Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lazarus... distinct?

In today's reading, after Jesus received the letter regarding Lazarus, 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."

Hmmm... the scriptures (and many lessons preached) indicate that Jesus performed a number of miracles during his 2.5ish-year-ministry because He had compassion on the people but also, to demonstrate God's power and build faith in his followers (including us, centuries later). But here's my question...

What made raising Lazarus from the dead distinct from the other two occasions in which Jesus performed a similar miracle?
  • Occasion 1: Jesus raised the woman's son to life in the town of Nain. (Luke 7:11-17)
  • Occasion 2: Jesus raised Jairus's daughter to life. (Matt 9:23-26, Mark 5:35-43, Luke 8:49-56)
Perhaps there were more people around and aware when Lazarus was raised to life? Perhaps because the Pharisees were specifically informed of this 3rd occasion and thus their scheme to kill Jesus was officially set in motion? Perhaps this occasion with Lazarus more closely resembled Easter morning when Jesus rose from the dead; Lazarus had been dead for a few days, he was in a tomb, there was great rejoicing when he was raised to life, etc.? Hmmm?

:) Tera


Teena Phamster said...

Great questions and observations Tera. I did a little research on this and some of ur observations are pretty good.

The first raising of the dead showed how Jesus touched the coffin. By doing so, Jesus risked ritual uncleanness. Obviously Jesus didn't care about that, but it probably mattered to others who were religious n set in the laws. Jesus emphasized that love is more important than following tradition. His heart was moved and he felt compelled.

The second raising from the dead (Jairus) was not what Jesus had planned on doing since he was afraid it was going to be counterproductive to his ministry. He knew that these types of miracle would seek to much attention. He was afraid that his death may be premature. Hence why he only had a few people around when he raised her and ordered them not to share.

With Lazarus, Jesus knew that it was the tipping point in which the Pharisees would plot to kill him. It is no wonder Jesus waited 2 more days after Lazarus death to come over to raise him from the dead. He wanted this to be the ultimate death raising that would inspire many to faith in him. This was just the point where they feared that Jesus will keep doing miracles and everyone would believe in him. He was becoming a political threat to them.

My understanding is that each raising of the dead played a huge role in the events that needed to happen for the ultimate death n resurrection of Jesus. Each incident was faithbuilding and we saw God's heart be moved by those suffering due to a lost loved one. I was quite moved by Jesus heart for Lazarus. He really loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Though he knew that he had power to raise Lazarus to life, he was sympathetic to their feelings. He wept. Jesus shed tears for his friend whom he deeply loved. I would too if a good friend died...eventhough I know they would be in heaven. It's just amazing to see the process of Jesus' heart n love for his people.

In long, Tera, you were def on the right track. :) This incident is diff in that he performed in front of a larger crowd. He wanted to stir things preparation of his death.

Amazing....death to life! Only God can do that!

Danger Ashley said...

The Pharisees wanted to kill both Jesus and Lazarus after Jesus raised Lazarus.

Tera Chau said...

WOOOOOW greattttttt response Tina! haha I LOVE it!

Yours is kewl too Craig hehe... btw I'm grateful that you have been responding to posts lately, with so few left standing I'm grateful for the ones who are still standing :)

Teena Phamster said...

Your welcome Tera. Am glad you love it...haha...and have such appreciation 4 it.

Cool insight Craig. :)