1. Listeners at Lazarus’ home for Jesus
(DA, Ch. 58, Matt 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Our Saviour appreciated a quiet home and interested listeners…Mary was storing her mind with the precious words falling from the Saviour’s lips, words that were more precious than earth’s most costly jewels…But let them first sit with Mary at the feet of Jesus” (DA, p. 524, 525).
Ingraham J. H (1809-1860): “But so that Jesus could find listeners to His words of truth and wisdom, like Mary who loved to sit at His feet and hear the golden language fall from His sacred lips – He thought not of meats or drinks” (The Prince of the House of David, p. 266, 1855)
2. In Him was life (DA, Ch. 58, John 1: 4)
Ellen White (1827-1915) “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underieved” (DA, p. 530, 1898).
Ellen White: “In Him was life, – original, unborrowed” (2 MR, Feb 9, 1896; The Upward Look, p. 54).
Ellen White: “In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived” (1SM, p. 296, 1958).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “In him was life, – that is, original, unborrowed, underieved” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament: St. John, p. 5, 1856)
3. Foxes have holes (DA, Ch. 58, Matt 8: 20)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “The Saviour had no home of His own. He was dependent on the hospitality of his friends and disciples” (DA, p. 524)
Jamieson (1802-1880): “But the Son of man has to depend on the hospitality of others” (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, 1871).
Albert Barnes (1798-1870): “He had no home. He chose to be dependent on the charity of the few friends that He drew about Him” (Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible, 1834).
4. Raising of Lazarus from the dead (DA, Ch. 58, John 11: 6, 39)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Martha objected; saying that the body had been buried for four days…This statement made before the raising of Lazarus left no room for Christ’s enemies to say that a deception had been practiced” (DA, p. 534).
Albert Barnes (1798-1870): “He did not hasten to Judea, but remained two days longer where He was, that there might not be possibility of doubt that he was dead, so that when He came he had been dead for four days… This proves that there could be no deception, for it could not have been a case of suspended animation. All these circumstances are mentioned to show that there was no imposture” (Barnes’ Notes on the Whole bible, 1834).
5. Jesus did not at once enter the home of Martha (DA, Ch. 58, John11: 29-30)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Christ did not at once enter the house, but remained in a quiet place by the wayside. The great outward display observed by the Jews at the death of friends or relatives was not in harmony with the spirit of Christ….Among the mourners were relatives of the family, some of whom held high positions of responsibility in Jerusalem. Among these were some of Christ’s bitterest enemies. Christ knew their purposes, and therefore He did not at once make Himself known” (DA, p. 529).
Constant Fouard (1837-1903): “He halted at the outside of the village, for though the company had dispersed after the funeral repast of the third day, there were many friends still lingering beside the two sisters. Jesus knew that these personages were powerful in Jerusalem, bounded by many ties to the Sanhedrin and sharing its errors; therefore He desired not to excite their attention…” (Christ The Son of God, Vol. II, p. 124, 1890).
6. Jesus sends message to the sisters of His arrival (DA, Ch. 58, John 11: 20)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Upon reaching the town He sent a messenger to the sisters with the tidings of His arrival” (DA, p. 529).
John Gill (1697-1771): “Then Martha, as soon as heard that Jesus was coming….Which she might hear of, either by a message sent by Christ to her to acquaint her of it; or rather by some of the people of the town, who knew Him, and ran told her of it;…” (John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole bible, 1748).
Daniel March (1816-1909): “He stops in a quiet place by the roadside….while one of his company goes up into the town to tell the afflicted sisters where the Master may be found” (Walks and Homes of Jesus, p. 257, 1866).
7. Hired mourners at Martha’s home (DA, Ch. 58, John 11: 19)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “He heard the sound of wailing from the hired mourners…” (DA, p. 529).
F. W. Farrar (1831-1903): “…the utter futility at such a moment of human consolation, the shrill commingling of hired and stimulated lamentations with all the genuine anguish….the whole scene – its genuine sorrows, the hired mourners….” (The Life of Christ, Vol. 2, pp. 168, 169, 170, 1874).
8. Raising Lazarus from the dead was the crowning miracle (DA, Ch. 58)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “This crowning miracle, the raising of Lazarus, was to set the seal of god on His work and on His work and on His claim to divinity” (DA, p. 529).
Johann Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752): “The raising up of Lazarus is the crowning triumph of Christ’s miracles” (Johann Albrecht Bengel’s Gnomon of the New Testament: John 12, 1736).
William Hanna (1808-1882): “… in raising Lazarus, to perform the great, crowning miracle of his ministry” (The Life of Christ, p. 450. 1863).
William Hanna (1808-1882): “But the crowning lesson of the great miracle is mingled with the exhibition that it makes of the humanity and divinity of our Lord” (The Life of Christ, p.462, 1863).
9. Why Jesus wept – 1 (DA, Ch. 58)
Some of the mourners would plot for His death
Ellen White (1827-1915): “But it was not only because of His human sympathy with Mary and Martha that Jesus wept. In His tears there was a sorrow as high above human sorrow as the heavens are higher than the earth. Christ did not weep for Lazarus; for He was about to call him from the grave. He wept because many of those now mourning for Lazarus would soon plan the death of Him who was the resurrection and the life” (DA, p. 533).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “Jesus, we read, “wept;” but these were not tears over a loss of a buried friend, for He, at least, knew well, that in a few brief moments, that friend would be restored at His side. Among the varied causes of these tears of Jesus, doubtless not the least, was the worlds persistent unbelief of His spirit, was His bitter piteous lament over the impenitence and obduracy of a race of dying sinners; some of whom were there standing close by, (despite of the gigantic miracle transacted before them) to go and plot for His murder” (Memories of Olivet, pp. 125, 126, 1868).
10. Why Jesus wept – 2 (DA, Ch. 58)
The terrible consequences of transgression of God’s law
Ellen White (1827-1915): “It was not only because of the scene before Him that Christ wept. The weight of the grief of ages was upon Him. He saw the terrible effects of the transgression of God’s law. He saw that in the history of the world, beginning with the death of Abel…Looking down the years to come…His heart was pierced with the pain of the human family of all ages and in all lands…” (DA, p. 534).
Ellen White: “For more than a thousand years the Jewish nation had abused God’s mercy and invited His judgments. They had rejected His warnings and slain His prophets” (DA, p. 584)
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “Jesus, at that moment, scanned these ages of foul ingratitude- hollow formalism… national apostasy: His prophets slain – His servants beaten – His vineyards trodden under foot,… That thousand years had been loading the cloud of vengeance and now, as He saw it about to burst, the tears streamed from his eyes” (Memories of Olivet, p. 187, 1868).
Henry Kollock (1778-1819): “Looking down through successive ages, he beheld the much-beloved Jerusalem, to which the gospel of salvation had in vain been offered, filling up the measure of its crimes, reduced to ruin by the Roman armies, and its faithless inhabitants consigned to everlasting wo. He beheld those numbers who in every age neglect his grace; those miserable men who in our days trample upon the blood of atonement… He beheld the countless multitude of open sinners… He beheld all these transgressors already standing at his bar, already condemned, already sinking in the devouring flames, already exposed… already weighed down by the terrible indignation of the Lord Almighty” (Sermons on Various Subjects in Four Volumes, pp. 335, 336, 1822).
11. Christ invites human co-operation (DA, Ch. 58)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Take ye away the stone.” Christ could have commanded the stone to remove, and it would have obeyed His voice. He could have bidden the angels who were close by His side to do this. At His bidding, invisible hands would have removed the stone. But it was to be taken away by human hands. Thus Christ would show that humanity is to co-operate with divinity. What human power can do divine power is not summoned to do…. “Loose him, and let him go.” Again they are shown that the human worker is to co-operate with God. Humanity is to work for humanity” (DA, p. 535, 536).
Daniel March (1816-1909): “This mighty Son of God whose voice the dead in their graves shall all hear, stands at the door of the tomb…with the most intense and painful expectation, and he looks around for human help. His infinite and divine power will not perform the mighty miracle of raising the dead, until human hands have performed the common and trifling task of taking away the stone…He can summon legions of angels and they will come at his call. He can bid the mountains depart and the hills remove, and they will obey his word. But he stands at the tomb…and he says to those around him, “Take ye away the stone”. His divine power will not display itself in the mighty work of raising the dead, unless the feeble, the afflicted, and helpless shall perform their part and prepare the way… [He] looks around him for help of human hands to loose the bands with which the dead was bound…So evermore must the human and divine co-operate in the mighty work of delivering captive souls from the bands of spiritual death” (Walks and Homes of Jesus, pp. 277, 278, 286, 1866).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “He might have made Lazarus come forth at once in resurrection beauty from the tomb, and the stone itself roll away; but what human arm can do, omnipotence does not do” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament: John, p. 181, 1856).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “God does not supersede, but strengthen human effort, in its own providence” (ibid., p. 181).
12. Christ rebuked Martha (DA, Ch. 58)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Christ reproved Martha, but His words were spoken with utmost gentleness. “said I not unto thee, if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?”” (DA, p. 535).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “Jesus meekly and gently rebuked the unbelief of Martha, when he said, “Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?”” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament : John, p. 182, 1856).
13. Martha’s scepticism (Da, Ch. 58)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Natural impossibilities cannot prevent the work of the omnipotent One. skepticism and unbelief are not humility. Implicit belief in Christ’s word is true humility, true self-surrender” (DA, p. 535).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “Thus we find her interposing her scepticism, that confirms truth, by trying to prevent a great work that should manifest the greatness and power of Jesus…She thought she was humble, perhaps, in thinking so. We often think that scepticism or unbelief is humility; to disbelieve it is the very essence of infidelity, scepticism, and pride” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament : John, p. 182, 1856).
14. Jesus’s miracles were attributed to the power of Devil (DA, Ch. 58)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “They accused Him of performing miracles by the power of Satan” (DA, p. 536).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “They accused him of doing his miracles by the inspiration from beneath” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament: John, p. 183, 1856).
15. They took up stones (DA, Ch. 58)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Not long before this, Christ’s enemies had accused Him of blasphemy, and taken up stones to cast at Him because he claimed to be the Son of God” (DA, pp.536, 536).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “…he says, “Father, that is to say, in his power acknowledging himself the Son of God, …the very thing for which they took up stones to stone him” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament : John, p. 183, 1856).
16. Human co-operation with God (DA, Ch. 58)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Again they are shown that the human worker is to co-operate with God. Humanity is to work for humanity” (DA, p 536).
John Cumming (1807-1881): “Again we see that where human hands are sufficient, a divine hand does not interfere” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament : John, p. 184, 1856)
17. The counsel of Caiaphas (DA, Ch. 59)
Bible: “Caiaphas… said unto them… that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not” (John 11:49, 50).
Ellen White (1827-1915): “The Sanhedrin received the words of Caiaphas as the words of God” (DA, p. 541).
John Gill (1697-1771): “…but by being high priest that year; by his office he was the Oracle of God, and was so esteemed by the people” (John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, 1748)
18. Jesus ministered for three years (DA, Ch. 59)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Jesus had now given three years of public labour to the world. His example of self-denial and disinterested benevolence was before them. His life of purity, of suffering and devotion, was known to all. Yet this short period of three years was as long as the world could endure the presence of its Redeemer” (DA, p. 541).
Daniel March (1816-1909): “Thirty years of retirement, and three years of public ministry are all that the world will endure of its Messiah” (Walks and Homes of Jesus, p. 293, 1866).
19. Zacchaeus began to reform before Jesus met him (DA, Ch. 61)
Ellen white (1827-1915): “Only a few miles from Jericho, John the Baptist had preached at the Jordan, and Zacchaeus had heard of the call to repentance. The instruction to the publicans, “Exact no more than that which is appointed you” (Luke 3:13)… Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged… Already he had begun thus to retrace his steps… Before Zacchaeus had looked upon the face of Christ, he had begun the work that made him manifest as a true penitent. Before being accused by man, he had confessed his sin. He had yielded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and had begun to carry out the teaching of the words written for ancient Israel as well as for ourselves” (DA, pp. 553, 555).
Otts, J. M. P. (1838-1901): “Zaccheus stood up and said, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, … This was not a profession of what he was going to do for the future, but a declaration of what he had been doing in the past… His visit did not make him such [son of Abraham], but was made because he was such a man” (The Fifth gospel, p. 314, 1892).
20. Zacchaeus’ confession (DA, Ch. 61, Luke 19: 1-9)
Ellen white (1827-1915): “No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation” (DA, p. 555).
Ellen White: “Every converted soul will…give proof of his sincerity by making restitution” (DA, p. 566).
B.W. Johnson (1833 – 1894): “No repentance that does not lead to restitution is genuine” (People’s New Testament 1891).
21. Simon the leper (DA, Ch. 62, Matt 26: 6)
Ellen white (1827-1915): “Simon had been healed of leprosy, and it was that had drawn him to Jesus. He desired to show his gratitude and at Christ’s last visit to Bethany he made a feast for the Saviour and his disciples” (DA, p. 557).
Ellen White: “By curing Simon of leprosy, Christ saved him from a living death” (DA, p. 566).
Albert Barnes (1798-1870): It was unlawful to eat with persons that had leprosy; and it is more than probable, therefore, that Simon had been healed – perhaps by our Lord Himself. (Barnes’ Notes on the Whole bible, 1834)
Adam Clarke (1760-1832): “Some think that this very Simon was no inconsiderable debtor to our Lord, as having been mercifully cleansed from leprosy; for he is supposed to be the same Simon the leper” (Adam Clarke Commentary, Luke 7:41, 1831)
John Gill (1697-1771): “There were many lepers healed by Christ, which, among other things, was an evidence of his being the Messiah, and a proof of his deity, and this Simon was one of them…” (John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole bible, 1748).
- The two debtors (DA, Ch. 62, Luke 7: 40-43)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “By the two debtors of the parable, Simon and the woman were represented” (DA, p. 566).
Jamieson (1802-1880): “The two debtors are the woman and Simon” (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole bible, 1871)
23. Jesus rebuked Simon as Nathan with David (DA, Ch. 62)
Ellen white (1827-1915): “As did Nathan with David, Christ concealed His home thrust under the veil of a parable. He threw upon His host the burden of pronouncing sentence upon himself” (DA, p. 566).
Jamieson (1802-1880): “Like Nathan with David, our Lord concealed His home thrust under the veil of a parable, and makes His host himself pronounce upon the case” (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole bible: Luke 7, 1871).
J. W. Mc Garvey (1829-1911): “Like Nathan with David (2 Sam 12:1-7), Jesus had concealed Simon’s conduct under the vestments of a parable, and had thus led him to pronounce sentence against himself” (The Fourfold Gospel, Luke 7).
Cunningham Geikie (1824-1906): “Then, like Nathan with David, He proceeded to bring the parable home to conscience of His host” (The Life and Words of Christ, p. 125, 1879).
24. Degrees of guilt (DA, Ch. 62, Luke 7: 40-43)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “But Simon felt himself more righteous than Mary, and Jesus desired him to see how great his guilt really was. He would show him that his sin was greater than hers, as much greater as a debt of five hundred pence exceeds a debt of fifty pence” (DA, p. 567).
Ellen White: “Simon’s sin is shown to be ten -fold greater than that of the woman, as much greater as the debt of five hundred pence as greater than the debt of fifty pence” (Daughters of God, p. 238).
John Gill (1697-1771): “The Pharisee, whose debts, in his opinion, were few or none, at least ten times less than this woman’s” (John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, 1748)
Jamieson (1802-1880): “The criminality of the one was ten times that of the other” (Commentary Critical and Expository on the Whole bible, 1871).
J.W. Mc Garvey (1829-1911): “Simon was (in his own opinion), ten times better off than the woman” (The Fourfold Gospel).
25. Festive atmosphere in Jerusalem (DA, Ch. 63)
The triumphal entry (DA, Ch.63, Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11, 1-10; Luke 19:29-44)
Ellen White (1827-1915): “Many people were on their way to the city to keep the Passover, and these joined the multitude attending Jesus. All nature seemed to rejoice. The trees were clothed with verdure, and their blossoms shed a delicate fragrance on the air” (DA, p. 569).
Ingraham J. H (1809-1860): “I had never seen the olive groves, on the hill -side beyond the king’s gardens, so green, nor the harvest so yellow, as they undulated in the soft breeze…The lofty palms everywhere appeared to bend and wave their verdant fans with joyous motion… and Jerusalem itself seemed more beautiful than ever” (The Prince of the House of David, p. 237, 1855).
John Ross Mac Duff (1818-1895): “multitudes … were congregated within Jerusalem to keep the great national festival. Many of these attracted by the fame of the Prophet of galilee, and more especially by His crowning miracle in the resurrection of Lazarus, poured in an enthusiastic stream to Bethany… The crowd increased every moment by fresh levies from Jerusalem on the one side, and from Perea and Galilee on the other. The commingled streams have met” (Memories of Olivet, pp. 167, 168, 1868).