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Discovering the Son of God

What Martha Discovered

Bethany was a small town near Jerusalem. Jesus’ friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived there. The three were two sisters and their brother who seem to have shared a home. They sometimes invited Jesus to be their guest. They believed in Jesus. They were also good, religious people.

Then, one day, Lazarus became sick. Lazarus had more than a common cold. He was seriously ill. His sisters decided they needed help. They sent a friend to find Jesus.

The messenger came to Jesus. He told Jesus about Lazarus. Jesus didn’t get excited. He didn’t start for Bethany. He only said, "This sickness won’t leave him dead. It is only to show God’s glory." He continued teaching.

Two days later, Jesus turned to his twelve disciples. "Let’s go to Bethany," He said.

The disciples said, "Your enemies there want to kill you." They didn’t think going to Bethany was a good idea.

Jesus said, "Our friend Lazarus is sleeping. I’m going to wake him up."

The disciples argued. "He’s sick. Sleep is good for him."

Jesus explained what He meant. "Lazarus is dead," He said. "I’m glad for you that I wasn’t there to make him well. Now it will be easier for you to believe in Me."

They started walking. It took two days to get to Bethany. Lazarus had been dead for four days when they arrived.

Before they reached Lazarus’ home, his sister Martha came to meet Jesus. "If you had been here my brother wouldn’t have died," she said. "But I still know God will give you whatever you ask."

Jesus said, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha said, "I know he will rise when God brings the dead to life at the end of the world."

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me while he lives may die. But he will still live. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Resurrection means to come to life after being dead. A person who has been resurrected will never die again.

Martha said, "I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God." Martha believed this truth. She believed it even though Jesus hadn’t come in time to save her brother’s life.

Soon Martha called for her sister Mary. "The Teacher is here," she said. "He’s asking for you."

Mary came to Jesus. She said the same thing Martha did. "If you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died." Mary was crying. Many neighbors had come along to comfort her. They were crying.

Jesus felt sorry for the people. "Where have you buried him?" He asked.

They said, "Come and see."

Soon they came to the grave. The grave, like many in that country, was a cave. A large stone sealed it shut. Jesus looked again at all the crying people. He felt sorry for them. He began to cry too.

The people said, "See how much He loved his friend."

But Jesus wasn’t crying for Lazarus. Jesus was still the Resurrection and the Life. He could take care of Lazarus. He felt sorry for those who grieved. He looked at the stone that blocked the door of the tomb. He said, "Take away the stone."

Martha said, "But, Lord, he’s been buried for four days. His body stinks by now."

Jesus said, "Didn’t I tell you that if you would believe you would see the power of God?"

Some of the crowd rolled the big, heavy stone away from the door.

Jesus stood by that open grave and prayed. He said, "Father, I thank you that you always hear me. I already knew this, but I want these people to believe that I came from You."

Then Jesus called out in a loud voice. He said, "Lazarus, come out!"

Lazarus had been dead so long that his body had started to decay. He was very dead. But when Jesus spoke, he came to life. He stood up.

It was the custom to wrap a body tightly in cloth before burial. Lazarus was still wrapped up. It was hard for him to walk, but he did his best. He came to the door of the cave. He was very much alive, and he was well from his sickness.

Jesus said, "Unwrap him and let him go."

Martha, Mary, and Lazarus had seen Jesus work. They had heard Him speak. They believed He was the Son of God. Now they had seen Him raise Lazarus from the dead. They believed, and then they saw that Jesus really and truly is the Son of God.

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