miracle recorded in this Gospel of John, and perhaps the most impressive as flesh man would see it. He is going to literally raise a man who has DIED and lain in the grave 4 days! Yet within this miracle is a spiritual "sign" for those who know His voice, i.e. are familiar with His Word.

To understand it though, we must first go back to the early Levitical Priesthood and learn one of the most important lessons in God's Word. And that is what happens when "man's fire", fire not authorized from God, i.e. the Traditions of Men are brought before the altar of God, even into His sanctuary.

Aaron, the brother of Moses, and through whom the Levitical priest line descended, had four priestly sons, and here is the account of what happened when the two eldest decided to do things their own way:

Leviticus 10:1-2
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
All you really need know in order to understand what is happening here is the definition of "Nadab". In Strong's Concordance the number is #5070 and it means "liberal".

You see, the "fire" was supposed to be taken from brazen altar in the outer court, on which the atonement was made, for only those whose sins are atoned for can worship. But Nadab and Abihu brought in STRANGE FIRE before the LORD, i.e. they kindled THEIR OWN fire and brought it before God! Let's see how our Father likes liberal priests who bring in their own doctrines!

[2] And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
What do we learn from this event? NEVER teach or bring before God, i.e. to His house of worship, any "strange fire" [doctrine] other than from the Word of God, because if you do, just as the physical death of these two priests illustrates, in a PICTURE everyone can see, your soul will surely perish by fire, in the lake of fire. It is a very, very serious matter! So we should be very concerned about what our pastors teach, for their sakes and our own.

And so Eleazar, Lazarus in Greek, would become the high priest, replacing his father Aaron.

Numbers 20:25
Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor:

[26] And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.

In the last chapters we studied the conversations between Jesus and the corrupt priesthood which was now controlled by Judas goats and not sheep from His sheepfold, i.e. true Israelites. In fact, the one who claimed to be the High Priest, in the line of Eleazar [Lazarus], whose name was Caiaphas, which means depression and certainly describes the condition of that position, was appointed by the Roman Governor, not by God!

Now, do you remember what Jesus said back in John 2:19 regarding a "sign" and the Temple? John 2:19 "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then two verses later He said ..."He spake of the temple of his body." In other words, Jesus replaced the "physical temple" with Himself at the resurrection. The temple is therefore the body of Christ!

The physical, re-built stone temple, which was a sad sight for those who had seen the glory of Solomon's Temple, was missing the one most important element, GOD!

"Also said to have been missing in the second Temple was the "Ark", the "Urim and Thummin", the "Fire from Heaven", the "Divine Presence" or "Cloud of Glory" and the "spirit of prophecy" and "power of miracles." ("King Solomon's Temple", E. Raymond Capt, pg. 19)
So Jesus REPLACED the Temple in His resurrection, and He is going to REPLACE the Levitical priesthood in His resurrection ALSO, for it too was "deader" than a doorknob. (Make that a doorknob of the dead temple.) That is what this resurrection of Eleazar [Lazarus] is all about.

Just to document that the priesthood, the leaders of the temple were dead, here are Christ's words concerning them.

Matthew 23:27
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
And why are they dead? They have brought "Strange Fire" into the house of God, i.e. their own teachings which are the traditions of men. Here Jesus is again addressing these same "dead" men.
Matthew 15:9
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And Jesus WARNED His disciples about those teachings, the doctrines of the traditions of men, STRANGE FIRE!
Matthew 16:6
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Matthew 16:11
How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

[12] Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

And the problem is that today the Christian churches are FILLED with traditions of men, strange fire, brought about by the works of the scribes and perpetuated by the ignorance of the church leaders. Hope you can SEE how serious a matter this is.

Having now laid sufficient groundwork, let's begin the 11th chapter of the Gospel of John.

John 11:1
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
Note: Mary comes from the Greek word Maria #3137, or Maria-m in Hebrew. Mariam was the sister of Aaron.
[2] (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
We'll read about this anointing in chapter 12.
[3] Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
The priesthood was sick indeed and it would die and that dispensation would end. But Jesus would restore anew the priesthood in the resurrection, not Lazarus' resurrection, which is but symbolic to TEACH US, but HIS RESURRECTION! We'll get there. Hang tight!
[4] When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Don't let this verse throw you off track. Lazarus' sickness was not brought upon him to cause his death (for he will live) but for the glory of God, to SHOW the glory of God, to show even as a type that the Son of God might be glorified!

Remember we read in the last chapter (John 10:18) that Jesus said concerning His life, "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." We know He has all power over life and death. And yes, the raising of Lazarus from the dead will demonstrate this awesome power and give credentials and GLORY unto Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God. But as we just read, Lazarus was CHOSEN, even predestined from the world that then was (II Pet. 3:6), for this very special sign. Again, here is the deeper meaning:

Jesus is about to perform a miracle which will SHOW the "High Priest" of the Levitical Priesthood (Who is our High Priest? Who is the Lord of lords?), "represented" by Lazarus [Eleazar], COMING FORTH, out of the TOMB, i.e. resurrected, and LOOSED from the BONDS of death, and LIVE! And in doing so He defeats Death, one of Satan's names (Heb. 2:14).
Let's continue:
John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

[6]When He had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

The Greek for "abode" is tote men emeinen which means He purposely remained, because He wanted Lazarus to die!  We could do an entire study on this verse. But just know that God has a plan and although we will read how frustrating it was for Mary et. al. that Christ wasn't present to PREVENT Lazarus from dying, nevertheless "Thy Will Be Done!" Preventing Lazarus from dying is what Mary, and Martha, and as we will see, all the others present, wanted and thought Christ should have done!

How are you doing with your prayers? Do you think He should answer your prayers as YOU see it? And give the answer YOU want? I'm always reminded of Paul who ask the Lord three times to heal his eyes, and the Lord said NO, My grace is sufficient for thee! Do you think Paul didn't have faith? He sure did! But when you listen to these clowns on TV with their "strange fire" doctrines, they GUARANTEE, "If you have faith" (which means you'll send them money), God will hear and answer your prayer according to your request. My friends, it is a LIE, a strange fire indeed!

But know this: If you are one of His sheep, BELIEVE WHAT HE HAS SAID, HE KNOWS YOU, (I know my sheep, Jn. 10:14) and He knows your needs and wants. Nevertheless, "Thy Will Be Done"! Remember the impotent man who remained in that condition for 38 years? And the blind man who was born blind so that Jesus might give him sight for US to "See"? And did we not just read that Lazarus became "deathly ill", not to die, but to glorify God? There may well be a purpose and a destiny awaiting you, if you have eyes to see.Your faith lies in knowing that His answers will be done according to His purpose and His love for His children.

So what was your problem again?

[7]Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
This statement gets His disciples, who still see things [even their Lord Jesus] with flesh eyes, all excited and worried. They are concerned about being "bloodied up" in the flesh.
[8]His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
"What are you, nuts! Those Jews are there who were trying to stone you and kill you, and you want to go back there?"

I'm sure He smiled at them when He said:

[9]Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
Jesus was not the least bit worried about those stone age scribes and Pharisees. (Come to think of it, they were so blind they couldn't have hit Him anyway, even if He had stayed.) And we have already seen that none could touch Him until His HOUR. And He was fast approaching His 11th Hour when He would be placed in the tomb. But even though that leaves an hour, let's call it the final hour of temptation in this the final generation, He will be our Light even in that darkness, as long as we "Walk to Jerusalem With Him!"

But if one walks to Judea without Christ, then there is no Light, and they walk in darkness, and then "Uh oh", they will worship Satan, when he comes as the falsechrist!

[10] But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
[11]These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
His disciples didn't quite understand what Christ was talking about and so they wondered why He wanted to be Lazarus' alarm clock.
[12] Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
[13] Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
[14]Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
This phrase is said in the past tense and should read, "Lazarus has died". Got it? There will NO LONGER be a MAN who will be the HIGH PRIEST! That means NO HIGH PRIEST, NO POPE, NO CHURCH PRESIDENT, NO BISHOP, NO MAN!

From now on, and forever and ever, Jesus Christ is the High Priest! Period! No exceptions!

John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
Jesus knew that because of Lazarus' death and the fact that He was going to raise Him from the dead that their faith [belief] was about to be greatly increased.
[16]Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
Didymus means twin. So Thomas was a twin. And while we are reminded of "twins", we take notice that there was another set of twins present symbolically, even the two sisters Mary and Martha. Have you ever read of Aholah, the elder, and Aholibah her sister in Ezekiel 23:4?  "Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah."  They represent the House of Israel and the House of Judah.

Notice also that out of all the disciples it is old doubting Thomas here who shows a great willingness to go with Jesus, even though he has a tendency to look on the negative side of things, which would eventually open the door to momentary disbelief. But go he did! We should all be so willing to go, shouldn't we?

"OK", says Thomas, one of Christ's sheep, "If Jesus is going to Judea and get stoned to death, let's all go with Him though we get stoned to death too!"

Unfortunately, today many Christians aren't so willing. They place their hope in "Rapture Rockets" and "Escape to Petra in the Wilderness" doctrines to avoid getting bloodied in the flesh. Perhaps we can understand how scared people get when they walk in the dark because their eyes have been closed after listening to rogue shepherds who have soothsayed them and fed them bread cakes made with man's dung (Ezek. 4:12) and heated with "strange fire".

Walk to Jerusalem with Him, the Word of God, and you'll never have to worry, for you will always walk in the LIGHT!

Can you imagine what it must be like to witness a man rise up out of a grave and return to life after having died and lain in the grave for four days? Jesus' disciples and a large gathering are about to experience just such a sight! And wait until you see the phenomenal way in which the miracle itself is actually performed. Your eyes are going to pop out! (That's just a figure of speech.)

Anyway, when we left off, Jesus had just informed His disciples that their "friend" Lazarus had died, and then following some discussion of concern about getting stoned by the Jews, Jesus taught them [us] that as long as they [we] walk in the Light, i.e. with Him [The Word of God], it is safe to go to Judea where the stone throwing kenites dwell [and the false-christ will reign]. But Thomas said to his fellow disciples, "Let's go also, that we may die with Him." Oh well, he'll eventually understand! Christ wasn't about to get stoned. Not only was it not His hour, but He "ain't never" gonna get stoned, for He came to be the Lamb crucified, not the Lamb crushed by stones!

John 11:17
Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
It was taught among some of the pagan religions of that day that a person's spirit wandered about for 4 days seeking to re-enter the body which had died. But aside from that, after four days laying in the grave, bound from head to foot (vs. 44), there could be no doubt, nor was it ever disputed, that Lazarus was indeed dead, and his body was beginning to decompose and stink (vs. 39)!
[18] Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
Here's a note on the number "15" from the book "Biblical Mathematics". The emphasis is as it appears in the text.
"FIFTEEN is the number of REST. REST is the result of DELIVERANCE, or SALVATION. Three times in the year Israel RESTED on the FIFTEENTH day of the month." (Biblical Mathemathics, Ed. F. Vallowe, pg. 111)
And so it was that deliverance and salvation was nearby, even close at hand.
[19] And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
There would be a crowd witness Lazarus' resurrection back to life.
[20] Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
We could say some people go out to meet Jesus and some people just sit in their houses, but take notice how differently these two sisters conduct themselves under the same set of circumstances.
[21] Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
If you remember back in verse 3, Martha and her sister Mary had sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was deathly ill, and yet He purposely delayed His coming. So you can be sure this was on her mind when she said, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died".  But she went to Christ anyway and did not sit around the house sulking or stewing over it. She was a woman of faith.
John 11:22
But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Even so, she was glad He was now here, and expressed her faith in Him and although she was somewhat saddened that things didn't work out like she'd have liked them to, she trusted His decision. Of course Jesus knew what was going on in her mind and He consoled her and also taught her, and us, at the same time!
John 11:23
Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
She knew the teaching of Jesus concerning the resurrection but she had no idea what was about to happen.
[24] Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
The context of these next two verses emphasizes the point of what is about to take place.
John 11:25
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
The dead in Christ, those having died believing in Him, are alive, and they are with the I AM. In I Thes. 4:13 the apostle Paul again explains this. Notice that he also uses the word "sleep" for "dead". It just kind of helps express the fact that Christians don't really die, do they? Just their flesh bodies.
1 Thes. 4:13
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

[14]For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Jesus will bring those who sleep, also called the "dead in Christ", meaning they died believing in Him, with Him because that's where they are, with Him! Later in verse 16 when Paul says that the "dead in Christ" shall "rise" first, that word "rise" means to "appear" as in they will "appear" in their spiritual bodies before we the living are changed into ours, as Paul shows in I Cor. 15.

Christ now turns verse 25 around and says it this way to Martha:

John 11:26
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
The flesh body will die, but not the soul of the Christian. He gives them eternal life (Jn. 3:16) and they shall never perish.
[27] She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
She says she believes Him, but just wait until she sees her brother come forth out of the grave!
John 11:28
And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

[29] As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him.

Mary did come as soon as Jesus called her, but remember she did not go when she heard He was coming. Based on verse 31 which says that the Jews were with her in the house "comforting her", and when she left they said she's probably going to the grave to weep, i.e. to continue to weep, I suspect she was busy having a big "Pity Party".
[30] Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
[31] 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 goeth unto the grave to weep there.

[32] Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

See what I mean? She's probably crying her eyes out at His feet, because unlike her sister, this is all she says, or should we say "whines" about. We have already seen how Christ responded to Martha when she came to Him...

... Just wait, you'll see how the Messiah responds this time!

Here's the scene:

Lazarus has now been dead for four days and Jesus has come close to town where Martha came out to meet Him. Jesus told Martha that He was the Resurrection and the Life and anyone who believed in Him, though they were dead [which Lazarus was], yet shall live... hint, hint. She then told Jesus that she "believed" that He was the Messiah, the Son of God! Well, Martha then went back to the house and summoned her sister Mary who was busy feeling sorry for herself and wallowing in the consolation of the Jews mourning with her.

So Mary has now come out to meet Jesus and is now at the feet of the Living Word of God, sniveling and whining about how her brother's death could have been avoided had only Jesus come sooner!

Add to this whole depressing scene the entourage of weeping and wailing Jews, who had followed Mary, standing around with their long, sad faces, and then maybe you'll understand the next verse.

John 11:33
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
The word "groaned" in the Greek is embrimaomai which means "to snort as a horse does, from fear or anger; hence, to feel strong emotion, be indignant, &c." (see note in Companion Bible).

Jesus Christ was indeed indignant at the pitiful sight of such unbelief, not to mention the fact that "Death", not Life, is consuming the thoughts and minds of all those around Him, i.e. having victory over them, when the very Resurrection and the Life Himself is standing right there in the midst of them. Yes, it was very troubling to Him.

[34] And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Of course Jesus knew where Lazarus was but He wanted them to lead Him there, so that they would all be there, present as witnesses when He raised Lazarus! So they all went to the cave where Lazarus laid.
[35] Jesus wept.
Note for Bible Trivia fans: This is the shortest verse in the Bible.

Now, don't be as ill informed as the folks in the next verse (vs. 36)! They believed Jesus was weeping because He was as mournful for Lazarus' death as they were! WRONG! Why would He be sorrowful for Lazarus' death when He knew full well He was going to resurrect him? Did we not read that He was happy for His disciples that He wasn't there when Lazarus died, that He knew their faith would be increased by the miracles He was about to perform? Yes we did (vs. 15)!

Who then was Jesus weeping for? He was weeping for the unbelievers. How sad it is that we must endure this flesh age because of what "death" (Satan) has brought into this world. I speak of that one who is death:

Hebrews 2:14
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Jesus Christ came into this world to destroy death, i.e. Satan, and He shall have that victory over death even right here at the tomb of Lazarus!
John 11:36
Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
Of course He loved Lazarus, but as we have seen, that is not why He wept.
[37] And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
This will cause another "groan" by He who is saddened by the unbelief surrounding Him.
[38] Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

[39] Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

This is the same Martha who just told Jesus that she believed He was the Son of God! Hello! And she is QUESTIONING the Son of God's decision in instructing them to take away the stone! Well, that really stinks, doesn't it?. But Jesus is gentle with her and reminds her of her belief.

Note: We all, professing Christians, should reevaluate our own faith. Is it real? Do we need to speak with the Holy Spirit about it?

John 11:40
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
Without further argument they take away the stone.
[41] Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
The communication and agreement as to what was transpiring had already taken place between the Son and the Father. Jesus is thanking His Father out loud for the benefit of those unbelievers then, and even now.
[42] 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.

[43] And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

Do you remember when Jesus walked on the water and entered the ship with the disciples and they were all instantaneously transported to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, including the ship? Do you remember how Jesus just disappeared when the Pharisees tried to take Him? Well, read this next verse very carefully.
John 11:44
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
There is no way that Lazarus "walked out of that tomb"! He was bound from head to foot! Couldn't see anyway, for his face was covered!

"Do you mean he floated out of that cave?" Let there be no doubt Lazarus wasn't just hiding in the cave and came strolling out on queue from Jesus! Yes, he came forth by the POWER of the Holy Spirit of God! What an awesome sight that must have been!

[45] Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.
That ended the weeping and wailing! The Greek word for "seen" is theaomai and means "regarded with wonder". I guess too!
[46] But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
Ah, the little temple spies run back to the scribes and Pharisees, i.e. the kenites, and report what they saw! You can imagine that explanation: "Yeh, and then Jesus cried in a loud voice, 'Lazarus come forth', and Lazarus just floated out of the cave completely wrapped in burial cloth from head to foot. And He told them to loose the bindings and set him free and he returned to life. You should have seen the looks on everyone's faces!"
[47]Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
Uh oh, this means big trouble for those imposters who sit in the seat of Moses. They are not concerned about God or truth or love or anything silly like that! They worship money, power and ego. Remember who their father is? Hint, he was the first murderer (John 8:44).
John 11:48
If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
Yes, the Nethinim had worked so hard over the years to take over the rulership and temple of God, and they could lose it real quick if they let this Jesus continue to perform major miracles.
[49] And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
A little condescending are we, Caiaphas? Your name means "depression" and you certainly own up to it.
[50] Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
This is the third miracle in this chapter. Our Father causes this illegitimate high priest to actually prophecy about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
John 11:51
And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
"And this he spoke not of himself" means that God literally caused him to speak these words, a miracle indeed! Remember earlier, we learned that Jesus in performing this miracle was illustrating the resurrection of the office of the Levitical High Priest, Eleazar (Hebrew for Lazarus)? Well, immediately our Father shows that He took over that office by taking over the mouth of the "acting" High Priest and causing him to speak true words. I'm sure speaking the truth was a new experience for Caiaphas.
[52] And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
He prophesied that Jesus should die not just for Israel, including those scattered abroad, but for all of God's children, all the church of God.
[53] Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
Nice religious leaders, aren't they? One thing is for sure though! That last miracle, raising a man from the dead, really set them nuts.
[54] Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

[55] And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

Love those religious ceremonies! Just makes a person feel so holy and clean.

By the way, it will be at this Passover that the Lamb of God will be sacrificed.

[56] Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?
Will He or won't He, they wondered. He will not only be there, He will be it!
[57] Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.
Got to maintain that tight control, don't they?  Aren't you glad you have Jesus Christ as your High Priest and you don't have to submit to church hierarchies?

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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