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Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Bible Story: John 11:1-44

Who was Lazarus?

  • The brother of Mary and Martha

  • A great friend of Jesus

We pick up in Lazarus’s story when he has fallen ill. Mary and Martha have sent word to Jesus that Lazarus is sick. They sent word to Jesus for a couple of reasons. First, Lazarus was one of Jesus’s friends. Even in the word that was sent, Lazarus is described as “the one who you love” to Jesus. Jesus had a deep connection with this family. The second reason is that they believed Jesus could heal Lazarus. By this time in his life, word has spread that Jesus had great power and he could heal the sick. Mary and Martha want Jesus to come quickly so he can heal their brother Lazarus.

However, something strange happens, Jesus waits before he goes to see them. By the time Jesus arrives, Lazarus had died. Everyone there, including Mary and Martha, thought it was too late. Lazarus’s body had already begun to decompose and smell because he had been dead for four days. Everyone was grieving and weeping because of Lazarus’s death. They wished Jesus would have come sooner so he could have done something.

Jesus was deeply moved with compassion for these people, the Bible says that Jesus wept with them. But the story does not end here. Jesus tells them to open up the tomb, and he calls Lazarus to come out. Miraculously the next thing that happened is Lazarus, still bound by his grave clothes, comes out of the tomb. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. In one of his most powerful miracles, Jesus proved to everyone that he had the power of God.

Here we learn several things, but two seem to pop out. First, Jesus shares in our feelings. The people around Lazarus were mourning his death. Jesus entered into the situation with them. Even though he knew he was going to raise him from the dead, he wept with everyone else because he was compassionate for their feelings. Because Jesus was human, he knows all the things we feel, he can sympathize with us greater than anyone else.

The next thing we see is that Jesus had power. What everyone else thought was impossible, Jesus did. When everyone gave up hope, Jesus entered into the situation and fixed everything. No situation is ever too far gone for Jesus to get a hold of. Jesus was human, but he was also God, and he has all the power that God the father has.

This account of Lazarus clearly foreshadows what will happen to Jesus. He, too, will die and be raised to life again. But unlike Lazarus, Jesus offers everyone eternal life if we will simply believe in him.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jesus is Compassionate

  • Jesus has Power

  • Jesus is our savior


Parents, 3treesKIDS will also be learning about Lazarus this Sunday, both in-person and online.

Be sure to check out their lesson at

To find service times and locations, visit

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