Bad News

Thomas's Story Part 1

Getting away from Jerusalem after Hannukah felt good. The things Jesus said there had made some people think he was crazy. They nearly stoned him - tried to arrest him. Jesus always slipped away. Bethany wasn't far. That's where Lazarus lived with his sisters Mary and Martha. You could be sure of a warm welcome and good food there. But it was too near Jerusalem. We were glad to retreat with Jesus out of Judea and back across the Jordan river. I hoped we'd stay there. Much safer.

Then Jesus got the message that Lazarus was very sick. It was odd that Jesus didn't set off for Bethany immediately. He really loved that family. But he stayed put 2 more days, before he said 'let's go back to Judea'. We tried to talk him out of it. We didn't want to see him killed. But Jesus was determined. He said Lazarus was asleep and he had to go and wake him up. It didn't make sense to us. It made even less sense when Jesus said Lazarus had died. You can't wake the dead. And we'd be too late for the burial by the time we got back to Bethany. Why not stay safe and visit Mary and Martha later when things were quieter?

Jesus said he was glad not to have been with Lazarus sooner, that we'd soon have new grounds for believing in him. 'Let's go to Lazarus' he said. I didn't like the idea. I was scared. It sounded like a suicide mission, going back anywhere near Jerusalem. But I'd promised to follow wherever Jesus led. So had his other friends. Once you've put your hand to the plough, you shouldn't turn back. So I said to the others, "Let's go with him, that we may died with him".

Part 2: 'If Only' is here.

This post is the 29th in a series of daily Lenten reflections based on a reading from the Common Worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on John 11: 1-16.


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