Examine the paradox of Lazarus' resurrection: a testament to life yet a catalyst for conflict, challenging beliefs and discipleship.
John 12:9-11 — Why Do We Seek Jesus? — Aneel Aranha
Hello and welcome to the Bite-Sized Gospel. Today we will reflect on John 12:9-11. Listen.
Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
This portion of Scripture presents a dramatic and somewhat paradoxical scene. On one hand, the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection is a profound testament to life and divine power. However, on the other hand, it becomes a catalyst for plans of death and destruction. This highlights a recurring theme in the Gospels: the light of Jesus' miracles often intensifies the darkness of opposition and misunderstanding.
The response of the crowd, drawn to Jesus not solely for his teachings but also for the miraculous sign of Lazarus, raises questions about the nature of belief and following. Why do people seek Jesus? Why do we seek Jesus? Are we drawn by the spectacle or by a genuine desire to understand and follow his teachings? This dynamic is particularly pertinent today, where the allure of 'signs and wonders' can sometimes overshadow the deeper call to discipleship and transformation.
Additionally, the chief priests' reaction to Lazarus’ resurrection and their subsequent plot to kill him underline the threatening nature of genuine transformative power to established structures and systems. Lazarus, as a living testimony of Jesus' power, posed a direct challenge to the authority and beliefs of the Jewish leaders. This underscores another recurring biblical theme: the power of truth to challenge, disrupt, and ultimately transform existing paradigms.
The passage also invites contemplation on the theme of witness. Lazarus, by his mere existence, becomes a witness to Jesus' power over death, leading many to believe in Jesus. This aspect of the narrative underscores the power of personal testimony in faith communities. It challenges us to consider how our lives, transformed by faith, can be compelling testimonies to others.
Lastly, the plot against Lazarus signifies the extent to which the light of Christ, manifested in his works, was met with resistance and hostility. This reflects a sobering truth: the path of discipleship and bearing witness to Christ often comes with opposition and challenges. We must be ready to face the opposition that comes with authentic faith expression and navigate the uncertainties we will inevitably encounter.
God bless you.