Lazarus is ill
1A certain man, Lazarus, was ill. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (2This was the Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was ill.) 3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, saying, "Lord, the one whom you love is ill."
4When he heard this, Jesus said, "This illness isn’t fatal. It’s for the glory of God so that God’s Son can be glorified through it." 5Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6When he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was. After two days, 7he said to his disciples, "Let’s return to Judea again."
8The disciples replied, "Rabbi, the Jewish opposition wants to stone you, but you want to go back?"
9Jesus answered, "Aren’t there twelve hours in the day? Whoever walks in the day doesn’t stumble because they see the light of the world. 10But whoever walks in the night does stumble because the light isn’t in them."
11He continued, "Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, but I am going in order to wake him up."
12The disciples said, "Lord, if he’s sleeping, he will get well." 13They thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was in a deep sleep, but Jesus had spoken about Lazarus’ death.
14Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died. 15For your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there so that you can believe. Let’s go to him."
16Then Thomas (the one called Didymus) said to the other disciples, "Let us go too so that we may die with Jesus."
Jesus with Martha and Mary
17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Bethany was a little less than two miles from Jerusalem. 19Many Jews had come to comfort Martha and Mary after their brother’s death. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary remained in the house. 21Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22Even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you."
23Jesus told her, "Your brother will rise again."
24Martha replied, "I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day."
25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. 26Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
27She replied, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, the one who is coming into the world."
28After she said this, she went and spoke privately to her sister Mary, "The teacher is here and he’s calling for you." 29When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Jesus. 30He hadn’t entered the village but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31When the Jews who were comforting Mary in the house saw her get up quickly and leave, they followed her. They assumed she was going to mourn at the tomb.
32When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died."
33When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who had come with her crying also, he was deeply disturbed and troubled. 34He asked, "Where have you laid him?"
They replied, "Lord, come and see."
35Jesus began to cry. 36The Jews said, "See how much he loved him!" 37But some of them said, "He healed the eyes of the man born blind. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?"
Jesus at Lazarus’ tomb
38Jesus was deeply disturbed again when he came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone covered the entrance. 39Jesus said, "Remove the stone."
Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, "Lord, the smell will be awful! He’s been dead four days."
40Jesus replied, "Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see God’s glory?" 41So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, "Father, thank you for hearing me. 42I know you always hear me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me." 43Having said this, Jesus shouted with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his feet bound and his hands tied, and his face covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Untie him and let him go."
45Therefore, many of the Jews who came with Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
Caiaphas prophesies
47Then the chief priests and Pharisees called together the council#Or Sanhedrin and said, "What are we going to do? This man is doing many miraculous signs! 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our people."
49One of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, told them, "You don’t know anything! 50You don’t see that it is better for you that one man die for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed." 51He didn’t say this on his own. As high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would soon die for the nation—52and not only for the nation. Jesus would also die so that God’s children scattered everywhere would be gathered together as one. 53From that day on they plotted to kill him.
The Passover draws near
54Therefore, Jesus was no longer active in public ministry among the Jewish leaders. Instead, he left Jerusalem and went to a place near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
55It was almost time for the Jewish Passover, and many people went from the countryside up to Jerusalem to purify themselves through ritual washing before the Passover. 56They were looking for Jesus. As they spoke to each other in the temple, they said, "What do you think? He won’t come to the festival, will he?" 57The chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where he was should report it, so they could arrest him.
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