The miracle involving raising Lazarus from the dead was a pretty convincing sight for those who hadn’t yet decided what they thought of Jesus. It’s hard to deny the deity of a man who is able to bring someone else back to life. John (as well as other Gospel writers) tells us that the Pharisees wanted to put Lazarus back to death because of the commotion this miracle was creating and the people who then believed in Jesus as a result of it. John also remarked that many of the authorities believed in Jesus but were afraid of what the Pharisees would do if they found out. Concerned more about their popularity with the Pharisees than with doing the right thing, these authorities never stood up for Jesus. Why? John 12:43 says, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” That’s a fairly harsh judgment to make, but the actions of the individuals are at the root of the verdict. There have certainly been times in my life when the same could have been said about me… that I loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. The problem is that there isn’t really a place for closet Jesus fans. If He is who He says He is, then the esteem of humans is of no value. The challenge is making a decision of what you’re going to believe. The whole of Christianity rests on an event that either did or didn’t happen in history: Jesus’ resurrection. If He didn’t come back to life, then Jesus was just like any other man. If He did come back to life, then His resurrection authenticates His claim as the Son of God. Then everything He said during His time on earth carries value. Then the opinions of other people don’t really matter because there is one who is greater than they.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.