John 11:38-45, and 12:10-11
Lazarus had plenty of good things going for him:
- He was a, ‘Hey-come-over-for-dinner,’ friend of Jesus and the twelve disciples.
- Mary and Martha were his wonderful sisters.
- He lived a life of devotion to friends and family, which evoked strong grief at his death.
- Jesus honored him by performing a great miracle and raising him from the dead.
We give so much attention to the temporary miracle of this passage. John 11:45 begins to tell the eternal side of this great miracle; “…many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.” These are the miracles of great substance—the people who came to eternal, saving faith in Jesus Christ!
We know something about Lazarus that isn’t written in scripture; Lazarus died– again. We know this because he isn’t alive today (THAT would be a huge headline!). Truth is, sometime later, his family and friends gathered again and wept over the loss of Lazarus. They laid him in a tomb, possibly the same one Jesus had raised him from on his most notorious day. No resurrection miracle this time. No cheering. Just tears and good-byes.
We don’t know how many eyewitnesses saw Lazarus come out of that tomb at Jesus’ command, entangled in strips of cloth. We don’t know how many people pointed out Lazarus as he went about living his life after he was restored; “Hey, that’s the guy- Lazarus! He used to be dead…” We don’t know how many people heard Lazarus tell his personal story over and over with excitement and awe. One thing we do know; Jesus used a very ‘temporary’ miracle and a friend to bring glory to himself and help a great many find their own personal miracle of eternal life through faith in Christ.
PRAYER: “Gracious Jesus, even though today has all the earmarks of an ordinary day, help me be your friend, no matter what happens. Keep my eyes on things of eternal significance, and use me to bring glory to you, all day long.”
“…many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary… put their faith in him.” (John 11:45)