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Ministry of Jesus

The Death of Lazarus

Scripture

John 11:1-16

Commentary

Despite receiving word that Lazarus was sick, Jesus intentionally waits another two days until He attends to him.  Jesus' statement that the illness would not end in death confused the disciples but is nevertheless true.  While Lazarus did in fact die, that wasn't the end of the story.

As is often the case, the disciples misunderstand Jesus and He must clarify.  The disciples thought that Lazarus was still asleep and not actually dead.  Jesus explains that He is glad for the opportunity to raise Lazarus from the dead so that the disciples would see and believe.

Thomas' statement, "Let us also go, that we may die with him," can be interpreted two ways.  The first way is literal.  Jesus had recently been run out of Judea as the Jews tried to stone Him.  Returning there could mean their deaths.  Or this could be a wavering of faith by Thomas.  Perhaps Jesus is not as great as he believed if He was unable to prevent the death of His good friend Lazarus.  If that were the case, then the life they had hoped for with Jesus was as good as dead.

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