A certain man, Lazarus, was ill. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (
This was the Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was ill.)
So the sisters sent word to Jesus, saying, "Lord, the one whom you love is ill."
When he heard this, Jesus said, "This illness isn't fatal. It's for the glory of God so that God's Son can be glorified through it."
Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.
When he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was. After two days,
he said to his disciples, "Let's return to Judea again."
The disciples replied, "Rabbi, the Jewish opposition wants to stone you, but you want to go back?"
Jesus answered, "Aren't there twelve hours in the day? Whoever walks in the day doesn't stumble because they see the light of the world.10But whoever walks in the night does stumble because the light isn't in them."
He continued, "Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, but I am going in order to wake him up."
The disciples said, "Lord, if he's sleeping, he will get well."
They thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was in a deep sleep, but Jesus had spoken about Lazarus' death.
Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died.15For your sakes, I'm glad I wasn't there so that you can believe. Let's go to him."
Then Thomas (the one called Didymus) said to the other disciples, "Let us go too so that we may die with Jesus."
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
Bethany was a little less than two miles from Jerusalem.
Many Jews had come to comfort Martha and Mary after their brother's death.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary remained in the house.
Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died.
Even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you."
Jesus told her, "Your brother will rise again."
Martha replied, "I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die.26Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
She replied, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, God's Son, the one who is coming into the world."
After she said this, she went and spoke privately to her sister Mary, "The teacher is here and he's calling for you."
When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Jesus.
He hadn't entered the village but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
When the Jews who were comforting Mary in the house saw her get up quickly and leave, they followed her. They assumed she was going to mourn at the tomb.
When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died."
When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who had come with her crying also, he was deeply disturbed and troubled.
He asked, "Where have you laid him?" They replied, "Lord, come and see."
Jesus began to cry.
The Jews said, "See how much he loved him!"
But some of them said, "He healed the eyes of the man born blind. Couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?"
Jesus was deeply disturbed again when he came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone covered the entrance.
Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, "Lord, the smell will be awful! He's been dead four days."
Jesus replied, "Didn't I tell you that if you believe, you will see God's glory?"
So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, "Father, thank you for hearing me.42I know you always hear me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me."
Having said this, Jesus shouted with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
The dead man came out, his feet bound and his hands tied, and his face covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Untie him and let him go."
Therefore, many of the Jews who came with Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
Then the chief priests and Pharisees called together the council and said, "What are we going to do? This man is doing many miraculous signs!
If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our people."
One of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, told them, "You don't know anything!
You don't see that it is better for you that one man die for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed."
He didn't say this on his own. As high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would soon die for the nation—
and not only for the nation. Jesus would also die so that God's children scattered everywhere would be gathered together as one.
From that day on they plotted to kill him.
Therefore, Jesus was no longer active in public ministry among the Jewish leaders. Instead, he left Jerusalem and went to a place near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
It was almost time for the Jewish Passover, and many people went from the countryside up to Jerusalem to purify themselves through ritual washing before the Passover.
They were looking for Jesus. As they spoke to each other in the temple, they said, "What do you think? He won't come to the festival, will he?"
The chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where he was should report it, so they could arrest him.
Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, home of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
Lazarus and his sisters hosted a dinner for him. Martha served and Lazarus was among those who joined him at the table.
Then Mary took an extraordinary amount, almost three-quarters of a pound, of very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She anointed Jesus' feet with it, then wiped his feet dry with her hair. The house was filled with the aroma of the perfume.
Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), complained,
"This perfume was worth a year's wages! Why wasn't it sold and the money given to the poor?" (
He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would take what was in it.)
Then Jesus said, "Leave her alone. This perfume was to be used in preparation for my burial, and this is how she has used it.8You will always have the poor among you, but you won't always have me."
Many Jews learned that he was there. They came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
The chief priests decided that they would kill Lazarus too.
It was because of Lazarus that many of the Jews had deserted them and come to believe in Jesus.
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
They took palm branches and went out to meet him. They shouted, "Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the king of Israel!"
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15Don't be afraid, Daughter Zion. Look! Your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt.
His disciples didn't understand these things at first. After he was glorified, they remembered that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.
The crowd who had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead were testifying about him.
That's why the crowd came to meet him, because they had heard about this miraculous sign that he had done.
Therefore, the Pharisees said to each other, "See! You've accomplished nothing! Look! The whole world is following him!"
Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival.
They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: "Sir, we want to see Jesus."
Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One to be glorified. 24I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. 26Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me. 27
"Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time'? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time.28Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
The crowd standing there heard and said, "It's thunder." Others said, "An angel spoke to him."
Jesus replied, "This voice wasn't for my benefit but for yours.31Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world's ruler will be thrown out.32When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me." (
He said this to show how he was going to die.)
The crowd responded, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Human One must be lifted up? Who is this Human One?"
Jesus replied, "The light is with you for only a little while. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn't overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness don't know where they are going.36As long as you have the light, believe in the light so that you might become people whose lives are determined by the light." After Jesus said these things, he went away and hid from them.
Jesus had done many miraculous signs before the people, but they didn't believe in him.
This was to fulfill the word of the prophet Isaiah: Lord, who has believed through our message? To whom is the arm of the Lord fully revealed?39
Isaiah explains why they couldn't believe:
40He made their eyes blind and closed their minds so that they might not see with their eyes, understand with their minds, and turn their lives around—and I would heal them.41
Isaiah said these things because he saw Jesus' glory; he spoke about Jesus.
Even so, many leaders believed in him, but they wouldn't acknowledge their faith because they feared that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue.
They believed, but they loved human praise more than God's glory.
Jesus shouted, "Whoever believes in me doesn't believe in me but in the one who sent me.45Whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.46I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in me won't live in darkness.47If people hear my words and don't keep them, I don't judge them. I didn't come to judge the world but to save it.48Whoever rejects me and doesn't receive my words will be judged at the last day by the word I have spoken.49I don't speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me regarding what I should speak and say.50I know that his commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I say is just as the Father has said to me."