One of the questions that has often puzzled me from the raising of Lazarus is why did Jesus wait two days until He left. In john 11:38-44 it gives us some clues. In verse 38 Jesus says that if we believe, we will see the glory of God. So Jesus delaying was about people hearing about the miracle and seeing God’s glory.
In today’s Our Daily Bread there is some extra insight that I thought I would share. It shows a couple of extra things that are not obvious from the text…
After Jesus learned Lazarus was gravely ill, He waited two days to go to the home of his sisters, Mary and Martha (John 11:1–6). When Jesus and His disciples arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days (v. 17). This allowed a day for the news to reach Jesus and a day for Him to reach Bethany. So, Lazarus may have already been dead when the news reached Jesus that he was ill. That it had been four days was significant because in that warm climate, Lazarus’ body would have been severely decomposed (v. 39). If Jesus had left immediately and resurrected Lazarus, naysayers could’ve easily denied his resurrection, suggesting he’d only been in a deep sleep or coma. It was also significant because in that day some Jews believed the soul hovered over the body for three days, hoping to reenter. But by four days, even that hope would have expired.
If you want to read the full devotion you can find it at https://odb.org