Only the Gospel of John records the miracle of Lazarus. Luke will speak of a different Lazarus who is described as a poor man begging for food. John, however, writes of a resurrected Lazarus as he declares the Lord’s deity. John said that Jesus was the Word in flesh, the Light that lights every man. He said that Jesus made everything that was ever made.
It was John that gave us Mary and Martha’s dying brother Lazarus. Jesus will arrive four days late to find a sealed tomb and a family in mourning. We are probably familiar with this biblical narrative, but I wish to expose a not so well known portion of scripture. In fact, few even take the time to discover the other part of Lazarus’ story after he rose from the dead.
John 12:9-11 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
Lazarus was a problem for the chief priests. His mere presence; breathing, living body was a major issue. They hated Lazarus because he validated the preaching of Jesus Christ. They hated Jesus because He was taking their followers. Jesus was talking about a new Kingdom and a new covenant. His parables mesmerized the people and His teaching captivated their hearts. Jesus understood the Law and He brought it to life among the people. He came to set the captive free.
The chief priests tried to stop Him and would have defamed Him had it not been for a living Lazarus. Dead Men Walking always pose a problem for the Unbeliever. You can mock the Bible; call it “old fashion” or not relevant, but you can’t dismiss the miracle. Lazarus needed to die by the hands of the unbeliever because he boosted the prominence of the Lord’s Gospel and posed a threat to their kingdom.
You see, the enemy has a kingdom also and the greatest threats to his kingdom are the walking miracles among us. People can deny speaking in other tongues, but they can’t deny the blind being able to see. They can deny holiness and righteous living, but they have a difficult time belittling cancer healed and the deaf talking and the lame walking. I’m praying for those “Undeniables” this year.
Because for that reason, verse 11, many will come to hear the saving message of Acts 2:38.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole