Lazarus, brother to Martha and Mary--friend of Jesus--belonged to a unique club. He, along with very few other people, died and then was raised again from the dead. Membership in that club is hard to come by. In today's lection, we find the story of Jesus sitting down to dinner with his newly resurrected friend.
We see Mary anoint Jesus' feet with "costly perfume" and keeper of the common purse, Judas Iscariot (the one that was to betray Jesus). Complaining that she should have sold the perfume and given him the money to help the poor. In reality, he wanted to use the money for his own ends. It seems he was a thief.
What's really interesting to me about this story, was the concluding verses and their reference to Lazarus. It seems that word of Jesus' miraculous resurrection of Lazarus had spread. The people found out that not only was Lazarus in town, but that Jesus was also their and so they began to flock to the home of Lazarus. Imagine, the miracle worker and his miracle together in the same place.
Apparently, the crowds were large enough to draw the attention of the Jewish religious authorities. They had already schemed to put Jesus to death, but now, they saw the crowds that Lazarus was drawing. So, it says, "So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus."
From that verse, it becomes apparent that Jesus was a dangerous friend.
Because of his friendship and association with Jesus, Lazarus, formerly dead and now alive again, suddenly got a bounty on his head. People saw him and heard his story. Apparently, his story pointed toward the work that Jesus did, because people started believing in Jesus because of Lazarus.
It sort of makes me wonder. Is there a price on my head? Am I a strong enough witness for Jesus Christ and his miracle working power of salvation in my life that I would pose a threat to the powers that be--either worldly or spiritual-- that they would seek to eliminate me?
Pastor Terry Goodman
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