Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to nbsint.org.
This story begins with Jesus learning that his friend Lazarus is ill. And Lazarus has two sisters, Mary and Martha. They all are friends with Jesus, and they are in Bethany. Well Jesus doesn't go right away, he decides to wait a couple of days. And then he finds out that Lazarus has died. And now Jesus wants to go. Strangely enough, the disciples they all go, and when they get near to Bethany, Martha, grieving with her sister, runs out to him and says, ""Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died."" But Jesus reassures her saying basically, ""I am the resurrection and the life, do you believe this?"" Martha says yes, and then she runs and tells her sister Mary that Jesus is there and Mary comes out. But rather than having a theological conversation with her, Jesus speaks compassionately, and in fact, Jesus weeps with her. He asked to go to the tomb, and when they get there, he says, ""Remove the stone."" Martha says, ""But there will be a stench, my brother has been there four days now,"" and Jesus turns to her and tells her ""Did I not tell you I was the resurrection and the life? Do you trust this?"" She does, and Jesus calls Lazarus out: ""Lazarus come out!"" And Lazarus comes out of the tomb. Now all the people had been watching this, and there's a divided reaction. Some say, ""Look what he did, how much he loved him,"" and others are saying, ""Bah, if he really liked him, he would've come earlier."" But the word spreads to the Pharisees and the Sadducees of what Jesus has done and they decide it's time. It's time to put an end to this Jesus. That's the story of the raising of Lazarus.