Jesus and Lazarus
Scripture Reading — John 11:38-53
Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" John 11:43 —
Jesus and Lazarus were close friends. So Jesus was naturally concerned when he heard that Lazarus was sick, implying that he was near death. But as the Son of God, Jesus also knew that this sickness would "not end in death." Instead it would be "for God's glory so that God's Son [would] be glorified through it" (John 11:4). In this way Jesus predicted that Lazarus would arise.
Only God can raise the dead, and when Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb, it sent shock waves through the Jewish community. Here was proof that Jesus was no ordinary prophet but was in fact the Son of God!
Many people put their faith in Jesus when they saw Lazarus returned to life, but others took the side of Jesus' enemies. As a result, the religious leaders who despised Jesus became more intent on killing him. Before long, they "made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him" (John 12:10-11). All of this reminds us that the power of evil and unbelief can be so strong that even a miracle of resurrection will not turn some to repentance.
But the power of God is far stronger. After Jesus laid down his life to pay for our sin, he rose victorious over death and now leads people to believe through the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in our hearts.
Dear God, thank you for showing us the deep friendship Jesus had with Lazarus and his sisters. Guide us by your Spirit to become your friends and family members. Amen.