11:3 So the sisters sent a message 1 to Jesus, 2 “Lord, look, the one you love is sick.” 11:4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not lead to death, 3 but to God’s glory, 4 so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5
11:14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died,
1 tn The phrase “a message” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from context.
2 tn Grk “to him, saying”; the referent (Jesus) is specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Grk “This sickness is not to death.”
sn Jesus plainly stated the purpose of Lazarus’ sickness in the plan of God: The end of the matter would not be death, but the glorification of the Son. Johannine double-meanings abound here: Even though death would not be the end of the matter, Lazarus is going to die; and ultimately his death and resurrection would lead to the death and resurrection of the Son of God (11:45-53). Furthermore, the glorification of the Son is not praise that comes to him for the miracle, but his death, resurrection, and return to the Father which the miracle precipitates (note the response of the Jewish authorities in 11:47-53).
4 tn Or “to God’s praise.”
5 sn So that the Son of God may be glorified through it. These statements are highly ironic: For Lazarus, the sickness did not end in his death, because he was restored to life. But for Jesus himself, the miraculous sign he performed led to his own death, because it confirmed the authorities in their plan to kill Jesus (11:47-53). In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ death is consistently portrayed as his ‘glorification’ through which he accomplishes his return to the Father.