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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2000

Jesus Raised Lazarus from the Dead

by  Rhonda Thompson

Since Jesus traveled from place to place preaching and helping people, He often depended on kindness from people for food and shelter. One place he often stopped was in the small village of Bethany, at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Luke tells us that “Martha welcomed him into her home” (10:38-39).

Lazarus became very sick and his sisters sent for Jesus. But Jesus did not go to Bethany right away. He loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus very much, but He waited two more days before going to Bethany. He told His disciples that Lazarus was “asleep,” but they did not understand. So He told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. There were still many people at Mary and Martha’s home trying to comfort them because their brother had died, When Jesus arrived, the sisters told Jesus that if He had been there, their brother would not have died. They believed so much in Jesus. Martha said, “Whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Their friends wept; only Jesus could help.

Jesus was very sad when He saw how upset the sisters and all their friends were. When He was taken to the grave, He cried because He shared the sorrow and understood the pain of those whom he loved? Lazarus had been buried in a tomb with a great stone rolled in front of the opening. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” But Martha didn’t think that was a good idea. When the stone was rolled away, Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Father. He wanted this miracle to prove to the crowd, and to Mary and Martha, who He was (the Son of God). And just as important, Jesus wanted this miracle, the seventh recorded in the book of John, to glorify God. Jesus called to Lazarus and told him to come out of the tomb. Lazarus immediately walked out of the tomb, still wrapped in his burial cloths. Jesus said to take the strips of cloth off and “set him free.” Because of this miracle, many more people believed that Jesus was God’s Son, and many people glorified God by praising him.

We know that God does not raise people from the dead today, but we can read about this and other great miracles in His Word. As John said, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (20:30-31). By reading about miracles in the Bible, we can continue to learn about Jesus and glorify God.

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