In the final weeks leading up to his death, Jesus had encounters that were both tragic and hopeful. When he healed ten lepers, only one returned to thank Jesus. When a rich young ruler came to follow Jesus, he left discouraged because he was unwilling to love Jesus more than material possessions.
Jesus also raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. A tax collector repented and invited Jesus to his home. Mary anointed Jesus. And Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem with honor at the triumphal entry.
Monday - Jesus raises Lazarus
Tuesday - 10 lepers healed. Parables on prayer.
Wednesday - The rich young ruler
Thursday - Zaccheus repents. Parable of 10 minas.
Friday - Mary anoints Jesus. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
John 11:54-12:11, Luke 19:28-44
Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, were very dear to Jesus. They lived near Jerusalem in a village called Bethany. Jesus taught in the home of Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42).
The resurrection of Lazarus is the most touching miracle recorded in the gospels. Lazarus became very sick. So his sisters sent messengers to Jesus saying, "Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick." By the time Jesus received this news, it's likely that Lazarus was already dead. When Jesus came to Bethany, he found that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. Martha met Jesus outside the village and sent for her sister. Mary came with a crowd of mourners. Jesus wept when he saw their grief (John 11:17-37).
Jesus was brought to the tomb. A stone covered the mouth of the cave where Lazarus lay. Jesus ordered them to remove the stone. After praying, he shouted, "Lazarus, come forth!" Lazarus came out in his burial wrappings.
Both believers and unbelievers saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. The friends of Lazarus, and many other witnesses, believed in Jesus after seeing this miracle. Enemies of Jesus reported this event to the Pharisees. Jesus stayed in Bethany during the last week of his life. Crowds came to Bethany to see both Jesus and the resurrected Lazarus. The chief priests in Jerusalem conspired to kill Lazarus "because on account of him, many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus" (John 12:9-11).
Did you know?
Spikenard is aromatic oil extracted from a plant. It was imported from India and was quite valuable. Mary anointed Jesus with spikenard. Judas said the perfume that anointed Jesus was worth over 300 denaraii. One denarius was a day's wage, so this was a considerable gift (John 12:2-8).