Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Dead – Part 2
By Steph Nickel
Stephanie continues the story of how Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead in one of the most well-known stories of the bible. But who was Lazarus? He was a beloved friend of Jesus who lived in Bethany, along with his sisters, Mary and Martha.
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Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
In my previous post, we learned from the story of Lazarus that God is planning something good—even when He seems distant and unresponsive.
Let’s continue reading the story from John 11. Today we will be reading verses 17-27.
“Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’”
Jesus Reveals His Identity
The miracles that Jesus’ performed showed the crowds what He could do. But by allowing Lazarus to die and be buried, He would not only show that He had power over death—as well as life, He would reveal who He was.
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, actions speak louder than words, but this did not stop Jesus from verbalizing the truth, which is what He did when Lazarus’ sister Martha went out to see Jesus.
You will notice that their sister, Mary, who had sat at the Lord’s feet listening to His teaching and who had anointed those very feet with expensive ointment stayed behind. There were likely a plethora of emotions and thoughts racing through her. Why hadn’t the Lord come? He could have healed Lazarus. Didn’t Jesus love them? Weren’t they His friends? Maybe He just didn’t care. Maybe she had been wrong about Him.
Martha, the one who had been so wrapped up with preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples, was the sister who went out to meet Him—and to ask the tough questions.
“If you had been here,” she said, “my brother would not have died.”
But she didn’t stop there. Her next words expressed the depths of her faith: “Even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
Was she really saying she believed He could raise her brother, who had been in the tomb for four days?
Jesus used this as yet another teaching moment. He told her that her brother would rise from the dead.
Her thoughts turned immediately to the promises in the Scriptures and she voiced her confidence that Lazarus would rise in the future, on the last day.
I Am The Resurrection and the Life
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
Obviously, He didn’t mean that believers wouldn’t experience physical death. After all, Lazarus was still bound and lying in the tomb, and that is who they were talking about. But these promises were not just for this beloved family; they are for “whoever believes.”
And, though she didn’t fully understand what Jesus was about to do—or what He would do in the days ahead, Martha again expressed great faith when she said, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’”
In the face of great heartache and confusion, Martha professed even greater faith.
Can I? Can you?
Read the other 3 parts of this series:
Steph is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Click here to read Part 1.Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
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Images courtesy of:
Raising of Lazarus: Glasgow University
Modern Day Bethany: Djampa
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