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Men surrounded Jesus. "Who are you? Give us a straight answer."

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Why did you let Lazarus die?
part one

Men surrounded Jesus. “Who are you? Give us a straight answer. Are you the Messiah? He was predicted to come and conquer our enemies.”

Jesus looked at the religious leaders, “I’ve already answered you. You don’t believe me. I gave you proof when I did miracles. If you were in my family, you would recognize me. My father gave me my family and no one can take them from me.”

The men’s bodies tightened for a fight.

Then Jesus said the frightful words, “The Father and I are one.”

They grabbed rocks to hurl at him. How dare he say that he and God, the almighty, were one!”

He managed to get away from them and went into the country near the Jordan River. People followed him and many believed him.

A messenger brought news to him that Lazarus, whom he loved,

was very sick. Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters had sent the message. Jesus didn’t seem upset. “This sickness is not going to end in death. I will receive glory for it, which will be for God’s glory.”

Two days passed and he stayed where he was. Then he announced to his disciples, “We are going to Judea.”

What? We know Jesus loves Lazarus and his sisters, but why is he going into a trap? He knows that the home of Lazarus is near Jerusalem. Powerful Jewish leaders there hate him.

“Jesus,” they protested, “the last time you were in Jerusalem the religious leaders picked up rocks to kill you.”

Jesus looked calmly at them.

“Jesus, they are becoming violent. When you healed the blind man, they heard you tell him that you were the Son of Man. When the man told you, ‘I believe!’ they were hot with rage.”

“Every time you heal someone, they’re jealous. They say, ‘Jesus claims to be God.’”

“That’s blasphemy and the punishment is death! Don’t go to Judea!”

Jesus replied, “When it is day, people can walk in the light, because they see the light of the world. When it is night, people stumble, because they have no light in them. Lazarus has fallen asleep. I am going to wake him up.”

They wondered: Does Jesus mean that we will be safe with him? Why did he say that Lazarus was asleep? “Teacher, they asked, “if Lazarus is getting a good sleep, he must be getting better.”

“No, he’s dead. I am glad that I was not there with him. You have another opportunity to believe in me. Let us go to see him.”

The men squirmed When we get to Lazarus, he’ll be a rotting body wrapped in grave clothes and stuck in a tomb.

Then one disciple exclaimed, “Let’s all go. We can die with Jesus.”

They went. As they entered Bethany, Lazarus’ hometown, they were told, “Lazarus has been in his grave for four days.”

Martha met Jesus and said, “If you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. But, I know that whatever you ask God to give to you, he will.”

“Martha, your brother will live again.”

“Yes, I know that that happens in the future when everyone rises.”

“Martha, that’s not what I am talking about.”

Martha said nothing but kept listening. What does Jesus mean? What is he going to do?

This is Barbara Steiner with an unfinished account. Listen soon to part two. The primary resource is John 11 in the Bible.

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