John 11:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:28, NIV: "After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. 'The Teacher is here,' she said, 'and is asking for you.'"

John 11:28, ESV: "When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”"

John 11:28, KJV: "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."

John 11:28, NASB: "When she had said this, she left and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, 'The Teacher is here and is calling for you.'"

John 11:28, NLT: "Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, 'The Teacher is here and wants to see you.'"

John 11:28, CSB: "Having said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, saying in private, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you.""

What does John 11:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Martha has just met Jesus after His arrival in Bethany. This came four days after her brother, Lazarus, had died of an illness (John 11:1–17). In that conversation, Martha expressed her faith in Jesus' divine power. When Christ referred to Himself as "the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25–26), Martha affirmed this belief and referred to Jesus as "Lord," "Christ," and "Son of God."

Lazarus has two sisters. The other, Mary, is still at home while Jesus and Martha have their conversation (John 11:18–20). Other Scriptures show that these two women are close followers of Jesus (Luke 10:38–42). The Bible tells us that Jesus didn't merely "tolerate" their presence, He actively encouraged them. Mary was described as sitting at Jesus' feet—this was often literal, but also used as a reference to being a student of a teacher (Acts 22:3). When Martha goes to summon her sister, she uses that very term: "teacher." Jesus' relationship with these women was not patronizing or shallow. Mary, especially, seems to have grasped the meaning of Jesus' teachings better than many others (Mark 14:3–9).

It's possible that Mary didn't know Jesus had arrived until Martha's summons. Martha might have come to see Jesus so she could speak with Him free from a very-emotional Mary. It's also possible that Mary was well aware of His arrival and was simply too overcome to leave the house at that time. Either way, now is the time for her to speak with "the Teacher."