1Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)3Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.4When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.5Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.6When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.8His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?9Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.10But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.11These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.12Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.13Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.14Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.16Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. 17Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.18Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 19And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.20Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. 21Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 28And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. 29As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. 30Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. 31The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. 32Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. 34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.35Jesus wept. 36Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39Jesus 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. 40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 45Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
St. John Chrysostom in his Homily 62 on John wrote:
He also for our advantage informs us who were Lazarus’ sisters; and, moreover, what Mary had more (than the other), going on to say,It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment.Here some doubting say,How did the Lord endure that a woman should do this?In the first place then it is necessary to understand, that this is not the harlot mentioned in Matthew (26:7), or the one in Luke (7:37), but a different person; they were harlots full of many vices, but she was both grave and earnest; for she showed her earnestness about the entertainment of Christ. The Evangelist also means to show, that the sisters too loved Him, yet He allowed Lazarus to die. But why did they not, like the centurion and the nobleman, leave their sick brother, and come to Christ, instead of sending? They were very confident in Christ, and had towards Him a strong familiar feeling. Besides, they were weak women, and oppressed with grief; for that they acted not in this way as thinking slightly of Him, they afterwards showed. It is then clear, that this Mary was not the harlot.But wherefore,says some one,did Christ admit that harlot?That He might put away her iniquity; that He might show His lovingkindness; that you might learn that there is no malady which prevails over His goodness.
(regarding v.21 “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”)
See how great is the heavenly wisdom of the women, although their understanding be weak. For when they saw Christ, they did not break out into mourning and wailing and loud crying, as we do when we see any of those we know coming in upon our grief; but straightway they reverence their Teacher. So then both these sisters believed in Christ, but not in a right way; for they did not yet certainly know either that He was God, or that He did these things by His own power and authority; on both which points He taught them. For they showed their ignorance of the former, by saying,If you had been here, our brother had not died…
He comes then to the tomb; and again rebukes His feelings. Why does the Evangelist carefully in several places mention thatHe wept,and that,He groaned? That you may learn that He had of a truth put on our nature. For when this Evangelist is remarkable for uttering great things concerning Christ more than the others, in matters relating to the body, here he also speaks much more humbly than they. For instance, concerning His death he has said nothing of the kind; the other Evangelists declare that He was exceedingly sorrowful, that He was in an agony; but John, on the contrary, says, that He even cast the officers backwards. So that he has made up here what is omitted there, by mentioning His grief. When speaking of His death, Christ says,I have power to lay down My lifeJohn 10:18, and then He utters no lowly word; therefore at the Passion they attribute to Him much that is human, to show the reality of the Dispensation. And Matthew proves this by the Agony, the trouble, the trembling, and the sweat; but John by His sorrow. For had He not been of our nature, He would not once and again have been mastered by grief. What did Jesus? He made no defense with regard to their charges; for why should He silence by words those who were soon to be silenced by deeds? A means less annoying, and more adapted to shame them.