05/31/17 Killing Lazarus

READING: 2 Chronicles 13-14, John 12:1-26

“Therefore the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus also.”

John 12:10

Some stories of the Bible would be almost comical if they weren’t so tragic – and I find the latter part of the story of Lazarus to be one of those stories. My sense is that many believers know that Jesus brought Lazarus back to life after his death, but many glance over the next part of the story. Many of the Jews came to see Lazarus after he was raised from the dead (as you might expect when such stories surely spread quickly). They came to see Jesus, of course, but they wanted to see Lazarus, too. Indeed, Lazarus “was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them [the religious leaders] and believing in Jesus” (John 12:11). The miracle of resurrection led to the miracle of belief in Jesus, and the religious leaders got stressed.

They were so bothered, in fact, that they “decided to kill Lazarus also” (John 12:10). Apparently, they assumed that by killing Lazarus, they would remove him from the equation. A dead Lazarus would no longer be a threat to them – except that you would think they would know better because of Lazarus’ history . . . .

That’s where this story becomes almost comical. Lazarus was a threat to the religious leaders precisely because the Jesus he served was the Resurrection and the Life. He had raised Lazarus, and the religious leaders could neither deny the miracle nor negate it.  They could kill Lazarus if they wished, but they could not guarantee he would stay there. As long as Jesus was a part of the story, no ending was the final one. The sad reality, though, is that the sinful jealousy of the religious leaders was so great that it blinded them to the obvious Truth in front of them. And that’s not funny – that’s incredibly sad. 

I wonder how many people today have seen the power of God, but have still chosen not to follow Him. I wonder, too, how often I’ve seen the power but have not let it increase my faith.


  • Perhaps you know someone who has seen the evident power of God, but has still rejected Him. If so, pray passionately for him or her today.
  • Ask God to help you not miss His power and presence today. 

PRAYER: “God, forgive me when I let my sin block my vision of You.” 

TOMORROW’S READING:  2 Chronicles 15-16, John 12:27-50