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Bible Commentaries

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible
John 11



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Verse 25

John 11:25

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life." John 11:25

How often we sink into places where we are in our feelings dead men. Has sin never slain you? Have convictions never, so to speak, knocked the life of God out of your soul? Has Satan never come with his fiery darts, with all the artillery of hell, and sought to scorch up every gracious feeling and every living desire? And have you not sunk at times in your soul into such miserable deadness of spirit, that it seemed that not only there and then you were devoid of all grace, but that it was an impossibility for grace ever again to renew and revive your soul? Here you were dead. I have often been here, which enables me to describe it to you. Yet with all this, there is a longing look, a heartfelt groan, a heaving sigh, a resisting unto blood, not an utter giving way, nor sinking down into miserable despair. God the Spirit kept alive his work upon the soul, and Christ himself as the resurrection dropped into our bosom, raised up and drew forth towards himself some fresh movements of that life which is in him. There was thus fulfilled that gracious consequence of his resurrection, "Whoever believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

Oh, amid all our deadness, all our gloom and desolation, all our emptiness, barrenness, and helplessness, if there be in our souls a longing look, a heartfelt cry, an earnest groan, a sincere desire toward him who is the resurrection, our prayer will ascend into his pitying, sympathizing ear; and as he is the resurrection, he will once more raise up into life and feeling our dead and drooping soul. We have no other source of life. If we were altogether and really dead, we would always continue dead unless he were the resurrection. But because he is the resurrection, he can Revelation -animate, revive, renew, and Revelation -quicken us by pouring into our hearts fresh life and feeling. It will be our mercy to be ever looking unto him, hanging upon him, believing in him, trusting to him, and giving him no rest until he appear again and again to the joy and rejoicing of our heart.

"He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25

How can any one who is dead believe? He can, or our Lord would not have said so. I will show you how. He is a living man as quickened into life by the power of the Spirit of God, and yet he is dead. This is the deep mystery, that though he is dead in law, dead in conscience, dead in helplessness, yet God the Holy Spirit has breathed into him and deposited in him a seed of living faith. By this faith he cries, by this faith he sighs, and by this faith he hungers and thirsts after righteousness; yes, more, by this faith he looks unto and believes in the Son of God. He scarcely knows that he has faith. His faith is so weak and so small in his own estimation, that he dare not say he has faith; and yet he has all the fruits of faith, all the marks of faith, and all the evidences of faith.

Take as a parallel case Jonah in the whale"s belly. Had he faith or had he not faith? How low he sank when the waves were heaped over his head, when carried through the boundless deep in the belly of the whale. Yet even there he could say, "I will look again toward your holy temple." Had he no faith? Yes, he had; and by that faith he was saved, justified, accepted, brought out, and delivered, and able to say, "Salvation is of the Lord."

Take Hezekiah upon his bed of sickness. Had he no faith? How then could he turn his face to the wall and pray unto the Lord? How could his eyes fail with looking upward, when he said, "O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me?" Take David in his mournful journey, when he went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up barefoot, with his head covered, at the time of Absalom"s rebellion. Had he no faith? How then came he to pray, "O Lord, I pray you, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness?" And why did the Lord answer that prayer, if it were not the prayer of faith? In all these men of God, sunk though they were almost to the last and lowest point, there was still the life of faith; and by that faith they called upon God. They looked unto him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed.

Here, then, is the connection between the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and the experience of this seemingly dead soul. When Christ died, he bore the sins of this poor dead soul in his body on the tree, and thus atoned for them and put them away. When Christ rose from the dead, this poor dead soul rose with him, as a member of his mystical body. When Christ went up on high, he ascended with him. And when Christ sat down at the right hand of the Father, he virtually and mystically sat down with him in heavenly bliss. Therefore, because Jesus is the resurrection, and because as such he has a saving interest in him, "he that believes in him, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

Verse 32


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on John 11:4". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible.

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