John 11:1 - 57
ESV - 1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.
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In my opinion, Jesus delayed his way back to Bethany because in that time, when someone died, the family used to wait two days to make sure that the person was really dead. I read that Jesus not only passed the third day, but he made his way back to them on the fourth day, so that it would be no doubt that he really performed a great miracle of raising Lazarus, for the glory of God, and so they could believe that He was the Son of God.
One suggested explanation that I have seen as to why the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) did not include Lazarus' resurrection was that those gospels were written close enough to the event that mentioning it in those accounts (and thus giving it greater "publicity" than it had already had), in addition to specifically naming Lazarus, Mary, and Martha (who could all have still been alive), might have subjected them to persecution from opponents of Christianity, since it was such a convincing proof of Jesus' identity as the Son of God. However, by the time John wrote his gospel (toward the end of his long life), that consideration would no longer have applied, leaving John free to include the event in his account.
The book of John was written from a different viewpoint than the three synoptic gospels. It approaches Christ as God, and so omits things such as a genealogy, the Olivet discourse, and the prophecies of the end. But is raising one man from the dead after three days (as Christ himself would also be) really more profound than feeding the five thousand or curing all who came to him? It is a highly prophetic miracle, but there are also accounts of Christian saints doing the same thing in prior centuries.
If I may, I merely wish to address the reason for the raising of Lazarus. Jesus perfomed His miracles for divers reasons. Sometimes out of compassion for the person or the situation. At other times because the request was made in great faith and on a few occassions to reveal His divinity, which was the case in the raising of Lazarus. In John 11: 41,42 just before He called for Lazarus to "come forth," He prayed and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me and I know that you hear me always: but because of the people standing by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me". This particular miracle had a measure of compassion for the sisters of Lazurus as well as being an opportunity to reveal His divinity.
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