The Youth’s Instructor



March 30, 1899

The Resurrection of Lazarus

Part 1.


“Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)” Mary's act of anointing Jesus was the fruit of her faith in him as the Son of God, and in thus pointing her out, the inspired writer shows the value that Christ places on acts of loving service. YI March 30, 1899, par. 1

Christ had no home of his own. He was dependent on the hospitality of his friends and disciples. The home of the family at Bethany was one of the Saviour's homes. Here he could find rest and repose. Often when weary, thirsting for human fellowship, he had been glad to escape to this quiet home, away from the suspicion and jealousy of the angry Pharisees. Here he found a sincere welcome and pure, holy friendship. Here he could speak with simplicity and perfect freedom, knowing that his words would be understood and treasured. He was able here to accomplish the work for which he came to the earth. YI March 30, 1899, par. 2

When Christ gave his disciples their commission, and sent them forth in his name to preach the gospel, he told them that they were to accept the hospitality of the people. And he would have his people entertain his messengers. But there are persons, even among those who profess to believe the truth, who are great talkers. They do not wait to learn from the messengers God sends. They wish rather to instruct them. Often they interpret their own opinions to be the opinions of their guests. Thus they lose much. God's servants understand those with whom they have to deal, and they see that they can not do these constant talkers much good; for they can not hear aright. YI March 30, 1899, par. 3

Our Saviour appreciated a quiet home and interested listeners. He longed for human tenderness, courtesy, and affection. Those who received the heavenly instruction he was always ready to impart, were greatly blessed. John was one of his most attentive listeners, and thus he was enabled to be a doer of his words. YI March 30, 1899, par. 4

As the multitudes followed Christ through the open fields, he unfolded to them the beauties of the natural world. He opened the eyes of their understanding that they might see how the hand of God upholds the world. He called the attention of his hearers to the soft showers of rain and the bright sunshine, given alike to good and evil. In order to call out an appreciation of God's goodness and benevolence, Christ gave lessons which showed that the divine appreciation given an object is proportionate to the rank which that object holds in the scale of creation. He bade them consider the lilies, telling them that Solomon, the greatest king that ever wielded a scepter, was not, in all his glory, arrayed like one of the simple flowers of the field. God paints the flowers with colors that outvie the glory of Solomon. “Wherefore,” said Christ, “if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” If the grass of the field receives divine care, how much more will our Heavenly Father care for us! We should seek to realize more fully the regard that God bestows on the human instrumentalities he has created. YI March 30, 1899, par. 5

But the multitudes were slow of hearing, and in the home at Bethany, Christ found rest from the weary conflict of public life. Here he opened to an appreciative audience the volume of Providence, showing that in this volume each one has a page, on which every particular of his history is traced. The human soul is never absent from the mind of God. YI March 30, 1899, par. 6

In these private interviews, Christ unfolded to his hearers that which he did not attempt to tell to the mixed multitude. He needed not to speak to his friends in parables. He opened to them the very heart of God, showing them the exactness of his love and care for his children, even in temporal things. God has made provision for every soul; for the human race is his spiritual offspring. YI March 30, 1899, par. 7

Such depth and breadth was there in what he said that all that the listeners could do was to be still, “and know that I am God.” Who can measure the gifts of infinite love? “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Though sin has been accumulating for ages, God's love has never ceased to flow earthward. It was only restrained till a suitable channel was provided for it. Christ, the only begotten Son of God, left the royal courts and came to this world, and through him God poured forth the healing flood of his grace. YI March 30, 1899, par. 8

As Christ gave his wonderful lessons, Mary sat at his feet, a reverent and devoted listener. On one occasion, Martha, perplexed with the care of preparing the meal, went to Christ, saying: “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.” Jesus answered: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” She was storing her mind with the precious words falling from the Saviour's lips, which were more precious to her than earth's most costly jewels. YI March 30, 1899, par. 9

When Lazarus was taken sick, his sisters sent to Christ, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” They saw the violence of the disease that had seized their brother, but they knew that Christ had shown himself able to heal all manner of diseases, and they thought that he would immediately respond to their message, and be with them as soon as he could reach Bethany. YI March 30, 1899, par. 10

Anxiously they waited for a word from Jesus. As long as the spark of life was yet alive in their brother, they prayed and watched for the Saviour to come. But the messenger returned without him. Yet he brought the message, “This sickness is not unto death,” and they clung to the hope that Lazarus would live. Tenderly they tried to speak words of hope and encouragement to the almost unconscious sufferer. When Lazarus died, they were bitterly disappointed, but they felt the sustaining grace of Christ, and this kept them from reflecting any blame on the Saviour. YI March 30, 1899, par. 11

When the disciples gave Christ the message, he did not manifest the sorrow that they expected him to. They thought he received this sad news coldly. Looking up to them, he said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.” YI March 30, 1899, par. 12

“Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” The love that Christ felt for these friends was not alone a divine love. It was human as well as divine. He was an example of the highest type of humanity, and he was also the Saviour of the world. He could not be indifferent to the sufferings of the family whose hospitality he had so often shared, where he had rested and been refreshed as he had talked with his friends of heavenly things. YI March 30, 1899, par. 13

Mrs. E. G. White

(To be continued.)