When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus. (John 12:9-11)
Relate: Why was Lazarus targeted? Am I the only one who wondered this? There have been others who have risen from the dead. There was the widow’s son and Jairus’ daughter. Why weren’t these two on the Pharisee’s hit list? I think three factors come into play here. First is the who. The other two were both marginal people. Neither of the other two are even mentioned by name. Lazarus, on the other hand, is a well connected and well to do man with many friends. He is a pillar in the community.
Second is the where. We don’t even have a location in the gospels for where Jesus was when he healed Jairus’ daughter. All it says is that it was on the other side of the lake from the Gadarenes. If we are talking a straight east-west across then this would have been somewhere south of Tiberias. If we are talking directly opposite it would have been west of Capernaum. Either way, this was in some town not even worthy of being named. The widow’s son isn’t much better. Nain is a small town on the northern edge of Mount Moreh. It is too far west to be a way station for pilgrims traveling between Galilee and Jerusalem. It is south enough that it almost bumps against Samaria and there is as little commerce as possible between Jews and Samaritans. Nain isn’t on the way to anywhere. Lazarus, however was raised right there in the suburbs of Jerusalem.
The third reason is the when. The Passover is about to start and the entire Jewish world is gathered right there in Jerusalem. Jesus is the talk on everybody’s lips and, if you want to actually visit someone he raised from the dead, Lazarus is holding an open house. These aren’t some credulous backwoods Galileans talking about miracles the rest of us cannot verify, this happened right here, right now.
React: Lazarus didn’t have to give any profound speeches in order to glorify God. He didn’t have to be incredibly persuasive or convincing. He took no classes in apologetics or epistemology. He didn’t even go through an evangelism explosion class or memorize the Romans Road. He simply had to be. All he had to do is show people the change. This is where I was and this is where I am now. That’s it.
Sometimes I think we over complicate evangelism. We try to build up this sound, reasoned debate, and then we get frustrated when nobody seems convinced. We argue the validity of scriptures, the existence of God, the details of creation, and points of morality. Scripture is valid for what they say, not what they are. God is. He needs no defense. The rest are peripherals. Your testimony is irrefutable. Just tell people, “This is where I was, this is where I am, and it is all because of Jesus.” The blood of the Lamb and that word of testimony are what will overcome the devil.
Let me bring glory to You, God. Let the difference You have made in my life be evident for all to see. Give me the courage, and the boldness, and the passion to share what You have done in me to all the world. You are my Savior. Let my love for You be highly contagious.