1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.
Jesus was now approaching the time of His death, burial, and resurrection. It was time for His anointing toward this end (Jn 12:1-11). He was coming to the final week of His life.
Chapter 12 pivots events in the life of Christ from setting forth His credentials as the Messiah to events that deal with His death and resurrection. This chapter touches both current and future events. At this point the gospel of John begins the last momentous week in the life of Christ. All this is in the context of unbelief that dominated Israel at this time.
This chapter concludes the public ministry of Christ with three events:
Jesus’ anointing by Mary
The triumphal entry
The visit to Jesus by Greeks
John 11:1-11 is a sequel to the previous chapter of raising Lazarus from the dead. Here he sits at a meal in honor of Jesus, making obvious the reality of his resurrection.
This chapter indicates that an ominous period in the life of Christ was approaching. He came at a time set by the Father.
six days before the Passover (the preceding Saturday, which in Jewish time was Friday evening),
Since the Passover was only six days away, the day of Jesus’ death was quickly approaching. The mention of the Passover is a reminder that Jesus was about to pay for the sins of the world. He raised Lazarus from the dead, but He would proceed to His own resurrection from the dead.
Jesus came to Bethany,
Jesus now came back to Bethany from isolation in Ephraim. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem. It was the home town of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.
where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.
Jesus had come back to the scene of where He raised Lazarus from the dead.
There they made Him a supper;
People in Bethany made a supper in honor of Jesus. This meal must have been quite a celebration with Lazarus sitting there. Matthew and Mark indicate that this supper was held in a non-specified home in Bethany.
and Martha served,
Martha labored with perspiration, not perfume like Mary did. Martha did what she did best.
but Lazarus was one of those who sat [reclining] at the table with Him.
There were about 15 men at this supper. The apostle singled out Lazarus for special mention. He sat there fully healthy. Because Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, some in Bethany gave Jesus a dinner in His honor. The former dead man sat there hale and hearty.
It should be remembered that people did not sit at tables as in our day but reclined on their sides, their feet pointed away from the table. This is where Mary anointed the feet of Jesus.
Jesus made Lazarus a celebrity. There is no recorded word that he spoke at the meal. He never said anything or did anything but sit there like a statue. He was a testimony to Jesus, not himself.
All God expects of us is to do what we can with what we have.
Like Martha who did what she did best, so should we. God expects us to do what we are good at doing. All He expects of us is to do what we can with what we have.