No one knows. Jesus’ reasons for delay are not explained here. We can only surmise that a higher purpose-higher than saving people from physical death-caused Jesus not to go with immediate haste to His friend’s side. That purpose was surely the one that Jesus had come to fulfill: saving people from spiritual death, that is, from eternal separation from His loving heavenly Father.
Though Lazarus was raised miraculously, he did die later. So did Mary and Martha, the disciples, and all of Jesus’ closet friends. Jesus did not come to spare His loved ones the experience of physical death but to show them the path to eternal life.
Christ did miracles to authenticate His claims to be the Messiah. John called these supernatural acts “signs”-events intended to point people to God, to signal the presence of God with His people. Who but God has authority over nature, disease, death and evil? A carpenter from Nazareth calming a raging storm, giving sight to the blind, calling Lazarus from the tomb, and driving out demonic spirits, emphatically demonstrates that He is the Son of God.
Personal name meaning “lady [of the house]” or “mistress.” Sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany and one of Jesus’ best-loved disciples. True to her name, Martha is portrayed as a person in charge: she welcomed Jesus as a guest in her home (Luke 10:38); she was concerned with meeting the obligations of a hostess, whether preparing food (Luke 10:40; John 12:2) or
The New Testament is full of “Marys.” With six or seven different women sharing that same name, it’s easy to get confused. The Mary we’re looking at here was a resident of Bethany, near Jerusalem. She was the sister of Martha and Lazarus. We meet her in three separate stories in the New Testament.
The story of Judas Iscariot may be the most unsettling cautionary talk in all of Scripture. For three years Judas spent practically every day in the presence of the Son of God-experiencing his miracles, listening to his teachings, and watching him change lives and give hope to multitudes.
Hades is not another word for hell. It’s a word describing the place where all dead people go-not just the bad ones. Hades is the Greek word for a Hebrew term, Sheol. Jesus illustrated the Jewish understanding of Sheol in a parable about two men who died-a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. Flames tormented the rich man, but he could see Lazarus in a comfortable place with Abraham. The rich man asked for a taste of water, but Abraham explained it was impossible: “There is a great chasm separating us” (Luke 16:26).
For all we know, Thomas may have been the boldest of Jesus 12 disciples-a paragon of courageous service and unshakable loyalty. The New Testament offers evidence to support the notion. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, some of the disciples were reluctant to return to Judea, where an attempt had been made of Jesus life. Thomas was the one who finally said, “Let’s go so that we may die with Him” (John 11:16) Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE “THOMAS: BELIEF INTERRUPTED”→