Jesus has come to Bethany because he has received word that his friend Lazarus is ill.
He is speaking with Lazarus’ sister, Martha, who had complained to Jesus that he died because Jesus wasn’t there to heal him.
Martha then went to get their other sister, Mary.
This incident contributed to the determination of the chief priests and Pharisees to arrest Jesus and have him executed.
Lazarus was not the first person that Jesus had raised from the dead.
He had raised Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow of Naim.
So, what was the difference?
The difference was the length of time that Lazarus had been in the tomb.
In Jesus’ time, there were no medical ways of determining death, and because of tradition and the heat in that part of the world, the Jews buried their dead on the day of death.
I’m sure mistakes were made, and people could easily have said that the two people Jesus raised weren’t finished.
However, when Jesus told those who were mourning with Martha and Mary to roll back the stone, they protested because, after four days, there would be a stench.
But they did as Jesus asked, and when Jesus called out to Lazarus, he came out.
There was no doubt that there was something special about this man Jesus!
Many more people began to believe in him.
This frightened the leaders, who feared the Romans would persecute them and take away their religious freedom and their nation.
From that time on, they plotted his death.
We are approaching the end of Lent.
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week.
Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead before he came to Martha and Mary so that he could show them the power of God.
How has he shown God’s power to you or me this Lent?
When I was a teenager teaching Sunday School, it was just a few weeks before Good Friday, Easter. This Chapter above laid I my hands. Pondering my thoughts, I thought the children were too young. Sorting advice from the Elders is sometimes not wise, significantly when everyone is busy. As my life goes, trust has to be earned, I learnt 🪔 As it turned out, my Uncle Ray helped me ( Catholic Buddhist Monk) drew up comic-style graphics. Sunday School 🍎 was never the same again at the Methodist Church. Small children learn their innocent way. I was colouring with pencils too. There's always a gentle way to learn and teach. Whatever way you right words- soft. AMEN
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