Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF

Prior to the episode of raising Lazarus to life, Jesus spoke about doing the work of the Father (10:22-42). At an earlier discourse with the Jews, Jesus had said “as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will (5:19). In the Gospel today, we see the most revealing image of the work of the Father and the lifegiving mission of Jesus, that climaxed with the daring declaration of Jesus: ‘I am the resurrection and life.’

Through this unique episode, John presents some thoughts for our meditation. Jesus’ love for his friends is one of them. There was a personal relationship between Jesus and the family at Bethany. Jesus was moved by the message from the sisters of Lazarus about his illness. He risked his life to go back to Bethany where Jews were planning to stone and arrest him (v.8). Later Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. It shows how much Jesus valued their friendship and love. Can we take lessons for our friendship with Jesus and meditate on our love for him and how he loves us in return?

They did not understand his power when he said ‘your brother will rise again.’ Jesus’ words brought the dead man out, he was unbound and let free. This marvellous episode is central to the purpose of the incarnation. Jesus is the resurrection and life. The raising of Lazarus, therefore, is the most important sign that Jesus gave to death which is the ultimate enemy of human beings.


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