Have you ever lost a friend or family member because they passed away (died)? Even though you know they’re with Jesus, it still hurts when they’re gone. When Jesus was on the earth, He had friends that He loved very much. These friends believed in Him, trusted Him and even invited Him to stay in their homes. One family Jesus especially loved was Lazarus’ and his sisters.
Lazarus had 2 sisters, Mary and Martha, and they all three loved Jesus very much. Just like most brothers and sisters, they were very different. When Jesus would visit Lazarus, he and his friends loved to hear Jesus teach. Mary liked to join them because she loved to hear Jesus’ words, too.
Martha loved Jesus, but she was always busy in the kitchen, cooking and preparing food to be sure everyone had plenty to eat. One day Martha got frustrated with her sister because Mary wasn’t helping her; she was sitting and listening to Jesus instead! Martha said, “Jesus, don’t you care that my sister is not helping me? You should tell her to help me!”
Jesus looked at Martha with kindness in His eyes and said, “Martha, you’re so worried about cooking and cleaning, but Mary is doing the right thing. She’s taking the time to learn from Me.” Martha knew that Jesus loved her and wanted her to stop being distracted by housework and take time to learn from Him.
One day, when Jesus was in another town teaching, a man ran to Him and said, “Lord, Lazarus, your friend that you love, is very sick and he needs you.” Jesus told the friend that He would come to see Lazarus soon and the friend left to go back home.
Instead of leaving right then, Jesus waited for two days. When Jesus decided it was time for them to go to Lazarus’ house, He told His disciples, “Lazarus has died, but I am glad we were not there so that you can see something amazing to help you believe.” Jesus disciples were confused. Why wasn’t Jesus sad if His friend had died?”
As Jesus got closer to Lazarus’ house, his sister Martha ran to Jesus crying. “Lord, if You had been here,” she said, “Lazarus wouldn’t have died!” Jesus said, “Martha, Lazarus will live again.” Martha knew that Lazarus would live in heaven but she wanted him to be with them now. Jesus said, “Martha, do you believe in Me?” “Yes Lord,” Martha said, “I believe that You are God’s Son that He has sent into the world.”
As they walked to the house, Mary was also crying and sad that Jesus had not been there to heal her brother. Jesus said to them, “Take me to Lazarus’ grave.” The sisters took Jesus to Lazarus’ grave where many of his friends were crying. Lazarus’ sisters began crying, too; they missed Lazarus so much. Jesus heart was broken over how sad they all were and He cried with them.
Jesus told the sisters to roll back the stone from Lazarus’ grave. The sisters were shocked! Mary said, “Jesus, he has been dead for four days – by now he stinks!” Jesus said, “Didn’t I tell you to trust Me?” So they had some of their strong friends push the stone away from the grave. Jesus lifted His head and prayed, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I know that You always hear Me, but I said that so the people standing here would know that I am Your Son and that You have sent Me.”
Then, Jesus said with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” As everyone watched, wondering what would happen, Lazarus came walking out!! He was wrapped in cloths, so Jesus said, “Unwrap those grave clothes and let him go.”
Wow! What a wonderful, TRUE story from the Bible this is and we can learn so much from it. Like Martha, we should never let anything be more important to us than learning about Jesus. Like Mary and Martha, we should always take our problems or things that bother us or make us sad to Jesus because He cares about everything in our lives. Even though things don’t always turn out the way we want them to, Jesus loves us and will always do what is best for us. Like Lazarus, sometimes Jesus heals people while they’re alive on earth because He can do anything; but sometimes He heals them by taking them to heaven. No matter what, Jesus always, always does what is best for the ones He loves. And Jesus loves us so much.