1 November 2015

John 11:32-44

“Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’” (vv. 41-42)

Psalm: Psalm 24


This miracle of raising Lazarus seems like a rehearsal of Jesus' own resurrection. There were sisters weeping round the tomb; the hopelessness of the finality of death, culminating in despair and anguish; Jesus arriving late, showing his own sorrow, yet praying that the power of God be shown.

In spite of his prayer, Jesus was not believed by everyone and doubt still lives on today. But let's hear the comments of one (imaginary) spectator on the day:

They said he was dead, but it seems a bit suspicious to me. How can they prove it?

After all, they're great friends with this so-called miracle worker - they'd want to try to fool us, wouldn't they? Their brother couldn't possibly have survived if he'd really been in that tomb all that time. Unless they'd made some kind of secret way out, of course! Maybe all the time we were feeling sorry for them they were hiding him in the house, feeding their faces and laughing about the way they were going to play out the miraculous return.

I think it's all an act. And I think those three were in on it. Yes, the women did a lot of dramatic weeping, but most women can cry convincingly at a funeral. As for Lazarus - he may have seemed rather pale and sickly when he came out from the tomb, but he had to be in there for at least a few hours, so that none of us saw him go in. Then they pretended that this Jesus had turned up late to make it even more dramatic.

They're saying that the authorities are out to get Jesus and I can't say I blame them. I think he's a rogue and a conman.

And I hope that they'll do the right thing when they catch him. They need to lock him up and throw away the key, or make sure he's good and dead before they seal his tomb - if he has one. They should post a couple of guards as well.

Then let his friends try to get him out of that!

To Ponder

  • The spectator above is imaginary, but how do you think you would have reacted in such circumstances?
  • How do you respond when people question the authenticity of some of the miracles of Jesus? 

Bible notes author

Marjorie Dobson

Marjorie Dobson is a local preacher and a writer of hymns, prayers, poetry and short dramatic pieces for use in worship. She particularly enjoys writing character pieces - 'getting under the skin of the real person that hides in the shadows of a good story'.