1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." 8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?" 9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." 12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him." 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."
Question to Consider:
The story concerning Lazarus puts Jesus at the beginning of the home-stretch of His public ministry. Events are going to quickly move towards the fulfillment of the Father's plan for Jesus to become the atonement for the sins of mankind. In the story of raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus strips away all the excuses and misguided arguments against Jesus being recognized as the Messiah. Anyone who has the power to raise someone from the dead, after they have been dead for four days, needs to be taken seriously.
A message came to Jesus from Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, that Lazarus was seriously sick. They asked Jesus to come so that He could heal Lazarus. v.5 Makes it clear that Jesus was a close friend to Lazarus and his sisters. He loved them. In spite of this close relationship, Jesus did not respond quickly to the report. He waited for two days.
Finally, Jesus told His disciples that it was time to go to Judea. The disciples were somewhat alarmed because the last time Jesus was in Judea the Jews had tried to stone Him. Jesus answers the disciples concerns with a cryptic response. v.9,10 "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." I believe that Jesus is telling His disciples that He has not yet come to the end of His ministry; that it is still day. It sounds similar to what Jesus shared in John 9:4,5. "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Jesus makes it clear to His disciples that Lazarus is dead. He then tells them something that is a foreshadowing of what is yet to come. v.15 "I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, (to heal Lazarus), that you may believe." (Believe in me as I raise Lazarus from the dead)
The ever pessimistic Thomas speaks up, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."
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