Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
- Jesus had become friends with a brother and two sisters who lived in Bethany of Judea, 2 miles from Jerusalem on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. The story in Luke 7:36–50 may serve as the background for this relationship.
- After their brother Lazarus became ill, the sisters sent messengers to inform Jesus of the matter. Jesus stated then that the illness would not lead to death.
- Two days after hearing the news, Jesus announces He will return to Judean, whereupon His disciples warn against going back due to the fact He had decided enemies there.
- Jesus states that He will do the work while there is yet time to do it. Then He states, that Lazarus has fallen asleep and He goes to awaken him. The disciples protest that Lazarus will awaken on his own, whereupon Jesus now announces that Lazarus is dead and He is going to him.
- Thomas, the twin, warns that danger awaits them all.
- The journey from Perea, across the Jordan, would take two days and upon arrival at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Lazarus would be dead four days. An ancient popular myth existed that the spirit of a dead person hovered over it for 3 days, and on the fourth, the person was genuinely dead.
- Martha charges Jesus that if He had been there sooner, Lazarus would not have died. Martha recounts what most Jews, influenced by the party of the Pharisees, believed in that there would be a resurrection of the dead, perhaps based on Daniel 12:2. Jesus then announces that He is in fact the resurrection and the life. He then asks her, “Do you believe this?”