John 11:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:6, NIV: "So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,"

John 11:6, ESV: "So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was."

John 11:6, KJV: "When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was."

John 11:6, NASB: "So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was."

John 11:6, NLT: "he stayed where he was for the next two days."

John 11:6, CSB: "So when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was."

What does John 11:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has been given an urgent message from some close friends, indicating that Lazarus is desperately ill (John 11:1–3). This message is coming from Bethany, two miles—about three kilometers—from Jerusalem, to Bethabara, about ten times as far away. This is a about two days of regular travel, a little less than one day for a rushed messenger. According to the timeline given in this passage, for Jesus to arrive four days after Lazarus' death (John 11:17), Lazarus is already dead when the news reaches Jesus in Bethabara. And yet, Jesus sends back a reply comforting the sisters (John 11:4), which they would not have gotten until after Lazarus was expired and buried.

Even so, Jesus' decision to wait two more days was probably taken by the disciples to mean He had no plans to return to Bethany. That city was very close to the religious leaders of Jerusalem, making it a dangerous location for Jesus and His followers (John 5:18; 10:39; 11:8). What they don't realize is Jesus is acting out the promise given in His response to Mary and Martha—that this event is meant to showcase the glory of God. By the time Jesus arrives in Bethany, there will be absolutely zero doubt that Lazarus is entirely, completely, and undoubtedly dead. His resurrection will be a spectacular miraculous sign.