Raising Lazarus: should Jesus go?

Dodekaorton 6 Raising of LazarusCommentary. In a key and important way, John 11 continues the central narrative about the signs that Jesus performed in order to people might believe and because of that belief have life. The sign given in John 11 is the raising of Lazarus – technically a resuscitation, i.e., being restored to the life that was before. Too quickly people move to point forward to Jesus’ own resurrection as though Lazarus only served to point to that event. As all the other signs (semeia) in John, the raising of Lazarus points to Jesus who is the source of life – both here and in the “last days.” John has already introduced us to the “life” theme when speaking of rebirth (Nicodemus) and living water (Samaritan woman); in reference to the life-giving word; in context of the life-giving bread (Jn 6); in Jesus’ self description as the “light of life” (8:12); as well as the previous chapter’s assertion “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (10:10). All of these accounts continue to remind us that meeting Jesus always operates on the physical and spiritual level – and often the miracle (sign/semeia) serve as the vehicle to make this point clear. Continue reading