by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Man Who Came Back -- Lazarus
Series: Great Characters of the Bible (12 of 12)
Clarence E. Macartney
John 11:43

And Lazarus came forth, for the voice that echoed that day in the gloomy cavern of death at Bethany was the voice of Him who said: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore...and have the keys of hell and of death."

Jesus once said that the foxes had holes and the birds of the air had nests, but the Son of Man had not where to lay His head. There was one home, however, where He was always a beloved and welcome guest, that home in Bethany where Lazarus lived with his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Bethany is a little village two miles from Jerusalem on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, just where the road pitches steeply down the hill to Jericho.

One evening, on returning home from superintending work in his vineyards or from business in Jerusalem, Lazarus was feeling unwell. His solicitous sisters put him to bed and gave him such homely medicines as they knew, but in the morning he was no better. Then they probably called in the local leech, or physician, who left his prescriptions. The next morning Lazarus was
no better, but rather worse. The anxious sisters exchanged glances and each saw mirrored in the other's face the same thought-"Jesus. If only He were here!" Jesus was then far off, beyond the Jordan. In the message they sent to Jesus they did not say: "Come at once. We need you. Lazarus is very sick"; but only this: "He whom thou lovest is sick." The rest they would leave to Jesus. When Jesus received that message He said to the messengers, and to the disciples, "This
sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." How strange that must have seemed to those who heard it then, and to the two sisters. Then, instead of going at once to Bethany, Jesus remained where He was for two days.

Back at Bethany the two sisters were waiting an ...

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