Seminary Lessons: John chapter 11

This was the first lesson I taught while substitute teaching the early morning seminary class for my Ward. It was an amazing experience. I had to wake up at 5 AM to be at the Church building by 6 AM.  I rode my bike the first two days, but with it being dark and the temperature below 10 degrees Farenheit, I quickly changed to driving there, and then riding my bike the same path later for work.

John chapter 11

Lesson: Understanding Jesus as the Savior through His signs and miracles.

Much of John is written around seven miracles and signs. Why? Read John 20: 30-31 for the answer.

Signs as role of Savior

  1. John 2: 1-11 (changing water into wine) This event prefigures Jesus shedding His blood. It is symbolic of the sacrament.
  2. John 4: 46-54 (healing the nobleman’s son) This event shows that Jesus is merciful and compasionate
  3. John 5: 1-9 (healing the lame man) This event shows that Jesus is the source of living water, and he is the source of all life.
  4. John 6: 1-14 (multiplying the bread and fish)  This event shows that Christ is the living bread. He is our spiritual food. He is our creator, he made and sustains us.
  5. John 6: 15-21 (walking on water) This event shows that Jesus has power over nature. He has overcome nature and the natural man. This is important for us to realize and believe, for if he has power over nature and the natural man, then He has power to help us overcome the natural man as well.
  6. John 9: 1-7 (healing the blind man) This event shows us who and how to become followers of Jesus. His sheep know his voice and follow him. Also, he makes up for what we lack.
  7. John 11: 38-44 (raising Lazarus from death) Jesus has power over death. Jesus is resurrected and we will be too.

This lesson focused on Jesus raising Lazarus from death. The following two quotes show the importance of the miracle:

“Why this studied buildup, this centering of attention upon one of the mightiest miracles of his ministry? Two reasons in particular stand out. (1) As our Lord neared the climax of his mortal ministry, he was again bearing testimony, in a way that could not be refuted, of his Messiahship, of his divine Sonship, of the fact that he was in very deed the literal Son of God; and (2) He was setting the stage, so as to dramatize for all time, one of his greatest teachings: That he was the resurrection and the life, that immortality and eternal life came by him, and that those who believed and obeyed his words should never die spiritually” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:530-31)

“No question as to the actual death of Lazarus could be raised, for his demise had been witnessed, his body had been prepared and buried in the usual way, and he had lain in the grave four days. At the tomb, when he was called forth, there were many witnesses, some of them prominent Jews, many of whom were unfriendly to Jesus and who would have readily denied the miracle had they been able. God was glorified and the divinity of the Son of Man was vindicated in the result” (Elder James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 496)

What came first, the chicken or the egg?


What comes first, signs or faith? Have a nice discussion about signs and faith, why it is important to have faith, and how signs support and uphold faith, rather than create it.

Discover and discuss the similarities between Lazarus and the last week of Jesus. [Similarities Handout]

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