Mary looked at her sister, Martha, with frightened eyes. “I wish Jesus were here,” she said softly. “He could heal our brother, Lazarus.”
Martha squeezed the cool water out of the cloth and laid it on Lazarus’ forehead. “Let’s send a message to Jesus,” the sisters agreed. “Let’s ask Him to come.”
Martha’s servant found Jesus and told Him that His friend Lazarus was terribly sick. But Jesus didn’t hurry to Lazarus’ house. He stayed in the town where He was teaching for two more days. Mary and Martha sat beside their brother’s bed. They did everything they could to make him feel better. But nothing seemed to help. Soon Lazarus died.
Mary and Martha cried bitterly. “Where is Jesus?” Mary wailed. “If He had been here, He would have healed Lazarus!”
Jesus and His disciples set off for Lazarus’ house. When Jesus arrived, Martha cried, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!”
Jesus spoke kindly. “Your brother will live again,” He said. “Where did you bury him?”
Mary and Martha led Jesus to the cave where Lazarus was buried. A big stone blocked the grave. Jesus said, “Roll the stone away.”
“Lord! Lazarus has been dead for four days!” Martha exclaimed, because she knew the body would smell. But she ordered the servants to roll the stone away.
Jesus looked up to heaven. “Father,” He prayed, “I know that You always hear me. But I am saying these things out loud because I want all these people here to know that You sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
Everybody gasped. What was Jesus doing?
“Look!” someone shouted, pointing to the cave. Lazarus stepped out of the cave, just as Jesus had commanded! Lazarus was alive again!
“Take the burial clothing off him,” Jesus said. Mary and Martha ran to meet Lazarus. And they cried tears of joy.
The disciples now knew why Jesus had not rushed to heal Lazarus. He had had a very special plan to show people that He really, truly was the Son of God. Jesus has a plan for our lives, too. We can trust Him to do what is best for us.