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St. John XL 26.

Jetus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life : he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

St. John XL 26.

Jetus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life : he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 05, 2013
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THE RAISING OF LAZARUS.BY FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, M.A.St. John XL 26.Jetus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life : he thatbelieveth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.The words, ME and my Father are one ; ' The Faiher is inme and I in Him' which were spoken in the porch of theTemple at the feast of Dedication, had the same effect asthe words, * Before Abraham waSy lam^ which were spokenafter the feast of Tabernacles. In both cases the Jewssought to take Jesus that they might stone Him ; in bothJesus escaped out of their hands. On the last occasion weare told whither He retired : * Se went away again beyondJordan into the place where John at first baptized^ andth^re He abodeJ* The disciples who had been with Himin the crowd of the city found themselves in the lonelyplace where they had first heard Him proclaimed as theLamb of God. Since that time there had been a whirl of new thoughts and strange hopes in their minds. Thekingdom of God had appeared to be indeed at hand ; theyhad seen their Master exercising the powers of it ; they hadexercised those powers themselves. Some day His thronewould be established ; they should sit beside Him. TheTHE RAISING OP LAZARUS. 301vision had passed away ; they were the companions of afugitive; they were in the desert where they had firstlearned, not that they were princes to sit and judge, butsinners wanting a DeKverer.I cannot doubt that He who was educating them, notonly by His speech but by all His acts, had devised thislesson for them, that it was just what they needed at that
time. How often do we all need just such a discipline ; thereturn to some old haunt that some past experience hashallowed ; the return to that experience which we seemto have left far behind us, that we may compare it withwhat we have gone through since ! How good it would befor us if when circumstances take us back to the past, webelieved that the Son of Man had ordered those circum-stances, and was Himself with us to draw the blessing outof them!Others beside the disciples were profiting, the Evan-gelist tells us, by this choice of a place. ^And manyresorted unto Htm, and said, John did no miracle : hut allthings that John spaJce of this Man were trueJ* They hadperhaps contrasted John the preacher in the wilderness,with Jesus who ate with publicans and sinners ; John, whosaid, Bepent, with Jesus, who opened the eyes of the blind.Now they were reminded of the likeness between them.Jesus drew them away from earthly things, as John haddone. Jesus made them conscious of a light shining intothem, as John had done. Only what John had said wastrue. They needed a baptism of the Spirit, that thebaptism for the remission of sins might not be in vain.They needed a Lamb of God and a Son of God, whoshould do for them what no miracles could do. Was Henot here ? ' And many believed on Him there,^302 DISCOURSE XX.I can conceive no diviner introduction than this to theitory of the raising of Lazarus. It prepares us to under-stand that what we are about to hear of, is not one of thosesigns which Jesus rebuked His countrymen as sinful andadulterous for desiring; not one of those wonders whichdraw men away from the invisible to the visible, — ^fromthe object of faith to an object of sight; but just thereverse of this, — a witness that what John spake of Jesuswas true, — a witness that in Him was Life, and that
this Life always had been, was then, and always would be,the Life as well as the Light of men. With what care thestory is related so that it shall leave this impression on ourminds — how all those incidents contribute to it which wouldhave been passed over by a reporter of miracles, nay,which would have been rejected by him as commonplace,and therefore as interfering with his object — I shall hope topoint out as we proceed. And I would thankfiilly acknow-ledge at the outset, that, on the whole, the mind of Christen-dom has responded to the intention of the divine narrator ;that whatever scholars and divines may have made of thestory, the people have apprehended its human and domesticcharacteristics, and have refused to be cheated of its appli-cation to themselves under the pretext that it would servebetter as an evidence for Christianity if its meaning werelimited to one age. I am still more thankful that theChurch, by adopting the words of my text into her BurialService, has sanctified this rebellion. An attempt, there-fore, to discover the exact meaning of the Evangelist willnot introduce novelties, but will deepen old faith. And Icannot help feeling that unless we do seek to deepen thatfaith, unless we are willing to learn again from St. Johnsome of the lessons which we may think we know veryTHE BAISING OF LAZARUS. 303perfectly, or have left behind us in our nurseries, we shallfind that we have less of belief than many Jews and manyheathens had before our Lord came in the flesh.* Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus^ of Bethany ^the town of Mary and her sister Martha. {It was thai Marywhich anointed the Lord with ovntnient, and wiped His feetwith her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.y The storyof Maiy and the alabaster box of ointment has not yetbeen told by our Evangelist. But he had too distinct andhigh an object to care for preserving the conventional pro-prieties of a narrator. He never pretended to be giving

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