Home Features Lessons from the Lazarus Narrative (Part 1) By Babatunde Olugboji

Lessons from the Lazarus Narrative (Part 1) By Babatunde Olugboji


Lessons from the Lazarus Narrative (Part 1) By Babatunde Olugboji

This week we are starting a multi-part series on lessons to be learned from the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11: 1-7. But first, by way of introduction, let’s examine how the character of Jesus defined his earthly ministry.

During his time on earth ministry, Jesus worked wonders, turning cities and towns upside down. When He entered a transactional temple, He flipped the tables, got rid of buyers and sellers, expelled those conflating commerce with church, those melding prayer with payment for goods, those who converted a place of prayer into a place of trading.

When He entered a town He would dismantle the social system with His preaching. When He taught in the desert, people would flee the city and temporarily relocate to hear the word from the word because He was the word. Thousands would press to hear Him teach, forgoing their daily bread, eager to hear from the Bread of Life, and in the evening would be fed miraculously from the miracle of fish and bread.

He would preach on the land, from a boat, on the mountain, the temple, and synagogues. When He stepped into a house, a sea of humanity would flood the house so much that there would be no room and desperate friends would creatively cut a hole on the roof and lower their friend with palsy into His presence. To gain access to Him, a short tax collector would device a clever strategy to run ahead of Him and climb a tree.

He had no business card, yet He attracted thousands. He had no pulpit yet preached until the dead leaped for joy from the grave. He didn’t just have a word, He was the word, the invisible, but tangible word of God. He wrapped Himself in a cloak of flesh and tabernacled on earth, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace, power, and integrity. He didn’t use a public address system, yet a multitude could hear Him. I’m sure God must have magnified His voice. 

On this particular day, Jesus came to Bethany, city of 2 sisters and a brother, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, which takes us to the lesson we will discuss today.  

When there is Crisis, Check in with Christ: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus had created a dwelling place, a comfortable abode for Jesus to abide. Whenever He was in town He would go there. But while Jesus was away from the 3 siblings, there arose a problem in the house. It is one thing to hear about a problem on the news. But when there’s a crisis in your home, you feel it intensely, because a crisis in the home disrupts everything.

The reality is that everyone would witness a crisis at some point. Even lovers of God will encounter difficulties. As church people, when we are in crisis, we often struggle with telling brethren what we are really going through because everyone is behaving as if everything is 100% good. For fear of not appearing unholy, we pretend that all is well.

In John 11, there arose a problem in the house. Not just any house, but the house that Mary lived in, not any Mary, not an unspiritual or unholy Mary, but the Mary with a resume that spoke to her spirituality. It was the same Mary who walked into a room full of men, pushed passed all the religious potentates, anointed the feet of Jesus, dried His feet with her hair. It was the same Mary who listened at Jesus’ feet. It was Mary the worshipper. And the sisters reached out to Christ, when crisis happened, which is exactly what we should all do.

To be continued. 

Have a great week.

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