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John 12:9-11, The Plot to Kill Lazarus

Wednesday, March 7

Irrational Fear

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Jesus performed the most unimaginable miracle -- he raised Lazarus from the dead! In a grand display, Lazarus rose up out of his tomb, still wrapped in his burial cloths. Lazarus was alive again! The chief priests' response? Kill Lazarus.

I have come to the conclusion that most acts of violence, hatred, bigotry, poor decisions, and irrational behavior stems from one very primal emotion -- fear. At the core, we are driven either by love or by fear. The chief priests had much to fear. They could lose control of their people. They could be faced with changing everything they knew and did. They could face retribution from Rome. If Lazarus' resurrection was causing so much turmoil for them, it seemed to them the obvious choice was to kill him dead. Again. 

What they didn't know -- and still, people today don't seem to understand -- is that plans plotted out of fear don't work. They may feel comforting, as if the actions will lead to greater control and a less unsettled feeling, but they are rarely effective. If they had succeeded to kill Lazarus, it would have led to an even greater uprising. They did succeed in killing Jesus, and it led to billions of people throughout time coming to a deeper relationship with their Creator. If only we could learn from their mistakes.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 12:9-11

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.