Sermons on Lazarus
Jesus had to make a very hard choice four days ago: he could have come to Bethany. He wanted to come, he wanted to heal his beloved Lazarus, he wanted to give this family who had taken him in as a brother the gift of health, but he chose the gift of delay, for now. With the death of Lazarus, he entered into grief in a way which means that he knows our depths of grief, and that means everything to us. It is what makes our tears and heartache holy, the fact that Jesus knows it too, and is inseparable from it.
Clearly one main message of this parable is that wealth is a snare, which will eventually lead to our suffering, poverty, and deep hunger. Our story tells us the only way to avoid the snare is to heed God’s relentless commands to aid the poor and sick. Jesus is challenging us to care from a place that costs us something within: the destruction of whatever boundaries we have created to protect our lives, heart or status.