Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back at the Ranch ...

Part 4 of the story series, "Second-Guessing God's Goodness ..."

Back in Bethany, another drama was unfolding that would give Jesus a human reasonable doubt to rush to Lazarus.

See ... by this time, news of the sickness of Jesus's good friend had spread to Jerusalem. And who, of course, had shown up to "comfort" the sisters?

You got it -- Jesus's enemies.

In John's Gospel, they're commonly referred to as, "The Jews." This was the coin phrase for the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees.

We know at least one thing about Lazarus and his sisters. They were rich. How do we derive that? Because Lazarus was buried in a tomb, carved out of the side of a rock. Only wealthy people were buried in places like that, historians and archeologists tell us.

Now recently, historians have taken a bold step to voice yet another theory about Lazarus, Mary and Martha: They were from good stock. Super good stock.

In other words, their family was intricately linked to the religious leaders of Jerusalem. In the book, "The Mystery of the Beloved Disciple: New Evidence, Complete Answer" author Frederick Baltz asserts that Lazarus was "Eleazar son of Boethus, a former High Priest." Josephus names this same Eleazar. And, Rabbinic literature says that this Eleazar had two sisters: Martha and Miriam (another name used for Mary). The theory, then, is that Lazarus was not only seen as a pawn (being a good friend of Jesus) -- but he also was from the families of Israel's elite. Are you getting the full picture here?


Lazarus dies.

Jesus shows up.

And then ... all hell breaks loose.


Tune in for Part 5 of the story series, "Second-Guessing God's Goodness."

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