As John recounts the story of Lazarus, there is a sense of the growing tension as John focuses in on the final days of Jesus ministry. The religious elite were clearly gunning for Jesus, but each time they tried to discredit or undermine the Lord, they only looked like the fools that they truly were.
That being the case, they now tuned their sites on killing Jesus. It was apparent to the apostles that Jesus was in danger so when news of Lazarus’ death came to the Lord, they were all concerned about Jesus being in proximity with His enemies. So, two days later when Jesus told the disciples they were going to heal Lazarus, they were obviously concerned.
The entire event was one that sealed the deity of the Lord. But the story of Lazarus not only established Jesus’ deity; it also showcased His humanity. We know that Jesus would simply need to will it and Lazarus would have been healed on day one, Mary and Martha would not have needed to grieve, the religious leaders would not have had to be confronted.
This event, however was so much more than Jesus healing His friend. This event was Jesus ending once and for all the idea that he was some parlor trick magician and radical teacher. This was Jesus facing death, being God, and honoring the Father’s plan, no matter the personal cost.
When we read this story, we can actually feel the love of the Lord going out to all that are involved. We can cling to the fact that nothing happens in our lives, but that it happens with the full awareness of the Lord. He is neither surprised, nor disinterested in what we experience. He will, however, execute His plan in our lives, even though we want a different or easier journey.
God Bless You
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When 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.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After 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.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”