John 11:12 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. How desirous the disciples were that Christ should not go to Bethany where Lazarus was, Bethany being within two miles of Jerusalem, where the seat of our Saviour's enemies was. But our Lord, knowing his call to be clear, resolves to go; Nevertheless, says Christ, let us go unto him.
O love, stronger than death! the grave cannot separate betwixt Christ and his friends: other friends accompany us to the brink of the grave, and there they leave us to worms and dust; for death hath both horror and noisomeness to attend it: but for thee, O Saviour, the grave-stone, the earth, the coffin, are no bounders of thy dear respects.
Blessed be God, that neither life nor death can separate from the love of Christ: but even after death and burial he is graciously affected to those he loves. Christ has a gracious regard to the dust of his saints: though his holy ones see corruption, they not always lie under the power of corruption; their dead bodies are a part of the undoubted members of Christ's mystical body.
Blessed be God, the time is coming, when Christ shall knock at the door of his children's graves, and call them up out of their bed of dust, and they shall hear the voice of he Son of God, and live.
Observe, 2. The wise and holy design of Christ in delaying to go to Bethany till Lazarus was dead; namely, that he might at once raise Lazarus's dead body, and his disciples faith, confirming them in the belief, that he was the Son of God, and the true Messias.
But could the faith of the apostles want confirmation, who had seen so many miracle wrought by our Saviour, and had lived under his minstry all the time of it?
Yes; the faith of the most eminent saint, even of the apostles themselves, want confirmation in this state of weakness and imperfection, and is capable of growth. I am glad for your sakes, that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe.
Observe, 3. The great passion which Thomas expresses upon the notice given by Christ of Lazarus's death: plainly, Lazarus is dead, says Christ; Let us go, and die with him, says Thomas.
Oh what passionate and impatient expressions do sometimes drop from our mouths, on occasion of the death of our dear relations! we are ready to be so affected with the death of our friends, as to wish ourselves out of the world, that we might be with them. But we must remember, that it is God that appoints us our several posts, and particular stations, which we must keep, till the wisdom of God sees fit to remove us.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.