« AnteriorContinuar »
this, but he did not stop to think. He was only desirous to shew that his Master fulfilled every duty.
Our Lord did not wait to hear St. Peter's account of what had taken place. He began at once to question him, and from his own words proved to him that as Son of God He was free from this payment. But He would not give the Jews cause of offence. As Christ submitted to be circumcised, although there was in Him nothing of the old Adam to put away : as He was baptized with the baptism of repentance, though He had no sins to repent of; so now He paid tribute as a servant, although He was a Son. But in His paying it a glory shone out of the depths of His humility. The money came by a miracle. It was brought by a fish in the Sea of Galilee, shewing the dominion of Jesus of Nazareth over the fishes of the sea, and whatsoever walketh through the paths of the sea. Thus He proved
' Himself to be the Son of God; yea, the very God upon whom all creatures wait, and who do Him service.
XXIX.—THE RAISING OF LAZARUS.
St. John relates very few of our Saviour's miracles; but he, and he only, tells us that most wonderful miracle, the raising of Lazarus from the dead. It took place during our Lord's last winter on earth, not very long before His Passion and Death. We read of it in St. John, xi. 1–44.
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the
Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. Then after that saith He to His disciples, Let us go into Judea again. His disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee; and goest Thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said He: and after that He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth : but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep he shall do well. Howbeit, Jesus spake of his death; but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for
your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless, let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him. "Then when Jesus came, He found that he had lain in the grave four days already. (Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off.) And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met
Him; but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the Resurrection at the last day. Jesus saith unto her, I am the Resurrection, and the Life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him.
Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she arose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him! And some of them said, Could not this Man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself, cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh : for he hath been dead four days. Jesus said unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always : but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he 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. Not far from the top of Mount Olivet, on a rocky ledge, about two miles from Jerusalem, stands a lonely mountain hamlet. This is Bethany, the place where this wonderful miracle was worked. Here, not long before, Martha had received Christ into her house, and busied herself in making a feast for Him, while her sister Mary sat at His feet and heard His word. Here, not long after, Mary anointed those feet with precious ointment, and wiped them with her hair. Now there was sorrow in that place. Lazarus, the brother of these two good women, lay sick, and their Lord was many miles away, beyond Jordan. They sent to Him, but two days passed before He set out to come to them. St. Luke, x. 38-42.
2 St. John, xii. 2, 3. Chap. x. 39, 40.
Why was this? We know that He loved the sick man and his sisters. We know that, if only it had been for the glory of God, He could have healed Lazarus from a distance with a word, as lle had healed the centurion's servant. But it was for God's glory that the sickness should run its collise, that Lazarus should die and be laid in the grave. So he died and was buried.
At the end of two days our Lord Jesus proposed to go across the Jordan to Judea, the province in which Bethany stood. The disciples were surprised. They reminded Him how lately the Jews had tried to stone Him to death. In auswer, Christ told them that the night of His Death had not yet come—it was still day with Ilim, still time for work; and He would work through all the twelve hours of the day. When lle spoke to them next, He told them that Lazarus slept, and that He was going to awaken him out of sleep. The disciples might have known what their Master meant, for Job? and Daniel 3 had called death a sleep, as we Christians call it
• It is not exile, rest on high,
But the disciples were bent on keeping out of the way of danger. So they took the words another way, and said, 'Lord, if he sleep he shall do well. They had to be told plainly that Lazarus was dead, and that they were to go to him. They did not refuse, though it seemed like
. rushing to certain death. Thomas, the disciple of weakest faith, said, 'Let us also go, that we may die with Him.' "St. John, x. 31. 2 Job, xiv. 12. 3 Daniel, xii. 2.