John 11:31 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:31, NIV: "When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there."

John 11:31, ESV: "When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there."

John 11:31, KJV: "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."

John 11:31, NASB: "Then the Jews who were with her in the house and were consoling her, when they saw that Mary had gotten up quickly and left, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there."

John 11:31, NLT: "When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus's grave to weep. So they followed her there."

John 11:31, CSB: "The Jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw that Mary got up quickly and went out. They followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to cry there."

What does John 11:31 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the gospel of John, the term "the Jews" usually refers to the religious leaders of Jerusalem. It can also mean those people who loyally followed their teachings. These events take place in Bethany, a small village very close to Jerusalem (John 11:18–19). The death of Lazarus (John 11:17) has brought many local people to mourn along with Mary and Martha, as was traditional. Whether some in this crowd are religious leaders such as Pharisees or Scribes, Scripture does not say. It's entirely possible that some of Jesus' critics would come. Mary and Martha were known to be friendly with Jesus (Luke 10:38–42). Skeptics may have wanted to point out that Jesus either could not or did not prevent the death of His friend.

That hostility is why Jesus was not in the area when Lazarus died (John 10:38–40). Apparently, Martha's earlier meeting with Jesus was discreet. She might even have left the house without her sister, Mary, knowing that Jesus was in town. When Mary is summoned by Jesus, in contrast, she makes a dramatic exit.

That sudden departure raises curiosity in the people who have come to mourn. These people, so far as we know, aren't aware that Jesus is in town. They follow Mary—and as the upcoming verses show, that leads them to become an unexpected audience for a miracle.