I’ve read that passage many times before. It seems so plain, right? I mean…miraculous – yes. Here is a man, Lazarus, who had be dead. The mystery that reveals, I tried to capture in a poem I describe here. You can listen to a sample of that poem and download my poetry album here.
Yet, this miracle isn’t my focus here. Instead, I was struck by the disciples’ hesitance to go to Bethany with Jesus. They flat out object to going there. Eventually, they agree and go with Him. Yet, it was clear they did not want to return to that place.
And yes, the Jewish authorities had just tried to stone Jesus to death in Judea. But this is NOT the only reason the disciples did non want to go to Bethany. There’s more to it than that.
Poor people seem to have always been a disease to followers of Jesus. No one wants to go into the places where the poor reside. No one wants to risk their life to tend to poor people, especially when poor people, like Judas, might betray you for the chance to get a little money.
Sure, Jesus, let’s go there so we can die! There’s a plan that makes a lot of sense…let us go into a place where the authorities want to kill us…let us go into a place where we are surrounded by sick and poor people!
Why can’t we follow Christ without involving ourselves in the lives of poor people? Why must we face certain death in their defense, or in their care? Poor people are a disease no Christian wants to touch. And, that is revealed in John 11 and the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
Listen to this and hear where I’m coming from…