John 11:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:8, NIV: "But Rabbi,' they said, 'a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?'"

John 11:8, ESV: "The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”"

John 11:8, KJV: "His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?"

John 11:8, NASB: "The disciples *said to Him, 'Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and yet You are going there again?'"

John 11:8, NLT: "But his disciples objected. 'Rabbi,' they said, 'only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?'"

John 11:8, CSB: ""Rabbi," the disciples told him, "just now the Jews tried to stone you, and you're going there again?""

What does John 11:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has responded to an urgent message about His friend, Lazarus (John 11:1–3). Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, live very close to Jerusalem, in Bethany. Based on Jesus' initial response, His disciples probably assume Lazarus will recover (John 11:4). Further, they know that Jesus had left Judea to avoid the murderous intent of local religious leaders—a group the gospel of John frequently refers to as "the Jews." After two days of staying in Bethabara, already two days' journey from Bethany, they would have assumed the issue was settled.

However, Jesus has determined to return to Mary and Martha's home (John 11:7). This is in keeping with His comforting response, given to the messenger sent by the sisters (John 11:4). While we have the benefit of hindsight, nobody else in this story knows what is going to happen, other than Jesus. Jesus' message to Mary and Martha would have arrived after their brothers' death, and the disciples can't understand why Jesus would walk back into hostile territory. From their perspective, this is virtually a suicide mission (John 11:16).