This Week's Story

Why didn't Jesus heal Lazarus before he died? Now his body is stinking.

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

Lazarus, come out! part two

Thoughts swirled in Martha’s mind. I know Jesus loves us, but why didn’t he come when he got the message that my brother was dying? Now Lazarus is dead.

She heard Jesus say, “Even though people who believe in me die like everyone else, they also will be given eternal life for believing in me. Martha, do you believe in me?”

“Yes, I have always believed that you are the Son of God.”

She slipped away and told her sister Mary, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”

Immediately Mary went to Jesus. People, who had come to pay their respects to the family, followed her. Several were crying loudly. Mary fell at Jesus’ feet. “Master, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Jesus saw Mary’s tears and heard the people’s wailing. He groaned loudly as though he were angry and very disturbed. He asked, “Where have you put the body of Lazarus?”

“Come and see.”

Tears began sliding down his face. People murmured, “Look; he loved Lazarus.”

Some replied, “Yes! Lazarus was his close friend and his friend’s sisters are crying. He loved all of them.”

Other people criticized Jesus. “Lazarus’ death is senseless. Jesus has healed many people. Why didn’t he heal Lazarus before he died? Instead Jesus never came to Bethany until Lazarus had been in his grave for four days. Now the body of Lazarus is stinking and shut up in a tomb.”

“Don’t forget he said that death was not the end of Lazarus, and it would help people understand how great God is.”

“I don’t understand what he meant.”

“I don’t either, but sometimes what Jesus says drops into my mind and I chew on it. You heard him tell Lazarus’ sister Martha that her brother would rise again. He declared, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’”

“That is a strong claim!”

Everyone stopped. There was the tomb. Jesus ordered, “Roll its stone aside.”

Martha protested, “The smell will be revolting.”

“Martha, didn’t I tell you that you will see God’s glory if you believe?”

She looked at him, not understanding, but trusting him.

Men rolled the stone away. Jesus looked upwards. “Father, thank you for hearing me. I know you always hear me, but I am speaking aloud so all these people standing here will know that you sent me.”

Then he shouted loudly, “Lazarus, come out!”

A peculiar human figure emerged. The head was wrapped in a head cloth. The rest of the body was bound in linen grave cloths.

Jesus instructed, “Unwrap him and set him free.”

Mary and Martha gently removed the grave cloths. Their faces sparkled with tears and joy. “Lazarus, oh dearest Brother, you are back with us!”

“Sisters, Jesus has healed me. I have come from the grave.”

Lazarus turned to Jesus. “Teacher, you’ve given me life!”

Excited voices were calling, “Jesus must be from God. He is God’s son. Only God could resurrect Lazarus.”

Some people slipped away to report to religious leaders what Jesus had done

While Mary, Martha, and Lazarus celebrated, religious leaders in Jerusalem plotted to kill Jesus.

This is Barbara Steiner, please visit: thisweeksstory.com.

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