A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters* Mary and Martha. Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus: “Lord, your close friend is sick.” When Jesus heard the news he said, “The end result of this sickness will not be death. Through this God's glory will be revealed so that the Son of God may be glorified.”
Even though Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and had heard that Lazarus was sick, he remained where he was for two more days. Then he told the disciples, “Let's return to Judea.”
The disciples replied, “Rabbi, just a few days ago the Jews were trying to stone you. Do you really want to go back there now?”
“Aren't there twelve hours in a day?” Jesus replied. 10 If you walk during the day you don't stumble because you can see where you're going by the light of this world. But if you walk during the night you stumble because you have no light.” 11 After telling them this, he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I'm going to go there and wake him up!”
12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he's sleeping then he'll get better.”
13 Jesus had been referring to the death of Lazarus, but the disciples thought he meant actual sleep. 14 So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I'm glad I wasn't there, because now you will be able to trust in me. Let's go and see him.”
16 Thomas, the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, “Let's go too so we can die with him.”
17 When he arrived, Jesus learned that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was just two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to console Mary and Martha at the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha found out that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you'd been here, my brother wouldn't have died. 22 But I'm certain that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day,” Martha answered.
25 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who trust in me will live, even though they die. 26 All who live in me and trust in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one expected to come to this world.”
28 When she had said this, she went and told her sister Mary in private, “The Teacher's here, and asking to see you.”
29 As soon as she heard, Mary quickly got up and went to see him. 30 Jesus hadn't arrived in the village yet. He was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who had been comforting Mary in the home saw how she'd got up quickly and left. So they followed her, thinking she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary arrived at the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you'd been here, my brother wouldn't have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying as well, he was very troubled§ and upset. 34 Where have you laid him?” he asked.
They replied, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Then Jesus cried too. 36 See how much he loved him,” the Jews said.
37 But some of them said, “If he could open the eyes of a blind man, couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
38 Very troubled, Jesus went to the tomb. It was a cave with a large stone placed at the entrance.
39 “Remove the stone,” Jesus told them.
But Martha, the dead man's sister, said, “Lord, by now there will be a terrible smell, for he's been dead for four days.”
40 “Didn't I tell you that if you trusted me you would see God's glory?” Jesus replied.
41 So they removed the stone. Jesus looked heavenwards, and said, “Father, thank you for listening to me. 42 I know you always listen to me. I said this because of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me.”
43 After saying this, Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of linen, and with a cloth around his face.
Unbind him and set him free,” Jesus told them.
45 Consequently many of the Jews who had come to comfort Mary and who saw what Jesus did put their trust in him. 46 But others went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the ruling council. “What shall we do?” they asked. “This man is doing many miracles. 48 If we allow him to continue, everybody will believe in him, and then the Romans will destroy both the Temple and our status as a nation.”*
49 You don't understand anything!” said Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 50 “Can't you see that it's better for you that one man die for the people so that the whole nation won't be destroyed?” 51 He didn't say this on his own behalf, but as chief priest that year he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation. 52 And this was not just for the Jewish nation, but for all the scattered children of God so that they might be gathered together and be made into one.
53 From that time on they plotted how they might kill Jesus. 54 So Jesus did not travel openly among the Jews but went to a town called Ephraim in the region near the desert and stayed there with his disciples.
55 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and many people went from the countryside to Jerusalem to purify themselves for the Passover. 56 People were looking for Jesus and talking about him as they stood in the Temple. “What do you think?” they asked each other. “Isn't he coming to the festival?” 57 The chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should report it so they could arrest him.
* 11:1 In the original it states that Lazarus lived in Bethany with Mary and her sister Martha. However, in verse 2 it's mentioned that Lazarus is Mary's brother, so their relationship is best identified at the outset. 11:13 In the New Testament sleep often represents death. 11:16 Meaning Jesus. § 11:33 The word used here expresses intense emotion, even anger. Also used in verse 38. * 11:48 Literally, “the place and the nation.” 11:55 By a series of religious rituals.