Lazarus Is Raised from the Dead (John 11: 1-45)

We can sometimes find ourselves in situations so difficult that we feel abandoned. However, nothing is impossible to God, or His beloved Son. Even when we are in the deepest of pits of despair, Jesus hears us. When Martha came to Jesus crying because her brother Lazarus was dead, He said: I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25-26).

How challenging it must have been to Martha to believe in the Lord's words when her brother was already dead! Let’s explore this miracle of the Lord from the New Testament, to help us  strengthen our faith in the face of challenges.


The Resurrection of Lazarus in the Gospel of John

1 Now a certain man was sick: Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 

2 And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 

3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not meant for death, but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” 

5 (Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus.) 

6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. 

7 Then after this He *said to the disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples *said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and yet You are going there again?” 

9 Jesus replied, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 

10 But if anyone walks during the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 

11 This He said, and after this He *said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going so that I may awaken him from sleep.” 

12 The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will come out of it.” 

13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about actual sleep. 

14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus died, 

15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let’s go to him.” 

16 Therefore Thomas, who was called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s also go, so that we may die with Him!”

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 

18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away; 

19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them about their brother. 

20 So then Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed in the house. 

21 Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 

22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 

23 Jesus *said to her, “Your brother will rise from the dead.” 

24 Martha *said to Him, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.” 

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, 

26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 

27 She *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, and He who comes into the world.”

28 When she had said this, she left and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 

29 And when she heard this, she *got up quickly and came to Him.

30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still at the place where Martha met Him. 

31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house and were consoling her, when they saw that Mary had gotten up quickly and left, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 

32 So when Mary came to the place where Jesus was, she saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 

33 Therefore when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, 

34 and He said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 

35 Jesus wept. 

36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” 

37 But some of them said, “Could this man, who opened the eyes of the man who was blind, not have also kept this man from dying?”

38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, *came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 

39 Jesus *said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, *said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 

40 Jesus *said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 

41 So they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 

42 But I knew that You always hear Me; nevertheless, because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”

43 And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 

44 Out came the man who had died, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. 

46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.


Jesus Wept

We can find one of the shortest verses of the Bible in this episode narrating the death of Lazarus. Why did Jesus weep? There are many interpretations to this passage, explaining the reason behind Jesus’ tears when reacting to the death of His friend. One thing is certain: our Lord was moved by compassion. When we are troubled, let’s not think that God is insensitive to our problems. What kind of father rejoices in the pain of his children? Remember always that God is compassionate. 

If You Believe, You Will See the Glory of God

Jesus came to earth to show us the Glory of God. The power of the Lord worked through Him, and extraordinarily, this power is still at work today. The only condition is to “believe”. Let’s remember what Jesus said: “truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14: 12-13).