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Related Bible reading(s): John 11.1-45

PostScript: Who is this Jesus?

A reflection on John 11.1-45.


This can be used on its own or in conjunction with the questions below.

I guess you could call me a hanger-on. I followed Jesus the Preacher round. He was obviously somebody important, but I couldn’t make my mind up what. He had his close band of friends. And then there was an even more raggle-taggle group of us who came and went. I knew Lazarus and his sisters. I had met them when Jesus was in Bethany. So, when word came that Lazarus was ill, I thought Jesus would drop everything and go but he didn’t. He trusted God that Lazarus would not die.

Two days later, Jesus changed his mind. He suddenly announced that he was going to visit Mary and Martha because Lazarus was dead. It was Thomas who suggested we all go to show solidarity.

When we got to Bethany it was bedlam. Lazarus and his sisters were well-loved, and so many people had come to pay their respects and offer sympathy to Mary and Martha. Mary didn’t come out to see us and Martha was rather cool with Jesus at first – but after he told her that Lazarus would rise again, she described him as God’s Son and Messiah.

They all set off towards the tomb and then Mary came out and flung herself at his feet. ‘He wouldn’t have died, if you had been here’, she sobbed. Then to my amazement, Jesus himself began to cry. ‘It’s guilt’ muttered people in the crowd, but I wasn’t convinced.

When we reached the tomb it got very dramatic. ‘Take the stone away’, Jesus yelled. What a stink! Then he said a prayer thanking God for hearing him and saying that this would make people believe.

‘Out you come, Lazarus’, he said – and out stumbles Lazarus, all bound up in his grave clothes.

I couldn’t make my mind up what was going on. I couldn’t work out who exactly Jesus was, but I was convinced that this was a significant incident. The words that I couldn’t get rid of from my mind were words he had spoken to Martha: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in me will live.’



The questions can be discussed (e.g. using social media – or within your own family group) either after each paragraph, or altogether after listening to the whole reflection.

  • How can we trust God in the context of a global pandemic?
  • How can we show solidarity with those who are suffering as a result of Covid-19?
  • Who is Jesus to those who are forced to self-isolate?
  • Why did Jesus begin to weep?
  • What is the life that Jesus offers to those who believe?



To all those who are alone and feel isolated from community:
be a companion and friend.

To children who can’t play with their friends and whose days lack structure:
be a companion and friend.

To those who have the virus and those who are concerned about loved ones:
bring healing and comfort.

To those who grieve for loved ones who have died:
bring healing and comfort.

To decision makers and all in authority:
give wisdom and compassion.

To neighbours and all who seek to help others:
give wisdom and compassion.

For those who work in the health service:
we give thanks and ask your blessing.

For those who care for us and make us smile:
we give thanks and ask your blessing.

In the name of Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life.


Stuart Wild is a minister in the Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District.


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