When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. John 12:9-11
Of all the miracles that Jesus did, raising Lazarus was the biggest thorn in the sides of the priests. Here was a man dead for four days walking around just two miles from Jerusalem. And, it would appear that Lazarus and his family was prominent in Jewish society. Why do I say that, people were coming from Jerusalem to morn Lazarus’ death? Remember, in Israel at the time people walked and even though it was only two miles to Bethany, it would have taken them close to an hour each way. Not a long trip but not one you would take for just anyone. Also, as we saw yesterday, Mary was anointing Jesus with expensive perfume, not something the average Jew could afford.
So here is Lazarus walking and talking a constant reminder to everyone the power that Jesus had. I can imagine the priests thinking if Jesus was going to raise someone from four days dead couldn’t He have done so in Galilee? Or any place far from Jerusalem. Why so close? And here all the people are flocking to Bethany to see Lazarus. Simple put the priests were losing control of the people and they were afraid of what the Romans would think and more importantly do.
They had already planned to get rid of Jesus, for the good of the country, now there is the Lazarus problem. I guess plotting a second death gets easier after your mind is made up to kill someone. So Lazarus is added to the high priests’ hit list. Letting Lazarus continue to live would be a constant reminder of Jesus and His power. Even if they got rid of Jesus, who knew what the crowd might do with Lazarus around. If things got out of control, Rome might take over and put others in the role of high priests.
They had their positions and power to protect, what was the death of two men compared to that. Throughout history people in power have been doing bad things for the good of the people or the good of the country when the truth is they do what they do to keep themselves in power. Usually, however they don’t miss out on the greatest event in history. Here was God walking among them and they were too busy keeping their high positions and power to see what was right in front of them. They heard, they saw, yet they did not recognize.
Today people continue to make the same mistake. They read about Jesus and hear about Him. They see the glory of God’s handiwork all around them and refuse to recognize God’s existence. They just don’t want to give up the things in their life they think they enjoy. They hang on to the temporal and miss out on the eternal.
Have a blessed day,