Now a certain man, named Lazarus, of Bethany, was lying ill-- Bethany being the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
(It was the Mary who poured the perfume over the Lord and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.)
So the sisters sent to Him to say, 'Master, he whom you hold dear is ill.'
Jesus received the message and said, 'This illness is not to end in death, but is to promote the glory of God, in order that the Son of God may be glorified by it.'
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
When, however, He heard that Lazarus was ill, He still remained two days in that same place.
Then, after that, He said to the disciples, 'Let us return to Judaea.'
'Rabbi,' exclaimed the disciples, 'the Jews have just been trying to stone you, and do you think of going back there again?'
'Are there not twelve hours in the day?' replied Jesus. 'If any one walks in the daytime, he does not stumble--because he sees the light of this world.
But if a man walks by night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him.'
He said this, and afterwards He added, 'Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, but I will go and wake him.'
'Master,' said the disciples, 'if he is asleep he will recover.'
Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought He referred to the rest taken in ordinary sleep.
So then He told them plainly,
'Lazarus is dead; and for your sakes I am glad I was not there, in order that you may believe. But let us go to him.'
'Let us go also,' Thomas, the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, 'that we may die with him.'
On His arrival Jesus found that Lazarus had already been three days in the tomb.
Bethany was near Jerusalem, the distance being a little less than two miles;
and a considerable number of the Jews were with Martha and Mary, having come to express sympathy with them on the death of their brother.
Martha, however, as soon as she heard the tidings, 'Jesus is coming,' went to meet Him; but Mary remained sitting in the house.
So Martha came and spoke to Jesus. 'Master, if you had been here,' she said, 'my brother would not have died.
And even now I know that whatever you ask God for, God will give you.'
'Your brother shall rise again,' replied Jesus.
'I know,' said Martha, 'that he will rise again at the resurrection, on the last day.'
'I am the Resurrection and the Life,' said Jesus; 'he who believes in me, even if he has died, he shall live;
and every one who is living and is a believer in me shall never, never die. Do you believe this?'
'Yes, Master,' she replied; 'I thoroughly believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.'
After saying this, she went and called her sister Mary privately, telling her, 'The Rabbi is here and is asking for you.'
So she, on hearing that, rose up quickly to go to Him.
Now Jesus was not yet come into the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him.
So the Jews who were with Mary in the house sympathizing with her, when they saw that she had risen hastily and had gone out, followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep aloud there.
Mary then, when she came to Jesus and saw Him, fell at His feet and exclaimed, 'Master, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.'
Seeing her weeping aloud, and the Jews in like manner weeping who had come with her, Jesus, curbing the strong emotion of His spirit,
though deeply troubled, asked them, 'Where have you laid him?' 'Master, come and see,' was their reply.
'See how dear he held him,' said the Jews.
But others of them asked, 'Was this man who opened the blind man's eyes unable to prevent this man from dying?'
Jesus, however, again restraining His strong feeling, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone had been laid against the mouth of it.
'Take away the stone,' said Jesus. Martha, the sister of the dead man, exclaimed, 'Master, by this time there is a foul smell; for it is three days since he died.'
'Did I not promise you,' replied Jesus, 'that if you believe, you shall see the glory of God?'
So they removed the stone. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, 'Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me.
I know that Thou always hearest me; but for the sake of the crowd standing round I have said this--that they may believe that Thou didst send me.'
After speaking thus, He called out in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out.'
The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped in cloths, and his face wrapped round with a towel. 'Untie him,' said Jesus, 'and let him go free.'
Thereupon a considerable number of the Jews--namely those who had come to Mary and had witnessed His deeds--became believers in Him;
though some of them went off to the Pharisees and told them what He had done.
Therefore the High Priests and the Pharisees held a meeting of the Sanhedrin. 'What steps are we taking?' they asked one another; 'for this man is performing a great number of miracles.
If we leave him alone in this way, everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and blot out both our city and our nation.'
But one of them, named Caiaphas, being High Priest that year, said, 'You know nothing about it.
You do not reflect that it is to your interest that one man should die for the people rather than the whole nation perish.'
It was not as a mere man that he thus spoke. But being High Priest that year he was inspired to declare that Jesus was to die for the nation,
and not for the nation only, but in order to unite into one body all the far-scattered children of God.
So from that day forward they planned and schemed in order to put Him to death.
Therefore Jesus no longer went about openly among the Jews, but He left that neighbourhood and went into the district near the Desert, to a town called Ephraim, and remained there with the disciples.
The Jewish Passover was coming near, and many from that district went up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.
They therefore looked out for Jesus, and asked one another as they stood in the Temple, 'What do you think? --will he come to the Festival at all?'
Now the High Priests and the Pharisees had issued orders that if any one knew where He was, he should give information, so that they might arrest Him.