John, Chapter 11

- ל כ ב -

Jesus Is Delayed On His Way to Bethany and Lazarus Dies 

32Then 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. 33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. 34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35Jesus wept. 36Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37And 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? 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39Jesus 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. 40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41Then 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. 42And 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. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.(John 11:32-44)

Martha lives in the village of Bethany. She asks Jesus to heal her brother Lazarus, who is on his deathbed due to terrible illness. Jesus lingers and Lazarus dies in the meantime. Martha blames Jesus, whose powers could have saved her brother. Jesus responds by saying that Lazarus’ resurrection depends on Martha’s ability to believe. Jesus lingered as a means of demonstrating that he could bring Lazarus back from the dead. If Martha has faith in him, Lazarus will be resurrected. Martha declares that she does indeed believe. Jesus orders Lazarus to rise and emerge from his tomb. Jesus does not succumb to obstacles and doubts. He perseveres and fulfills his promises. We must always adhere to our goals and never let go, even when circumstances seem impossible. Healing and redemption are the victory of compassion and kindness over forces of judgment.

Mercy is the empathy that inspires support for those in need.