This is part one of the story of Lazarus, his death. Lazarus is Mary’s brother, part of a family that Jesus knows well, a family he loves. This really struck me this morning. Jesus was known for many great works and amazing sermons, but Jesus was fully human as well, he spent time with others in a variety of “normal” settings. The humanness of Jesus is hard to comprehend, but here we read “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
Jesus sets the stage for his disciples and tells them what’s about to happen, though (as usual it seems) the don’t quite understand what he’s telling them when Jesus says, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep.” Their reaction: “Lord, if he sleeps he will get better,” so Jesus tells them plainly: “Lazarus is dead.” Oops. There must have been times when the disciples talked amongst themselves and wondered if they were really the right guys.
They have a rather long, sad walk back to a place where they know Jesus was threatened and now they know there is a scene that they really can’t begin to comprehend. We have the advantage of reading the next section of scripture, they were walking one step at a time.
In the section before we read where the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, now they get that opportunity. But first the walk.
Thomas, later referred to as Doubting Thomas, spurs them onto action, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Count me in Lord! Let’s Roll!!
Jesus does that which is not ordinary for people who need extraordinary help. Thank you Lord!