John 11: Cemetery Words (8) Father, I Thank You

With the stone rolled away and all the witnesses gathered, there was but one more thing to before Lazarus was raised. It was time to pray. 

Jesus’ prayer directly states its purpose: so the hearers will know God sent Jesus. Jesus always knew was with Him and heard Him. This is not like many of our prayers that begin, “God, if you can hear me,” or “If you’re listening.” Jesus knew that He and the Father were always together. This was fully so the witnesses could know too. 

So Jesus prayed, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me” (vs. 41,42). Miracles gave divine credibility to those that worked them. Jesus’ enemies had constantly said that He worked miracles by the power of evil, saying “He is possessed by Beelzebul” (Mark 3:22, also Matt. 10:25; 12:24; Luke 11:15-19). Nothing could be further from the truth. 

So for the sake of absolute clarity in the minds of all that this was the power God—and Jesus is His son with all His power—Jesus prayed. And He fulfilled what He said when He first heard Lazarus was sick, that this is “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (vs. 4).