In the scriptures, we are told of two different men with the name of Lazarus. We have the account of one Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. This man was a poor beggar who begged at the gate of a rich man. Verse 21 tells us, “And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” Both Lazarus and this rich man died. We have an incredible account of what happened to each of these men as, after death, they went to their proper respective places. At one point, the rich man in torment asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers about their destinies. We read in verses 27-31, “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Abraham said that the rich man’s brothers had “Moses and the prophets.” He is speaking of the Old Testament writings. He pointed out that if they would not heed the Word of God, neither would they listen to someone who had been raised from the dead.

The Lazarus asked about in this question is a different man. This Lazarus was from Bethany. He had two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was a good personal friend of the Lord Jesus. (John 11:5) We have the account of his death and consequent resurrection in John 11:1-44. This is a very touching story which illustrates the Lord’s compassion (verse 23, “Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.”), His tender heart (verse 35, “Jesus wept.”), and His power (verse 43, “Lazarus, come forth.”). Lazarus had been dead four days when the Lord arrived and his body had begun to decay as we read in verse 39, “Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.” And then, with the authoritative voice of God, Jesus called out, “Lazarus, come forth.” We then read in verse 44, “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes…”

Because of this incredible miracle, many believed on the Lord Jesus. John 11:45 says, “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.” However, many others did not believe. We read in verses 47 and 53, “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles…Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” Because the Lord had raised Lazarus from the dead, and it could not be denied because of so many witnesses, the so-called spiritual leaders began to look for ways they could kill Him.

Amazingly, we read very little of Lazarus after his death. We read in John 12:10, “But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death.” Not only did they want to kill the Lord Jesus, but they also wanted to kill the man that Jesus raised from the dead. I’m sure Lazarus’ presence was a continuing testimony to them of the undeniable power of the Lord, and many of the Jews did not want to acknowledge that. As we read in the account of the other Lazarus, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (John 16:31). We don’t have a single account of anyone being saved by Lazarus’ testimony after being raised from the dead.

We sometimes think that if the Lord would work a wondrous miracle in front of us, that it would convince us of His existence, power, and love. But, that is simply NOT TRUE. If we refuse to be convinced by the Word of God, NO MIRACLE could ever convince us otherwise. We must exercise FAITH in God to be saved. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace are ye saved through FAITH…” (266.4)