11:4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not lead to death, 1 but to God’s glory, 2 so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 3
11:11 After he said this, he added, 4 “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. 5 But I am going there to awaken him.” 11:12 Then the disciples replied, 6 “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 11:13 (Now Jesus had been talking about 7 his death, but they 8 thought he had been talking about real sleep.) 9
1 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).
2 tn Or “to God’s praise.”
3 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.
4 tn Grk “He said these things, and after this he said to them.”
5 tn The verb κοιμάω (koimaw) literally means “sleep,” but it is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for death when speaking of believers. This metaphorical usage by its very nature emphasizes the hope of resurrection: Believers will one day “wake up” out of death. Here the term refers to death, but “asleep” was used in the translation to emphasize the metaphorical, rhetorical usage of the term, especially in light of the disciples’ confusion over what Jesus actually meant (see v. 13).
6 tn Grk “Then the disciples said to him.”
7 tn Or “speaking about.”
8 tn Grk “these.”
9 tn Grk “the sleep of slumber”; this is a redundant expression to emphasize physical sleep as opposed to death.
sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.