After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, what became of him? What happened to Lazarus after he was resurrected by Jesus?
Who was Lazarus?
Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary who lived in Bethany and this was the “Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair (Luke 7:38), whose brother Lazarus was ill” (John 11:2) “So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:3-4) so we see that Jesus loved Lazarus “He whom you love” but more than that, Jesus “loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus”
(John 11:5) so Jesus had a close, personal, and loving relationship with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
Lazarus’ name is a special name as His name in the Greek “Lazaros” literally means “whom God helps.” Lazarus’ name comes from the Hebrew name “Eleazar” or “’El`azar” and means “God has helped” so Lazarus’ name points to the God Who helps him and us too. God names people for their attributes and for His divine purposes for their life like Abraham, Paul, and yes, Lazarus too. Lazarus’ name is not lost on those familiar with the Hebrew or Greek language for as this name means “whom God helps” or “God has helped” so did Jesus, Who is God, helped Lazarus to come back to life. That’s because Jesus, as God, has the power to raise people from the dead and simply has to speak and it is so.
Why was Lazarus Resurrected?
Why did Jesus resurrect Lazarus when He could have healed him and prevented his death? Jesus answers this in part when He “told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe” (John 11:14-15). Why would Jesus be glad that Lazarus has died? Why was it good that Jesus was not there? It was “so that you may believe” in Him. When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had already been dead four days and Martha was very upset with Jesus and said “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). That’s true. If Jesus had been there and Lazarus became ill, Jesus could have just gone over to him and healed him instantly without Lazarus having to die but Jesus had a purpose in this and so said to Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe.
(John 11:23-26)? Then, “when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32) but Jesus allowed this for a special purpose “so that you may believe.” Believe in what? “Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God” (John 11:40) “So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me’” (John 11:41-42) so it was to glorify God and prove that Jesus is God as He has the power to raise people from the dead.
What became of Lazarus?
We know that after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, “the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” (John 11:47-48) “So from that day on they made plans to put [Jesus] to death” (John 11:53) and so later, “When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead” (John 12:9). Listen just how callous and jealous these Jews became of Jesus and even His resurrecting Lazarus as it says that “the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus” (John 12:10-11). Amazing how far they would go; now they not only wanted to kill Jesus but Lazarus too because “on account of him [being raised from the dead] many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.” Lazarus escaped but Jesus didn’t and He was crucified but what happened to Lazarus? Church tradition and some church historians believe that Lazarus met the Apostle Paul and Barnabas as they were traveling from Salamis to Paphos where he was supposed to be ordained as the Bishop of Kition. We don’t know this for certain or what became of Lazarus after his resurrection from the dead but we know today that he is in the kingdom and so too all those who died in the faith.
God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Luke 20:38), and even raising the dead for His glory. I believe that if Jesus had simply said “come out” instead of “Lazarus, come out” (John 11:43), all who were in their graves would have come forth because Jesus’ has resurrection power in His Word and all He needs to do is speak and it will be whatever He speaks. Do you believe? If not, you will face the wrath of God on the day of His visitation but if you trust in Him and have repented of your sins, then you too will be raised again someday and be with the Lord forever.