Have you read or heard the Bible story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead? It is one of the most fascinating stories in the entire Bible, and every time I read the account, something different stands out to me.

Lazarus and his two sisters were personal friends of Jesus. Jesus had been a guest in their home and they had a close relationship. They had witnessed the power of Jesus and had seen Him heal the sick. So, when Lazarus became ill, they probably were sure that Jesus would come quickly to heal His friend.

There are a couple of problems with getting in touch with Jesus. They didn’t have automobiles, cellphones, or Google Maps to locate Jesus, so finding Him took time. Jesus was a two-day journey from Lazarus, and by the time the messengers who had been sent found Him, Lazarus was probably already dead. When Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 

Then, Jesus stayed where He was for two more days before heading to Judea and Lazarus. I’m sure everyone around Jesus was confused when Jesus didn’t drop everything and rush to be with His sick friend. Maybe some of them thought, “well, He said the sickness would not end in death, so He isn’t in a hurry.” However, when Jesus was ready to depart, He told the disciples that Lazarus was already dead.

John 11:14

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

Before they reached Lazarus, his sister, Martha, came to meet Him. I don’t know her tone when she met Jesus, but her words were blunt and to the point.

John 11:21

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

She knew in her heart that Jesus could heal the sick, but I don’t think she even considered that He would raise her dead brother.

John 11:23-24

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Martha is a believer and knew that Jesus would be true to His word, but she couldn’t wrap her brain around what He was telling her. So, Martha ran back to get her sister, Mary, and Jesus stayed right where He was. He didn’t follow her; He stayed put.

Just like her sister, Mary ran to Jesus and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Mary was emotional, crying and weeping, and Jesus wept also. Even though He knew the story’s outcome, He was moved to tears at the heartache He was witnessing. Jesus asked where Lazarus had been put, and then they journeyed to the burial spot.

Jesus told them to remove the stone sealing the burial spot, but Martha protested.

John 11:39

39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Lazarus was dead, and he had been in the tomb for FOUR days. Joe told me a long time ago (I don’t know that he is correct) that people used to have a “wake” in their homes after someone died. They would stay up with the body, just in case, the deceased decided to “wake” up. Several people were raised from the dead by someone other than Jesus. Elijah, Peter, and Paul raised someone from the dead, but not after four days. This was different; all hope was lost; he was put in the tomb! This was the perfect way for God to get the glory; Lazarus would not come back to life any other way.

John 11:40

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times my parents said, “how many times do I have to tell you to do …..” Obviously, I wasn’t one to do something the first time I was told. Lol! Jesus smacked Martha’s hands by saying, “did I not tell you?”

Of course, Jesus goes on to raise Lazarus from the dead, and God did indeed get the glory!! But, when thinking about Martha, I wondered how many times I had been like her. How many times does Jesus have to say DO NOT BE AFRAID before I will take it into my heart? How many times does He have to tell me to LOVE MY ENEMIES or to ASK, SEEK, KNOCK?

It can be hard to believe when looking at situations through our worldly eyes. But, the LAST thing I want to hear when I meet Jesus is, “Did I Not Tell You!”

To God Goes The Glory!

Have A Blessed Day!


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  1. I love your blog and wanted to thank u for sharing these inspiring Biblical stories. ❤️

  2. RoseMarie says:

    I just read this the other day, and the commentary said, “Stop staring at the corpse and focus on Jesus, the One who is the Resurrection and the Life.” We need our perspective to be God’s view, the eternal, not the temporal. The challenge, what am I focused on?

    Thanks for sharing Tania. Words of wisdom, words of the Lord.

  3. You make me laugh, Tania. Did I not tell you? I heard that a few times from my Mom!
    Thank you for this reminder, and for making it so real.

  4. Tania, thank you for today’s devotional. This is one of my favorite Bible stories because we see Jesus being very human. He wept because of his love for his friends. Then we see Him raising Lazarus from the dead after four days in a tomb. That is Almighty God we are seeing!

  5. Marin Mattingly says:

    I read somewhere that the phrase “Fear not” or the equivalent appears in the Bible 365 times. One for each day.

  6. Marcie W. says:

    We are all guilty of skepticism and disobedience. And, Joe is correct as I recall my dad sitting with someone’s body overnight in our little community as they lay in the casket.
    Thanks for your Sunday devotionals.