We don’t know much about Lazarus, except that he was Mary and Martha’s brother. He must have been a close friend because Jesus wept when he arrived and found him dead. (John 11:1-18).
Lazarus appears in the Gospel story, not because of any shining qualities in his personality nor because of any resounding achievement but because he was the recipient of a miracle that couldn’t be refuted: he was raised from the dead. Friends had come to comfort Mary and Martha and Lazarus’ body had already been laid in the tomb for four days. We don’t hear anything about his perspective about being dead, nor does he share any glimpses of the next life.
In verse 41 we hear of Jesus’ motivation for raising Lazarus from the dead: “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Jesus and the Father were one, but Jesus healed Lazarus so that the doubters would believe. There could be no greater miracle than to have someone come back to life after four days in the tomb! Many Jews who saw what Jesus did believed in him.
Others recognized the miracle and had the opposite reaction. They realized that Jesus was a threat to the status quo, and they began to plot to kill him. Incredibly we hear that “the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well for on account of him, many Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
Scripture reminds us that being a Christian is not an easy life. People set out to kill Lazarus because his returning to life was inspiring others to turn to Jesus.
I pray that our new lives as Christians inspire others to turn to Jesus and rattle the status quo, too.
Blessings, my friend,