The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 10: Jesus and Lazarus -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 104:414 (Apr 1947)
Article: The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 10: Jesus and Lazarus
Author: Everett F. Harrison


The Son of God among the Sons of Men
Part 10: Jesus and Lazarus

Everett F. Harrison

X. Jesus and Lazarus

Of the seven miracles selected by John as samples of the mighty work wrought by Jesus, none duplicates another. Rather, each belongs in a class by itself as representative of many other miracles of similar nature which could have been cited. Of these seven, three occurred in Judea, and they stand in an ascending scale of importance because each sign demonstrates the power of God in an increasingly difficult situation—the healing of the impotent man, the curing of the man born blind and finally the raising of Lazarus from the dead. By the time the last of these miracles was performed, there was an accumulation of evidence concerning the person of Jesus Christ for faith and unbelief to ponder.

When John wrote, readers of the Synoptic Gospels were familiar with the home at Bethany from the account of Jesus’ visit in Luke 10. For One who had no place in which to lay His head, this home was like an oasis in the wilderness. Here He found hospitality and a loving receptivity to His message. It was necessary therefore only to mention the sisters by name in John’s account to establish their identity. Were it not for the circumstances that Lazarus fell sick, we might not have known that they had a brother. Even in the story of his illness and the events which followed it, there is no clear delineation of his character. No word of his stands recorded. It would be unkind to suggest that this was due to the fact that his sisters were too voluble. Whatever tendency Martha may have had in that direction, the

same does not seem to have been true of Mary, whose words were few when Jesus was at hand. Perhaps by reason of youth and because he was of a quiet, retiring disposition, Lazarus deliberately chose the role of silence whenever he could. But he must have been a man of parts, for the sisters dare to claim him as one whom Jesus loved, and the Lord Himself testified to the fact that the disciples shared with Him an esteem and affection for this man of Bethany (11:3, 11 ).

Since Jesus was not present when Lazarus became ill, the sisters sent a message to Him with the information. It is remarkable for its restraint. No doubt the sickness was severe, because in a few hours it proved fatal. Yet the message contained no plea for intervention of any kind, whether by journey to the spot or the healing of the malady by the speaking of a word, as Jesus had done for the nobleman’s son (John 4:50). It is...

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