By Jason Scherzer
17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”
John’s gospel account emphasizes signs, a redemptive theme that permeates the entire book. These verses above speaks to how the people who saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead were now bearing witness to Jesus. You will remember that in John 11, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. The gathering of people who followed Jesus grew as the witnesses verified the Sign and what had happened in Bethany.
Think of the signs in John as a concept in which Jesus repeatedly shows convincing proofs that He is the Son of God and the Messiah. The meaning of the word “signs” can be very close to that of “miracle”, yet it can also have a meaning that is different than a miracle. When Jesus revealed a sign, He had a specific purpose through this to reveal His identity. John recorded the signs so that his readers would have their eyes opened to believe and have faith in the Son of God.
Imagine that you are driving your car from Houston to San Antonio. As you proceed along Interstate 10, you might notice green and white road signs indicating the number of miles from your position to San Antonio, and also the distance to other cities or towns. The Texas Department of Transportation had a specific purpose in placing these and other road signs along the interstate.
Jesus did not merely “call” Lazarus out of the tomb; He summoned, He invited, and He cried out unto Lazarus to come forth from the dead. By doing this, Jesus revealed Himself to be the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25). Some of the these same people who had witnessed Jesus raise Lazarus came to see His entry riding a colt into Jerusalem as King.
Perhaps the Pharisees spoke among themselves in the street as they watched Jesus receive honor from the crowds, or perhaps while assembled in their council. They were now realizing that all of their “wise” plans to dissuade people from paying recognition to Jesus were coming to nothing.
When David was in the wilderness because he was fleeing from Saul, Jonathan said to David, “… Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” (1 Samuel 23:17) When God established a king in Israel, the world, including Saul, had to recognize that king. The LORD speaks in Psalm 2:6 of Christ: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.”
Let your heart be at peace today, knowing that the true King, Jesus is reigning, and that God is in the process of bringing everything under His authority. He has gone to the Cross for us, and He is risen from the dead, in great power and glory. Amen.