Scripture Reading: John 11:1–44
Context: This powerful and very detailed miracle takes place shortly before Jesus is arrested and killed. In fact, it is this miracle that adds greatly to the envy of the scribes and Pharisees in these final days.
Jesus is very close to Martha, Mary and Lazarus and visits them often. Mary was the one who anointed Jesus’ head with perfume worth 300 days wages while He was at supper at Simon the Pharisee’s home. Mary is also the one who sat at Jesus’ feet as Martha prepared a dinner.
These two sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was ill. And though Jesus was only a couple of miles away, He did not go to the house for a couple of days, knowing full well that Lazarus was going to die and that He would raise him up.
When Jesus did arrive, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. Martha came to greet Jesus and expressed her faith in His power. Mary came to Jesus after being called by Martha. Jesus’ encounter with her and the others leads Him to tears. This story is relatively long for a Gospel story and is filled with much emotion.
Reflection: Prayerfully read the story and use the following points as a guide if you wish.
- Read verses 1–4, especially consider the line stating this illness is for the “glory of God.” Imagine being there hearing Jesus say this. What goes through your mind as you hear this?
- Ponder also the close friendship Jesus had with this family. This was not just a stranger he raised but a close friend.
- Reflect upon the emotions everyone experienced as they saw Lazarus’ illness grow worse to the point that he died and was placed in the tomb. He remained there for four days. Think about the growing desire for Jesus to arrive as they waited for Him.
- Verses 20–27 present Jesus’ interaction with Martha. Try to see yourself present for that conversation, considering the words, Martha’s faith, and the emotion.
- Do the same with Jesus’ interaction with Mary in verses 28–36.
- Verses 38–44 present Lazarus rising from the dead. Place yourself there as you read it prayerfully. Notice, especially, the divine authority of Jesus.
Spend sufficient time on Jesus’ final words: “Laz′arus, come out.” And, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Hear them spoken in a spiritual way also to you.
- Baptism of the Lord
- Two Standards
- Three Classes of Men
- Calling of Apostles
- Wedding at Cana
- Cleansing the Temple
- Sermon on the Mount
- Calming the Storm
- Walking on Water
- The Apostles were Sent to Preach
- Conversion of Mary Magdalene
- How Christ Fed the Five Thousand
- Transfiguration of Christ
- Resurrection of Lazarus
- Supper in Bethany
- Three Ways of Humility