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11. Death and Raising of Lazarus

1Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2And it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3The sisters therefore sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby. 5Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6When therefore he heard that he was sick, he abode at that time two days in the place where he was. 7Then after this he saith to the disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 8The disciples say unto him, Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 9Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If a man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because the light is not in him. 11These things spake he: and after this he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12The disciples therefore said unto him, Lord, if he is fallen asleep, he will recover. 13Now Jesus had spoken of his death: but they thought that he spake of taking rest in sleep. 14Then Jesus therefore said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 16Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said unto his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. 17So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already. 18Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off; 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 20Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary still sat in the house. 21Martha therefore said unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22And even now I know that, whatsoever thou shalt ask of God, God will give thee. 23Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; 26and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, even he that cometh into the world. 28And when she had said this, she went away, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Teacher is her, and calleth thee. 29And she, when she heard it, arose quickly, and went unto him. 30(Now Jesus was not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met him.) 31The Jews then who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going unto the tomb to weep there. 32Mary therefore, when she came where Jesus was, and saw him, fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34and said, Where have ye laid him? They say unto him, Lord, come and see. 35Jesus wept. 36The Jews therefore said, Behold how he loved him! 37But some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him that was blind, have caused that this man also should not die? 38Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39Jesus saith, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time the body decayeth; for he hath been dead four days. 40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou believedst, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. 42And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the multitude that standeth around I said it, that they may believe that thou didst send me. 43And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44He that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 45Many therefore of the Jews, who came to Mary and beheld that which he did, believed on him. 46But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. 47The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many signs. 48If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. 49But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50nor do ye take account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51Now this he said not of himself: but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation; 52and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God that are scattered abroad. 53So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put him to death. 54Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed thence into the country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there he tarried with the disciples. 55Now the passover of the Jews was at hand: and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the passover, to purify themselves. 56They sought therefore for Jesus, and spake one with another, as they stood in the temple, What think ye? That he will not come to the feast? 57Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given commandment, that, if any man knew where he was, he should show it, that they might take him.

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9. Are there not twelve hours in the day? This passage has been explained in various ways. Some have thought the meaning of these words to be, that men sometimes adopt a new and different resolution every hour. This is very far from Christ’s meaning; and indeed I would not have reckoned it worthy of being mentioned, had it not been that it has passed into a common proverb. Let us therefore be satisfied with the simple and natural meaning.

First, Christ borrows a comparison from Day and Night. For if any man perform a journey in the dark, we need not wonder if he frequently stumble, or go astray, or fall; but the light of the sun by day points out the road, so that there is no danger. Now the calling of God is like the light of day, which does not allow us to mistake our road or to stumble. Whoever, then, obeys the word of God, and undertakes nothing but according to his command, always has God to guide and direct him from heaven, and with this confidence he may safely and boldly pursue his journey. For, as we are informed,

Whosoever walketh in his ways hath angels to guard him, and, under their direction, is safe, so that he cannot strike his foot against a stone,
(Psalm 91:11.)

Relying on this protection, therefore, Christ advances boldly into Judea, without any dread of being stoned; for there is no danger of going astray, when God, performing the part of the sun, shines on us, and directs our course.

We are taught by these words, that whenever a man allows himself to be guided by his own suggestions, without the calling of God, his whole life is nothing else than a course of wandering and mistake; and that they who think themselves exceedingly wise, when they do not inquire at the mouth of God, and have not his Spirit to govern their actions, are blind men groping in the dark; that the only proper way is, to be fully assured of our divine calling, and to have always God before our eyes as our guide. 310310     “Quand nous avons tousjours Dieu devant nos yeux pour nostre guide.” This rule of regulating our life well is followed by a confident expectation of a prosperous result, because it is impossible that God shall not govern successfully. And this knowledge is highly necessary to us; for believers can scarcely move a foot to follow him, but Satan shall immediately interpose a thousand obstructions, hold out a variety of dangers on every side, and contrive, in every possible way, to oppose their progress. But when the Lord invites us to go forward, by holding out, as it were, his lamp to us, we ought to go forward courageously, though many deaths besiege our path; for he never commands us to advance without at the same time adding a promise to encourage us, so that we may be fully convinced, that whatever we undertake agreeably to his command will have a good and prosperous issue. This is our chariot, and whoever betakes himself to it will never fail through weariness; and even though the obstacles were so formidable that we could not be conveyed through them by a chariot, yet, furnished with these wings, we shall always succeed, till we reach the goal. Not that believers never meet with any adversity, but because adverse occurrences are aids to their salvation.

It amounts to this, that the eyes of God will always be attentive to guard those who shall be attentive to his instructions. Hence we learn also that, whenever men overlook and disregard the word of God, and consequently indulge themselves foolishly, and undertake whatever they think right, the whole course of their life is accursed by God, and vengeance is always ready to punish their presumption and their blind passions. Again, Christ here divides the day into twelve hours, according to ancient custom; for though the days are longer in summer and shorter in winter, 311311     “Combien que les jours soyent plus grands en este, et plus petits en hyver.” yet they had always twelve hours of the day, and twelve of the night.




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