What does John 11:43 mean?
ESV: When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”
NIV: When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!'
NASB: And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!'
CSB: After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out! "
NLT: Then Jesus shouted, 'Lazarus, come out!'
KJV: And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
NKJV: Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
Verse Commentary:
All the details described in chapter 11 were intended to set up this moment. Jesus has purposefully arrived at Lazarus' grave when death is beyond all possible doubt (John 11:39). There is a crowd on onlookers (John 11:35–37). Jesus has openly and clearly given credit to God, and God's approval of Jesus, for what is about to happen (John 11:41–42). All of this fits the purpose of Jesus' miracles, which are meant to be "signs" proving that He is divine (John 20:30–31). This was Jesus' intent from the beginning (John 11:11–15). Verses 43 and 44 contain the seventh of seven such "signs" as recorded in the gospel of John.

As with any message, people can choose to accept or ignore what they're told. By making this miracle outrageously public, Jesus is forcing witnesses to "take sides." As it turns out, some of His most hateful critics will only respond with more anger and more violence (John 11:53; 12:10–11).

A common joke told about this incident involves Jesus' use of Lazarus' name. Just as with modern graveyards, ancient people tended to place their dead in common areas (Mark 5:1–3). This means the now-opened grave of Lazarus is not the only one nearby. It's been said—only somewhat in jest—that if Jesus hadn't specified who He was talking to, everyone buried there would have "come forth!"
Verse Context:
John 11:38–44 describes the seventh and final miraculous ''sign'' recorded in the gospel of John. This is by far the most spectacular, as Jesus restores life to a man who has been dead for four days. Lazarus' death is confirmed to the point that his family hesitates to open his tomb, fearing what a putrefying corpse will smell like. For the benefit of the crowd, Jesus prays loudly, then commands Lazarus to arise. Lazarus does so, still wrapped in his burial shrouds. This display of divine power only increases the resolve of Jesus' enemies to have Him killed as soon as possible.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus has left the vicinity of Jerusalem to avoid hostile religious leaders. While gone, He receives word that a good friend, Lazarus, is sick. In fact, Lazarus has died by the time this message reaches Jesus. He purposefully waits a few days before returning to Bethany, arriving four days after Lazarus' burial. In front of Lazarus' mourning sisters—who Jesus weeps with—and an assembled crowd, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead in a stirring and spectacular miracle. This is the seventh of John's seven ''signs'' of Jesus' divine power. In response, religious leaders coordinate in their effort to have Jesus murdered.
Chapter Context:
After giving sight to a man born blind (John 9), Jesus sparred with religious leaders on at least two occasions (John 10). After another failed arrest attempt, Jesus left the area and went out where Jerusalem's politics had little influence. In this chapter, He returns to resurrect a recently-departed friend, Lazarus. That results in a renewed commitment from Jerusalem's religious leaders to have Jesus murdered. As the crucifixion draws near, Jesus will stage His triumphal entry in chapter 12, and then begin His final teachings to the disciples.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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