This Mighty Miracle
18 September 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 12:12-19 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
17 Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. 18 That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “We’re lost! There’s nothing we can do. Look, the whole world has gone after him!” (John 12:17-19 NLT)
The story of Jesus miraculously bringing Lazarus back to life was the equivalent of a viral Facebook post or YouTube video. A lot of people from Jerusalem were present among the mourners in Bethany when Lazarus walked out of the tomb and within hours the news was all over the city. So many people had heard the news and were eager to see Jesus from Nazareth that thousands lined the streets when he rode into town on the little donkey. They wanted to see the Miracle Man and they really wanted him to be the Messiah whom they expected would in some unknown but supernatural way Make Israel Great Again!
The Pharisees saw the crowds and the palm branches and heard the shouts of “Hail to the King of Israel” and said, “He’s won, we’ve lost, and the whole world has gone after him. We’re toast!” For a few minutes, I think they almost gave up on their plans to kill Jesus and to assassinate Lazarus as well. But they realized how much they had invested in maintaining the status quo, in keeping their religious system going, in keeping Herod pacified and the Romans off their backs and they soon redoubled their efforts to kill Jesus. I hope Lazarus escaped their plot. Church tradition tells us of the tomb of a Christian bishop in Lanarka with the inscription “Lazarus, the friend of Jesus.”
People can be fickle! The crowds cared little for Jesus’ message and his teachings, and followed only for the miracles that they hoped would get them what they wanted. You see, many of the same people who were shouting Hosanna on Palm Sunday were part of the crowd that was whipped into a frenzied shout of “Crucify Him” on Good Friday! So a takeaway from this story for me is: “Live fully in the moment. Enjoy the parade, but don’t bet on the outcome based on how big the crowd is at the moment.” In a few days, Jesus would die for the “Hosanna” shouters, the “Crucify Him” shouters, and the sins of the world!
Father, May my friends and I be followers and not fans. In Jesus’ Name!