The Gospel According to the Apostle John - Part 6

A Sheepfold

The Good Shepherd

As we continue to move through the book of John we come to chapter 10. The chapter begins with Jesus claiming to be the Good Shepherd and closes with Him claiming to be God. In Bible times, and even still today in many middle eastern towns, the sheepfold was a public place. At the end of the day of grazing the sheep, the sheep were brought to the sheepfold to spend the night.

The porter would watch over them through the night and in the morning the shepherd would identify himself to the porter who would release the sheep. Jesus says in verses one and two that it is the shepherd who enters in by the door. A thief, or robber come in some other way.

Jesus is making a statement concerning Israel. He is saying that He entered the nation legally through the door. He came in by the door through fulfilled prophecy. He came in under the law (Galatians 4:4). He came through the line of David (Luke 1:32). He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). No one else carried His credentials. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary describes credentials this way. “CREDENTIALS, n. plu. [Rarely or never used in the singular.] That which gives credit; that which gives a title or claim to confidence; the warrant on which belief, credit or authority is claimed, among strangers; as the letters of commendation and power given by a government to an ambassador or envoy, which give him credit at a foreign court." So the power of working miracles given to the apostles may be considered as their credentials, authorizing them to propagate the gospel, and entitling them to credit.” Jesus was proclaiming Himself to be the Shepherd of Israel, but also the God of Israel.

Verses 10 and 11, “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”

First of all notice that Jesus puts forth His own sheep. Those not of His fold will not be led by Him. They have “another” shepherd. The shepherd would take his sheep to the sheepfold at the end of the day. Since it was a public sheepfold, the sheep would mingle together through the night. When the shepherd came back the next morning the sheep would be mixed together. There were no markings or brands used. The sheep were simply separated by the shepherd’s voice. As he would call each one by name they would leave the other sheep and come to their shepherd.


Jesus Identifies with His Sheep

Jesus puts forth His own and goes before them. He is identified with His sheep and His sheep identify with Him. Are you one of His sheep? There is protection here for the sheep. It was the shepherd’s job to feed and protect every sheep in his flock. David protected his sheep from the lion and the bear (I Samuel 17:34). Jesus takes His sheep from the mouth of the lion as he roars about seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).

Secondly, notice that the sheep only follow their shepherd. The sheep will not willingly follow someone who is not their shepherd. How foolish we are when we tune into teachings from other than the Word of God. A Preacher says this. The pope says that. This magazine makes this point. This book makes that point. The sheep only answer the voice of the shepherd. But if we are not true to the Word of God—if we consider teachings from other than the Word of God—if we do not rightly divide the Word of Truth, we will fall into error. We must only listen to the shepherd. The sad truth is that sometimes we are so far away from God that we cannot clearly distinguish the voice of the Shepherd and we may be tempted to fall for an impersonator.

The Door

Now follow this through. In verse 9 Jesus identifies Himself as the Door to the sheepfold. Actually there was no door that swung on hinges, but rather the porter would lay across the door way. He himself became the door. The sheep could not get out without going past him. No one could come in without going past him. If they attempted to come in some other way, they were a thief and robber, not one of the shepherds of the sheep. Jesus Himself becomes our Door of protection.

Psalm 23:4 tells us, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Jesus, the Door offers us protection not found anywhere else in the world. Why in the world do we not follow Him more closely?

His rod and staff comfort, but yet the rod was an instrument of correction. The shepherd would use the rod as a means to bring the sheep back into the proper line of behavior. Hebrews 12:7 tells us that God chastens His own. He uses the rod to correct inappropriate behavior. If you have never been corrected by the rod of Shepherd Jesus, you do not belong to Him.

The word “staff” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to support”. If a sheep would fall over an embankment, the shepherd could “hook” the sheep with the crook and lift him up. The Door offers protection by His support and chastening. Never be offended by the chastening of the Lord. Just obey Him.

Lazarus, Come Forth!

In this portion of Scripture, John chapter 11, Jesus performs another miracle, this one of life changing proportions. Lazarus is raised from the dead. Word comes to Jesus that Lazarus is sick and dying, and we are told in verse four, “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.”

According to Barnes’ Commentary he says of verse 4, “This sickness is not unto death - The word “death” here is equivalent to remaining under death, Romans 6:23. “The wages of sin is death” - permanent or unchanging death, opposed to eternal life. Jesus evidently did not intend to deny that he would die. The words which he immediately adds show that he would expire, and that he would raise him up to show forth the power and glory of God. Compare John 11:13. Those words cannot be understood on any other supposition than that he expected to raise him up. The Saviour often used expressions similar to this to fix the attention on what he was about to say in explanation. The sense may be thus expressed: “His sickness is not fatal. It is not designed for his death, but to furnish an opportunity for a signal display of the glory of God, and to furnish a standing proof of the truth of religion. It is intended to exhibit the power of the Son of God, and to be a proof at once of the truth of his mission; of his friendship for this family; of his mild, tender, special love as a man; of his power and glory as the Messiah; and of the great doctrine that the dead will rise.”

Notice these last thoughts. This miracle was meant to show the power of God. Only God has power over life and death. Jesus had that same power. Even suicides can not be “successful” unless authorized by God.

It gave proof of His mission. His mission was (along with the great doctrine that the dead will rise again) was to give eternal life to all who would accept Him. This was a visible picture of that doctrine. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

It showed His friendship to the family. Remember please that the Savior is not only your Savior, but also your friend, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

It also was a show of His special love as a man. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

It certainly speaks of the power and glory of the Messiah.

In verse five we see that Jesus was in no particular hurry to go rescue Lazarus. After two days He says to His disciples, “Let us go into Judea again” (verse 7). Remember that the Jewish leaders wanted Him dead. The disciples also remembered (verse 8).

Back in our first lesson we discussed the simplicity of John’s writing, but yet the deep profound truths that it expressed. Here, in verses 9 and 10 we have one of those examples. Jesus never speaks more than two syllable words, but yet think of the thought He expressed.

Light is necessary to see, and God gave us a period of light each day (Genesis 1:5). Ecclesiastes 3:1—“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The very God who created it all would now live by His own creation. He, the Light of the World, would use the natural light to His advantage. It is not time for Him to die yet. Looking back to the crucifixion, those events began in the dark, in the night. To every thing there is a purpose and a time, including His time to die and our time to die. You are completely protected from death until it is time.

Thomas the Doubter speaks up in verse 16 suggesting that they all go and die likewise. They would kill Jesus and no doubt kill his followers.

Verses 19-25 tells of the backdrop behind Jesus statement that He is the resurrection and the life (verse 25). Martha exhibits her faith in verses 21, and 22. She exhibits her lack of understanding in verses 23, and 24. Jesus helps her to understand in verses 25 and 26. We realize that Jesus is our resurrection and life. That was the deeper truth that was being taught, but the present truth was that Lazarus would rise again. Jesus was and is the resurrection and the life and anyone that believes in him will be resurrected. Lazarus was a believer, and Jesus by a living object lesson was about to teach His message.

Hebrews 9:27 tells us, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. There were other resurrections that took place in the Bible. Elijah raised the widow’s son (I Kings 17:17-24). Peter raised Dorcas (Acts 9:36-43). Now Jesus would raise Lazarus—but it is appointed unto man once to die.

In any case of Biblical resurrection there is no mention of a second death. Could it be that the ones that had died and were resurrected were then translated directly to Heaven at some point like Enoch and Elijah? I do not know. I will not go further into the secret things of God. It would seem to me that if someone “truly” dies their soul is escorted to one of two places—either Heaven or hell (II Corinthians 5:6-8; I Thessalonians 4:16, 17); Luke 16:25, 26).

Do you believe Lazarus died a second time?

See results without voting

If this is true then there has to be some explanation for the many near death experiences (NDE). It seems that it is common practice to resuscitate or “bring back from the dead” those who have died. If Hebrews 9:27 is really true, that we die only once, then there is only one explanation. In the case of an NDE, true death does not take place.

Our faith is built on the facts of the Word of God, not experience or feelings. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8). There may experiences that take place when one is very close to death, but that may not be true death. The soul separates from the body only once according to Hebrews 9:27. I believe the same is true for “out of body experiences”. Remember that satan has great power, too.

Verse 35 is the shortest verse in the New Testament. Simply put, “Jesus wept”. Again the profoundness of His statements shows through. The crowd of onlookers thought Jesus was weeping because Lazarus had died. In reality He was weeping for them and others that miss the point of His message.

Is Lazarus truly dead? It has been four days now (verse 39) and corruption would be setting in. Nevertheless Jesus calls him forth from the grave to live again (verses 41-44).

This brought the desired result among some of the Jews as they believed on Him (verse 45). Others went to the Pharisees (verse 46). Do not go to religious leaders. Go to God. The Pharisees continue to plot His death in verses 47-53. Night was coming.

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Comments 35 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Thank you for sharing your insights on Chapters 10 and 11 of John. Appreciate the explanation of the Door in the first chapter; also interesting explanation on Hebrews 9: 27 and NDEs. Learning much from these Bible Study presentations.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Very interesting. Clearly Lazarus did die and started decomposing and I have always wondered about this since the word does say we only die once but I always concluded that when it was his time to leave he did not die again; because he already had and God would not do that to him. I don't know about ones today and the NDEs; if that would be the same and we really have no way of knowing, only that we do only die once. I really have never thought much about the NDEs until lately not putting much stock in them but after reading many of them they are almost all Christian or believers of a higher power (God) so that says a little something to make it more credible. I would be the last person to ever go in any direction without Christ but it does not hurt my faith to think these things could be real and a good testimony as far as I can see in what I have read so far in what they come back and say they have witnessed or seen.

I somehow got on your last hub accidentally and read all the way through before I realized it so I have had me a real bible study tonight! Thank you for there is nothing I like better and it is sure nice to be able to talk to a preacher open and honestly instead of always just nodding my head when I often have questions and I don't expect a preacher to always have the answers. As you say we all need our nose in that bible. lol


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Bill, this was awesome teaching. I think the most precious image of Jesus is being the Shepherd. You mentioned the rod of correction. That's what I've heard too, but I heard someone say also that the rod was used to protect the sheep from predators.

I love the picture of the Shepherd or porter laying across the doorway to protect his sheep. That's very significant. Also that all the sheep herds were mixed together and were sorted out simply by hearing their masters voice. We have so much clamor and distractions in life, how often we fail to hear him. The story of the shepherd leaving the 99 to search for the one little stray - that stray is everyone. I somehow missed Part 5. I will go back and read it. Nice job here Bill.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi MsDora,

Glad you're able to get some things from these lessons. NDE's are hard for me to make sense of. We know they happen. We know what the Bible says. I do have a study on NDE's I might bring sometime in the future. As always, thanks for stopping by and starting the conversation.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Loved the explanation of the "Good Shepherd's" credentials. That really makes the the understanding of the text come into real focus for me. Also the connection with Psalm 23 and Jesus revelation of Himself as a door of protection including the element of correction really hit home.

Another great study!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good to hear from you, Jackie.

I'm convinced Lazarus never died again too. There are certainly things that we can't understand this side of Heaven like the supposed resurrections that are taking place in Africa today after several days in "the tomb". It seems that these people die again, but I also believe the devil can cause the illusion of death and resurrection.

I see you mentioned the NDE's as did MsDora. I have some notes on that, and as I told her, maybe I'll bring a study on that in the future.

Sorry you read Part 5 twice, but then again, maybe God wanted you to for whatever reason. Anyway, thanks for the visit!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lori,

There's really some beautiful pictures of Christ in the book of John. The shepherd is just one of them. My understanding of "the rod" is that it was used for poking the sheep back in line if they weren't following correctly. And yes, I do believe it was used to defend against wild animals that might attack the flock. Then, you have David. He just used his bare hands.

The shepherd is a tender picture of love. where would we be without Jesus. "All we like sheep have gone astray."

Don't worry about part 5. Jackie read it twice for you. lol.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for making the trip, Tammy.

Jesus is our protector as well as friend. It makes me think of verse 10 that says, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" and John 15:13 which says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. "

Glad you were able to stop by and spend some time!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Bill I'm not quite getting why you think Lazarus might not have died a second time. I don't see any Scriptural evidence. As far as the incident of Lazarus' resurrection, Jesus told the disciples in verse 11 "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up again." I recently did a study on the rapture for our BS and looked up this word "sleep" somewhere (I wish I could remember). Paul used it in 1 Cor. 15:18 and again in 1 Thess. 4:13-15. My research said that sleep in these contexts was a unique term for believers meaning the body is temporarily in the grave, dead, (not the soul of course which is with the Lord) but of course we know the dead in Christ shall rise (their bodies to join with their souls) followed by we who are alive and remain (vs. 16-1). If Lazarus died a second time (which I don't see anywhere to the contrary unless I missed something or are misunderstanding you) his body sleeps, it's temporary, as all in Christ will rise again. My belief is that at the rapture of the church, our friend Lazarus will have died and resurrected twice - how cool is that? Interesting discussion here. I am kind of dense sometimes and may have missed something or misunderstood. It must be the distraction of the homemade chicken soup I have simmering on the stove.


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 2 years ago

I believe Jesus raised Lazarus to life again. However, that miracle was not of the same kind as what He will accomplish at the Rapture. We Christians will receive a resurrection body like that of Jesus at that time; Lazarus did not receive a resurrection body when the Lord brought him back to life. He came back to life in his physical body healed of whatever disease he had, and he undoubtedly died physically again.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

You can always send the chicken soup my way!

I was debating on whether to try to explain here, or maybe do a separate hub. I need a little room, but maybe not enough for a complete hub, so here we go. First, I'm not claiming this as doctrine and I stand to be corrected at any time by anybody with Biblical proof.

Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" The key word here is once. If I'm to take this verse literally, I assume "once" means "once".

Jesus tells his disciples in John 11:14 that, ". . . Lazarus is dead." The Greek word, "ἀποθνήσκω - apothnēsko" is used here which means "to die off (literally or figuratively): - be dead, death, die, lie a-dying, be slain". So we know this much - Lazarus was dead. Life had gone from him and he lay decaying in the tomb for four days as according to the Jews, decomposition began after three days. He died once.

There are two obscure verses in Matthew 27:52, 53 - "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." Hold the thought that many arose, and that Lazarus died once, and go over to Acts 1:9. ". . . while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

Stay with me. Go over to Hebrews 12:1 - "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight . . . ." The "cloud" of witnesses here are the ones mentioned in chapter 11. This was not a literal cloud, but a large group of people. The same basic Greek word for "cloud" is used in Acts 1:9 and Hebrews 12:1.

I may sound like a heretic, and again I'm not being dogmatic about this, but I believe that when Jesus ascended back to Heaven, it was not a literal cloud, but a cloud of people. Who were the people? Maybe those saints that arose from the graves, and maybe Lazarus? That may be speculation, but what we do know is that Lazarus literally died, and according to scripture death only takes place once.

Get back to me.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Greg,

Good to see you here. I have to agree with you as flesh and blood cannot inherit Heaven, but I wonder, is there anything that says that Lazarus couldn't have been given the same kind of body we will receive.You might want to to check out my response to lambservant. I'm open to anything you might want to add. Thanks for adding to the discussion.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I am familiar with the verse about those the rose out of their graves, but I think it speculation about one of them being Lazarus. It very well could be but I feel like there's really not much to go on. In the end it probably doesn't matter because we'll see him one day and he can fill us in, lol. I love your clarification about the cloud of witnesses in Hebrews. I've always understood it was not a literal cloud but don't you love the imagery of it?

I'd never given any thought to your idea about the cloud Jesus ascended into as the cloud of witnesses. Something to ponder but heretical? Heavens no - no pun intended. At His second coming when he returns to judge the nations, we will accompany him. Another cloud of witnesses, eh? The 1 Thess. 4 passage on the rapture says the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. It reads to me that the living and dead will go in the clouds. But at the end of the day, I really don't find the cloud issue a major concern. For me, it's a distraction from the main point of the stories. I'm ADD, I get distracted easily.

Your comment about Scripture says we only die once - you are right, but technically there are exceptions. Paul himself may have died. He talked about being caught up to the third heaven and other statements that leaned that way. People today die all the time and are resuscitated and then die years later. I think what Jesus meant was when we're dead and buried our souls have no other chance. Once the judgment comes, ain't no turnin' back. My former pastor did not believe this. According to him judgment in hell is for a time, but not eternal. To me this is closer to heresy, however, I don't feel comfortable determining whose a heretic, but his theology on that point was a deal breaker for me.

Isn't it refreshing to have courteous, even enjoyable discussion where even if we don't agree you don't have to call me a crazy cultist and I call you a heretical bozo? There's enough of that on hubpages and all around the cyber kingdom. I just love the fun of discussion when its with friends.

BTW, soup was delicious. I am working on a recipe hub for it.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 2 years ago

Hello lifegate, hi everybody.

Interesting teaching and a great comments. As soon as we conclude that Lazarus' episode being raised by Jesus the Christ is intricate, we go back and realize of well planned outcome by the Father and Son unity of God; We hear words :This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it… In further conversation Jesus told His disciples ,that our friend Lazarus is at rest and sleeping, but I am going there that I may awake him out of His sleep. ( Let us keep in mind that little bit earlier [ 10:3] Jesus told to his disciples " The Father is in me, and I in the Father ); we are not explained the spiritual communication , while knowing that God knows the end before the beginning -- yet once again Jesus told plainly "Lazarus is dead " and I am glad I was not there , it will help you to believe ,to trust me…This message of trusting-believin , having FAITH meant to be for ALL generation of THOSE who would believe , because " anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing …"(John 14:12). We have choice to make either to believe or else, but God the Almighty, Creator of the Universe can afford to permit a temporary death, so that the glory of God can be manifested by a resurrection; had Lazarus not been resurrected there would have been no glory to God.

Answering the above question :Do you believe Lazarus died second time, my resolute YES is for simple reason , I AM a believer. My God has purpose for everything… If he would like us not to speculate , the scripture would have a few verses added, which aren't recorded by now …

Voted up and interesting.

Peace be with us.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Dear Bill,

Beautiful teachings here of Jesus as the Shepherd. What a comforting thought that He knows us when we call and we know Him when we hear His voice! It is a beautiful thing to think of Jesus pulling us back into safety and never allowing us to stray too far from the fold. We may try, but He is always there to pull us back. Our pastor this past Sunday was telling of a true story where they were traveling in a truck and two shepherds' flocks were heading straight for them and he asked the driver what do we do? And the driver said to just watch. It was amazing as the two flocks of sheep blended together but when they heard their Shepherd's voice, they separated back into their own flock as they knew his voice and obeyed and the truck went right on through with no problem. Good discussion on Lazarus. All I know is that Jesus did state "Lazarus is dead" ... we all have to die twice, once when we are saved and then our physical death? When the old has passed away and we are now new beautiful creations in Christ.

Up and more and away

God bless you.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good Morning Lori,

If I'm reading you correctly, I don't believe Lazarus was one of those who came out of their graves at the Lord's resurrection - and yes, it is speculation. But I wonder if the ones that came out of the graves were given resurrected bodies and ascended with Jesus at His ascension into Heaven. Could Lazarus be one of them? I don't know. At least that would fit the criteria of only dying once. There were many others that were resurrected as well. What about them? There's a bunch we just don't know, but as you say, we can get distracted and miss the main point.

Again, if I'm reading you correctly, I don't necessarily think the cloud Jesus ascended in was that of the witnesses of Hebrews, but the cloud of the ones who were resurrected after Jesus resurrected.

In your point about Paul, I don't see where Scripture says that Paul died, but that he entered Paradise (in the body or out of the body, he couldn't tell - an out of body experience, or a physical experience).

As far as the NDE's of today, I'm not in a position to say whether physical death is complete. And for that matter, neither are the doctors. That's a whole other study, and there are reasons I'm not sure death is complete in them. As I told Jackie and Dora, maybe I'll do a hub on NDE's some time. It is an interesting topic, and I'm sure there are more questions than answers on the topic.

As far as the soup - well, I guess I'll have to take your word for it.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Michael,

Glad you were able to stop by and add to the conversation. There certainly is much that we won't understand this side of Heaven, and certainly things we speculate. I suppose that's just part of being human, but as much as possible I believe we should try to make sense of God's Word as He does give us clear direction in many areas, but for now this isn't one of them.

Thanks again for stopping by and thank also for the votes. Have a great day!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad you could visit, Faith. I liked your pastor's illustration about the sheep. Isn't it wonderful how God gave us all these illustrations in nature to reveal Himself and Bible truths to us. I guess that's why He so often used parables - because He understood that we could relate better.

I also like your point about dying twice. I get that, and thank you Jesus for that truth. Hope you have a terrific day as you serve our risen Saviour.


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 2 years ago

lifegate,

You wrote: "If I'm reading you correctly, I don't believe Lazarus was one of those who came out of their graves at the Lord's resurrection - and yes, it is speculation. But I wonder if the ones that came out of the graves were given resurrected bodies and ascended with Jesus at His ascension into Heaven. Could Lazarus be one of them? I don't know. At least that would fit the criteria of only dying once. There were many others that were resurrected as well. What about them?"

How long after Jesus raised Lazarus did He rise from death? As I read the Gospel of John, Jesus raised Lazarus shortly before Christ Himself went to the cross. How could Lazarus be among those who were resurrected after Christ was raised if Lazarus was still alive?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Greg,

My choice of words was poor. I'm sorry. What I meant is could Lazarus (already being resurrected) be one of those that ascended with Jesus at his ascension. I hope that clarifies the thought you were questioning.

On another note, I know it's not mainstream teaching, but Lazarus had to have had some sort of a change in his body. We're told he was in the tomb for four days , and that by now, he "stinketh." Corruption had already began to set in.

Thanks for adding your thoughts to the conversation.


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 2 years ago

I think the "cloud" was just a cloud that received Jesus in the sky while He ascended. You do raise an interesting point, however, about the whereabouts of those who were raised after Jesus. If they were in their resurrection bodies, I would suppose they just disappeared and went to glory after they had accomplished what God wanted them to accomplish on Earth--namely, to show the townspeople that resurrection is reality.

Surely Lazarus' body was different; Jesus restored it to good, physical health just as He did for countless others.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hi Bill,

Thank you for the nice reply to my comment of 20 hours ago, which under my activity my comment is showing that it has not been approved by you yet and would have shown up before lambservants' second comment if you had approved it then. It will show up to you but not to others who comment here until you approve it. It is an easy oversight to reply and forget to approve : )

God bless.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I have to strongly agree with glynch1 that Jesus surely restored Lazarus to complete health. If he didn't, I think the Scriptures would have mentioned it because that would have been highly unusual.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Sorry Faith,

I think I took care of it. If not, let me know and I'll try plan B - whatever that is!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Thank you, Bill, it is showing now : ) I know I will start typing a response and forget to approve the initial comment at times too.

God bless.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi again Greg and Lori,

I agree Lazarus' body was healed. I do see a glorified body as a possibility. That certainly would be a miraculous healing. The part I have trouble with is Hebrews 9:26b-27a - "but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die . . . ." There is certainly much we'll never know for sure until we get to Heaven, and most of it will never matter then, but when I see that Jesus once appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and then it is appointed unto man once to die, "once" seems to be pretty concrete, not something that is to be taken figuratively, but I believe it is to be taken literally. To me once means once. If Christ died twice then maybe twice would seem more likely. Anyway there's certainly much to consider, to think about, to wonder about, to speculate. Even though we may never know for sure, it is interesting to consider the possibilities. Thanks for the input. I'm open to anything you might want to add.


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 2 years ago

Maybe dying once means dying and staying dead.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Could be! Just wondering - how long do you have to stay dead to be dead?


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 2 years ago

Only God knows.


einron profile image

einron 2 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Jackie Lynnley

Jackie Lynnley 3 days ago:

Very interesting. Clearly Lazarus did die and started decomposing and I have always wondered about this since the word does say we only die once but I always concluded that when it was his time to leave he did not die again; because he already had... rea


einron profile image

einron 2 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Jackie Lynnley 3 days ago:

Very interesting. Clearly Lazarus did die and started decomposing and I have always wondered about this since the word does say we only die once but I always concluded that when it was his time to leave he did not die again; because he already had..


einron profile image

einron 2 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

True that man only dies once. That cannot be disputed for the Bible says so. But what is puzzling the Bible says there is a first resurrection and a second resurrection. The first resurrection refers to when man accepts Jesus Christ and is baptized. Baptism cleanses all the past sins and man dies to the Lord and becomes born again as a new creature. You may look up my article on the First Resurrection. May God bless you.


lambservant 2 years ago

You asked Greg how long do you have to be dead to be dead? I think that means in a situation where a person is being resuscitated and they give it up send him to the morgue. In other words, all human effort has been stopped and they call it dead permanently.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

einron,

Thank you for your input, but I have to say baptism does not wash any sins away. Salvation is completely of God, not of works. I know many misunderstand the teaching on baptism. I will also offer you my hub http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Born-of-Wa that explains where I'm coming from. Thanks for stopping by.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lori,

I guess Lazarus qualifies then. His story is remarkable. There's so much to learn. It kind of reminds me of how I was dead in sin, and the same One that raised Lazarus raised me. Praise His holy name! :)

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