John's Gospel

The Way It Happened

John 11:47, The Two Parables of Lazarus, Part I of II

So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.”

//In my book about John’s Gospel, I tie this Lazarus in John’s Gospel, the man whom Jesus raised from the dead, to the Lazarus of Jesus’s parable about Hades in Luke’s Gospel. This association is speculative, but not without merit.

The most obvious connection is that Lazarus is given a name in both stories, whereas the characters in most parables remain unnamed. While the first Lazarus story may not be intended as a parable, the second one surely is. So why give him a name?

The second most obvious connection is that John’s Lazarus and Luke’s Lazarus both die. Abraham is requested by the rich man to send Lazarus back to his brothers, because “if someone from the dead would come to them, they would repent.”

This brings us to today’s verse. Jesus raises John’s Lazarus from the dead, and the chief priests and Pharisees know that he is risen from the dead, but they do not repent. Instead, they make plans to kill the Son of God. Thus John’s Gospel fleshes out the story that Luke wrote.

But is this enough evidence to pronounce the two Lazaruses to be the same person? More tomorrow.

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