The Death of Lazarus


John 11

The Death of Lazarus

1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. 3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

4When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

7Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8″But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”

9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. 10It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”

11After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

The death of a loved one is something for which we are never prepared.  Even if the one we love has been through an extended illness which will necessarily end in death, we are shocked when death ultimately occurs.

Jesus had already demonstrated to His followers that He was capable of healing the sick, but up until now He had not raised anyone from the dead.  Notice verse 4 and verses 14 and 15 that Jesus said what is happening to Lazarus is for God’s glory, and so that His disciples would believe.

At this point, the disciples do not know what to anticipate.  Their chief concern is that Jesus is returning to a location where His enemies had threatened to stone Him.  Although the disciples did not know what they would face, Thomas said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

I don’t think Thomas is referring to Lazarus when he says, let us die with him, I think he is referring to being willing to die with Jesus if need be.  The death of Lazarus is a defining moment in Jesus’ ministry.  Come back tomorrow for more…

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