Lent 5. Year A
Lazarus – El’Azar (God is my help) we are told that Jesus loves Lazarus, along with his two sisters, Miryam + Marta.
Yet, when he hears that Lazarus is sick, he delays. How odd! What is going on?
Have you felt like God is delaying in answer to your prayers? WTF?
Last week, the man born blind to give glory to God. Now Laz is dead, and we get almost exactly the same reason? Eventually Jesus goes.
John doesn’t call the mighty works of Jesus miracles. Instead he writes about 7 Signs. But this one is unique because normally the sign is described, there is discussion + then a long discourse. That’s what we saw last week in John 9. Not here. The sign is only finally given at the very end, with a long narrative that sets the scene and carries us along in the discussion (a little like the Samaritan Woman in John 4 from 2 weeks ago – but then there is no sign / miracle).
As Jesus arrives, they discover that Lazarus has been in the tomb for 4 days already. That’s a long time! There are other stories in the Gospel of Jesus raising someone who has just died, and you get similar stories in Elijah and Elisha’s ministry.. You also have miracle stories and medical stories of people clinically dead coming back to life. But never for someone dead and 4 days buried! This is unique.