John 11:44 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:44, NIV: "The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go.'"

John 11:44, ESV: "The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”"

John 11:44, KJV: "And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go."

John 11:44, NASB: "Out came the man who had died, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, 'Unbind him, and let him go.'"

John 11:44, NLT: "And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, 'Unwrap him and let him go!'"

John 11:44, CSB: "The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unwrap him and let him go.""

What does John 11:44 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Some of Jesus' miracles were done with little or no preparation, such as granting sight to a blind man (John 9:1–7). Some were done with few people knowing there was a miracle at all, or that Jesus was even involved (John 2:7–10). Some took time to develop or become obvious (John 6:9–14). In contrast, Jesus has set this miracle up for maximum dramatic impact. This is the seventh of seven "signs" indicated by the gospel of John. The purpose of those signs is to prove that Jesus is divine (John 20:30–31).

In keeping with that purpose, Jesus predicted the outcome of His visit to the disciples (John 11:11–15). He waited to arrive until Lazarus' death was absolutely beyond debate (John 11:39). He allowed a crowd to form (John 11:31; 35–37). He publicly prayed to God, connecting His power to the Father's approval (John 11:41–42). And He gave a dramatic, authoritative command for a dead man to leave his grave (John 11:43).

One can only imagine the bedlam erupting after Lazarus did exactly that. In front of many witnesses, Jesus opened a grave and called out to a putrefying corpse—and that person walked out of the tomb alive and healthy, still tangled in grave clothes. Unique among His many miracles, this was a moment of deliberate spectacle. The impact on the people, even those who did not witness it, is immense. Many of those who greet Jesus a few days later, at the triumphal entry (John 12:12–19), are inspired by His ability to raise the dead.

As the next verses show, many of those who witnessed the miracle interpreted it correctly: they believed in Jesus (John 11:45). Others did not (John 11:46). Still others are so hardened and stubborn that they seek an extreme response of their own (John 11:53; 12:10–11).