In the Gospel of John, the miracles of Jesus are ‘signs’ pointing to the person and mission of Jesus. The raising of Lazarus is the last of Jesus’ ‘signs’ in the Gospel, pointing to Jesus as the ‘resurrection and life’ (6:25). We tend to focus on the resurrection as a distant promise and reality, our eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. In chapter 12, the anointing of Jesus takes place at the home of Mary and Martha in Bethany.

We are told that Martha served, Mary anoints Jesus, and Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead (12:1,9,17) “was one of those at the table with him.” The raising of Lazarus also gives him new life with Jesus. “in him was life, and the life was the light of all people” (1:4). Jesus wants us to share in the fullness of his life. One of the early church Fathers named Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is a person fully alive.”

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