Miracles

Jesus resurrects Lazarus

This passage presents us the story of the resurrection of Lazarus is the seventh miracle narrated by John, the last and most portentous is the one that reveals Jesus the Lord of life and death.

Gospel - John [11, 1-45]

A certain Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha, was sick. Mary was the one who sprinkled the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; the sick man was her brother Lazarus. The sisters therefore sent a message to Jesus: "Lord, behold, the one you love is sick". Upon hearing this, Jesus said: "This sickness will not lead to death, but it is for the glory of God, so that through it the Son of God may be glorified". Jesus loved Martha and her sister of her and Lazarus. When he heard that he was sick, he stayed for two days in the place where he was staying. After these days he said to his disciples: "Let's go back to Judea!". The disciples said to him: "Rabbi, a little while ago the Jews were trying to stone you and are you going there again?". Jesus replied: "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world; but if he walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him".

He said these things and then added to them: "Lazarus, our friend, has fallen asleep; but I'm going to wake him up". Then the disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be saved". Jesus had spoken of his death; they thought he was talking about the rest of sleep. Then Jesus said to them openly: "Lazarus is dead and I am happy for you that I was not there, so that you may believe. Let's go to him!".

Then Thomas, called Didymus, said to the other disciples: "Let us also go and die with him!".

When Jesus arrived, he found Lazarus who had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than three kilometers from Jerusalem and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them for their brother. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet him; Maria, on the other hand, was sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died! But even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will grant you". Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again". Martha replied: "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection of the last day". Jesus said to her: "I am the Resurrection and the Life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live; whoever lives and believes in me, will not die forever. Do you believe this?". She replied: "Yes, O Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who comes into the world".

Having said these words, he went to call Mary, her sister, and secretly he said to her: "The Master is here and he is calling you". When she heard this, she immediately got up and went to him. Jesus had not entered the village, but he was still where Martha had gone to meet him. Then the Jews, who were in the house with her to console her, seeing Mary get up quickly and go out of her, followed her, thinking that she was going to weep at her tomb. When Mary arrived where Jesus was, she as soon as she saw him she threw herself at her feet saying: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!". Then Jesus, when he saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weep, was deeply moved and, very upset, asked: "Where have you placed him?". They said to him: "Lord, come and see!". Jesus burst into tears. Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!". But some of them said: "Couldn't he, who opened the eyes of the blind man, also make sure that he didn't die?".

Meanwhile, Jesus, still deeply moved, went to the tomb: it was a cave and a stone was placed against it. Jesus said: "Remove the stone!". Martha, the sister of the dead man, answered him: "Lord, it already smells bad: it has been there for four days". She said to her, "Didn't I tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?". So they removed the stone. Jesus then raised his eyes and said: "Father, I thank you because you have listened to me. I knew that you always listen to me, but I said it for the people around me, so that they may believe that you sent me". Having said this, he cried out in a loud voice: "Lazarus, come out!". The dead man came out, his feet and hands tied with bandages, and his face wrapped in a shroud. Jesus said to them, "Free him and let him go".

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary, seeing what He had done, believed in Him.

Exegesis - John [11, 1-45]

This passage presents us the story of the resurrection of Lazarus is the seventh miracle narrated by John, the last and most portentous is the one that reveals Jesus lord of life and death. Jesus had already resurrected the daughter of the head of the synagogue, like the young son of the widow, now he resurrects Lazarus, who had been buried for four days, a dead already decomposing, everything is a sign that we also need to understand his power, to believe in Him. He had said: The hour will come when all those who are in the tombs will hear my voice and come out, those who have done well for the resurrection of life, those who have done evil for the resurrection of judgment.

John narrates that Martha, Mary and Lazarus were friends of Jesus, the sisters send a message to the Master to inform him that their brother was seriously ill and ask him to come and free him from the disease. What the message said: "Lord, you see, the one you love is sick", they did not dare to say: come and heal him immediately! Or maybe it was enough for them that He knew it as he could not abandon the one he loved. In fact the evangelist emphasizes that "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus" Jesus replied: This sickness is not for death, but it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.

However, having received the news, Jesus did not immediately respond to the invitation, he remained where he was, letting four days pass. Then he said again to his disciples: Let's go back to Judea, where he almost was stoned, and from where he seemed to have left just to escape the stoning.

The evangelist highlights the fear of the disciples in the face of this decision, they well knew that the Jews had tried to stone Jesus and their astonishment emerges from the story: but how do you want to go back there? The reproach is inherent in Jesus' response: "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world; but if he walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in he". Probably here Jesus refers to the night of their intelligence, and it is the reproach for their hesitation and their lack of faith, and invites them to follow him if they do not want to stumble.

When they arrived near Bethany, Lazarus has already been dead for four days, the story continues that "he had not yet entered the village" when Martha realized that Jesus had arrived, she went to meet him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha is saddened when she says to Jesus: Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died; but even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will grant you. It's odd that she didn't ask him to resurrect her brother right away. Was it because she didn't know if he was the real good of her? So she just says: I know you can do it if you want; but it is you who must judge if it is the case, not me. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will grant you.

Jesus replies to Martha: "Your brother will rise again", she replies: "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection of the last day". Jesus replies: "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, he will live". Do you believe it? - Jesus asks Martha -; And she replies: Yes, Lord, I believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who came into this world, Martha here demonstrates a great faith in Jesus.

Subsequently Marta goes to call Maria, her sister, telling her in silence: The master is here and he is calling you. In silence it means in a low voice, the evangelist does not report either where or how or when the Lord had called Mary.

Mary, having reached the place where Jesus was, seeing him prostrates herself before the Master in the presence of all and leads the Lord to be moved, and exclaimed: Lord, if I had been here, my brother would not have died. Jesus, seeing her weeping, and the Jews who accompanied her weeping with her, trembled in her spirit, was troubled and said: Where have you laid him? They told him come and see. They led him to the tomb which was a cave closed by a boulder. The order of Jesus is peremptory: Remove the stone! Mary, try to dissuade the Lord by saying: Lord, it already stinks, because he has been there for four days. Jesus says to her: Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God? Jesus urges her to have faith by telling him that she will see the glory of God because she is about to resurrect a four-day dead who already stinks.

Now the incredible breaks through and overcomes every barrier! Christ breaks down the wall of death, because in him dwells the fullness of God, who is life.

Jesus cries out: "Lazarus, come out!". The dead man came out, his feet and hands tied with bandages, and his face wrapped in a shroud. Jesus said to them, "Free him and let him go.

Lazarus becomes the testimony of what Jesus had announced: "the time has come, and it is this, in which the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have listened to it will live" Jesus has power over death because it also has it on sin, which is the cause. For this reason, in some way, the bandages that bind and wrap Lazarus also represent the bonds of sin.

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