What happened to Lazarus after Jesus raised him up from the dead? Did Lazarus die again?


by Doug Lawrence

In today’s gospel we proclaim the Lord’s raising of his friend Lazarus, from the dead.

While little more is known about Lazarus, there are a few things we can infer, as students of human nature, and from the totality of the scriptures.

First, it appears that there was more than a simple “friendly” relationship between Jesus, Lazarus, Martha and Mary. They interacted much more as cousins would … or at least, some type of closely related “kin”.

Next, it is clear that Jesus knew full well that Lazarus was ill, that Lazarus would die, and that his sisters (and neighbors) would be wracked with grief, yet Jesus deliberately delayed his journey to Bethany, so that Lazarus would not only certainly be dead, but already in a state of decomposition.

Jesus knowingly permitted all these people to suffer, for the greater glory of God.

John 11:14  Then Jesus therefore said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Martha was so upset that she actually scolded Jesus. Mary was so upset, she wouldn’t come out to greet Jesus. She didn’t even leave the house. (Another reason to think they might have been in some way, related.)

John 11:21  Martha therefore said unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died.

The others were so upset that they could hardly speak. They were too broken up even to explain where Jesus could find the tomb.

John 11:33-34  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They say unto him, Lord, come and see.

Jesus was not unaffected by this.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

Of course, Jesus called Lazarus out from the tomb, and Lazarus came forth alive (from all accounts, looking like a “mummy”.)

Yet, many still did not believe in Jesus. The Pharisees continued to plot against him, and the high priest prophesied (correctly) that Jesus would die for the people.

The gospel accounts pretty much explain all that happened next, except for one thing:

What eventually became of Lazarus?

The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us: The Saturday before Palm Sunday, Lazarus took part in the banquet which Simon the Leper gave to Jesus in Bethania (Matthew 26:6-16; Mark 14:3-11; John 12:1-11). Many of the Jews believed in Jesus because of Lazarus, whom the chief priests now sought to put to death. The Gospels tell us no more of Lazarus (see ST. LAZARUS OF BETHANY). But some unverified legends did spring up.

How many times is a man obliged to die?

Hebrews 9:27  And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment…

So, did Lazarus taste death again … or not?

What do you think?

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8 Comments

  1. A related question that many fail to consider is just what would be the effect on a man of being brought back from the dead as Lazarus was. He was already loved by Jesus and already a friend of Jesus and the apostles, so how would he have acted after being given this one-of-a-kind gift from God?

    LazarusComeForth.com has a free Bible study that simply compares scripture with scripture in order to highlight some facts about Lazarus, the “friend” who “Jesus loved”, that are often overlooked. It may be worth your time to consider the presentation of biblical evidence that it offers. Hope it helps.

    • Dear Bible Student,

      I reviewed your site. It is very nicely done, and the information is very well presented.

      Based solely on the various accounts in the gospels and the many huge information “gaps” contained therein, you raise a number of interesting possibilities.

      However, we Catholics had people “on the ground” at that time, and we always knew (and still know) “who’s who” when it comes to “key” figures like the apostles and the evangelists … and we know such things independently of the scriptures … since the original events necessarily predate all the New Testament accounts by at least several decades.

      That’s the big advantage of Catholic tradition, informed by the Holy Spirit, that predates, yet encompasses the entirety of the New Testament, going all the way back to the original, first-hand, eye witness accounts of the conception of John the Baptist and the appearance of the angel Gabriel, to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

      In regard to a complete, correct understanding of the New Testament, tradition certainly beats showing up 1500 to 2000 years after the fact … and then trying to work out real or perceived discrepancies … using only the sketchy remains of ancient first century documents, which were likely never intended for that purpose, in the first place.

      Yet, the Catholic church has never gone to a great deal of trouble to infallibly define many of these types of things, so there remains plenty of room for reasonable people to respectfully disagree.

      Why don’t we simply leave it at that?

      Cheers!

      Doug

      Very nice effort, though!

      • the new pope is the anti christ and yourchurch is the house of lies and ungodly traditions

      • According to whom? I’m always amazed how those whose particular religion was just recently invented by ungodly, prideful, misguided men, attempt to defame the Catholic Church – the only church that was ever personally founded, authorized, empowered and eternally guaranteed by Jesus Christ, for the purpose of our salvation.

        Doug

      • I WAS CATHOLIC AND THE HOLY SPIRIT TOLD ME TO LEAVE AND TO BE BORN AGAIN.

      • You were born again of water and the Holy Spirit when you were first baptized. You received a second anointing when you were confirmed. The Holy Spirit was certainly present at both of those events. There’s only one baptism to a customer. Anything more is blasphemy – so it’s not likely that it was the Holy Spirit telling you to leave. More like something became “garbled” (on your end) in transmission. Thank you for commenting.

        Doug

  2. I have recently read a book that was written by Godly beings that fills in the gaps in a way I find truthful. It states in there that Lasarus fled to Philadelphia, Perea to be part of Abner’s church, where his sisters later joined him. He was a strong supporter of Abner in his controversy with Paul and the Jerusalem church. He died at 67 of the same sickness that took him as a younger man.

    • i am satisfied with account of Lazarus’s remaining years.. thank you so much.. .


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