Context: The epilogue to Lazarus’ encounter is filled with intrigue and delicate dancing among the Sanhedrin, which was the most powerful and official Jewish ruling body at the time. They acknowledged Jesus performed many signs, but were not persuaded they were from God and, therefore, had to attribute them to demonic powers. The high priest, Caiphas, states that it would be best for one man (Jesus) to die for the people so the whole nation would not perish under Roman rule. From that day forward Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews because he knew his arrest was imminent. Instead, he returned back to the area of Perea until his last week, often called the Passion Week.
Observations: The Sadducees, who were part of the Sanhedrin, denied that miracles could or did happen. How did they navigate through the ‘attesting signs and miracles’ of Jesus? Why was the resurrection of Lazarus a ‘tipping point’ in the conflict with Jewish leaders? What were their motivations in arresting and, eventually, eradicating Jesus? Consider the ‘buzz’ around the lead-in to the Passover festival … Jesus, his claims and his works have now taken center stage.
Application: What things are prompting you to ‘doubt’ some aspect of Jesus’ ability to work in your life and within your circumstances right now? If you were part of the Sanhedrin, what would you say in the Council (be honest)? If you were part of the crowd that had witnessed Lazarus’ resurrection, what would you do? We are called to ‘walk by faith, not by sight.’ Step out in faith today!
Prayer: Lord, forgive us for putting Jesus on the back burner of our lives; ignoring him, distancing ourselves from him and making excuses as to why our relationship with him can be so shallow. And Lord, let me give thanks that even within those realities you celebrate and are stirred when we move in faith toward you. Help us see you work and live as if it’s real today.