Reflection on Scriptures Fifth Sunday of Lent Gospel A I am the resurrection

By 10:40 AM

 Fifth Sunday of Lent Gospel A

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill. 

· There was a close relationship between Jesus and this family. He would often stay with them when he went to Jerusalem. They lived outside of the city in a village in the Mt of Olives.

So the sisters sent word to him saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 

· Jesus was referring to the fact that though he would die that would not be his end. He will be restored to life only to physically die at a later time.

· Both the Father and the Son will be glorified through Lazarus death and restoration to life by Jesus.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. 

· If Jesus loved them, why did he delay? Could it be that the greater miracle would not be in healing him but in restoring him to life? They would be grateful if he was healed, but their greater joy will be to have him fully restored to life after dying.

· Do we sometimes question God’s love for us when different situations happen in our life?

Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” He said this, and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.” So the disciples said to him, “Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.” But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep. So then Jesus said to them clearly, “Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe. Let us go to him.” So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him.” 

· Jesus knew that their faith would be shaken at his own death. By seeing the resurrection of Lazarus, could Jesus have been hoping to shore up the faith of the disciples?

· Thomas’ statement doesn’t play out when Jesus is arrested. He and the others flee rather than “die with him.” Do his statement and future actions reflect us in reality?

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away. And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” 

· What do you think Martha meant? It seems from her later statements that she was not expecting Jesus to raise Lazarus back to life. Could it be she was asking him to comfort her and her sister?

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” 

· Like some other Jews, Martha believed in a future resurrection of the dead.

· Even though she said she believed, when Jesus will tell the people to remove the stone from the grave, she objects. She believed in Jesus, but still did not expect what he was about to do.

When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, “The teacher is here and is asking for you.” As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him. For Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still where Martha had met him. So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her saw Mary get up quickly and go out, they followed her, presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 

· It is almost like she is reprimanding Jesus for not coming sooner. She may have been questioning his love for them. She was not aware of what was about to happen because he loved them.

When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” 

· They may have been reflecting Mary’s sentiments.

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” 

· Do you think they expected to see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead after four days?

So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. 

· Put yourself in the shoes of Mary and Martha, what do you think they experienced? Do the same with Lazarus and the disciples?

So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

· In John’s Gospel this is the final sign Jesus performs prior to his death. Though some believed, this sign will be the final straw in the Sanhedrin’s decision to get rid of Jesus. In restoring Lazarus to life, Jesus will forfeit his own life.

· Of all the miracles we have witnessed in our life, what is our faith level in the person of Jesus?

· What application do we make in our life as a result of our reflections on this passage?

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