"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Jesus Raises Lazarus
John 11:1-44 Commentary
by Lindsey S. Jodrey
This story in John 11 often carries the heading “Jesus Raises Lazarus,” but Jaime Clark-Soles calls it “The Confession of Martha.”1
As Gail O’Day aptly describes, “The miracle of the raising of Lazarus is the climax of John 11:1-44, but it is not its center...The conversation between Martha and Jesus is the theological heart of the story.”2
Luke (perhaps preserving a memory of the same family) pits Mary, who sits at Jesus’ feet against Martha, who is busy attending to the affairs of the house. Mary, Luke tells us, has chosen the better part (Luke 10:42). John, if he is aware of this tradition, flips the script (as he is often fond of doing). Martha -- taking initiative and speaking frankly -- matches Luke’s description, but here it is the bold and busy Martha who becomes the exemplar. This sister musters up a confession of faith in the midst of mourning. We’ll look to her story for an example of finding hope in sadness; you might call it, “Good Grief.”
Martha goes out to meet Jesus with a complaint. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL307: Jesus Raises Lazarus
February 18, 2018
This is the podcast for John 11:1-44, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 18, 2018, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.