18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."19
At these words the Jews were again divided.
Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"
But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.30I and the Father are one."31
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him,
but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"33
"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods' ?35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken--36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?37Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."39
Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed
and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true."
And in that place many believed in Jesus.
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."5
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."8
"But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"
Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light.10It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."11
After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."12
His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better."
Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead,15and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."16
Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,
and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."24
Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"27
"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you."
When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.
Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.