Jesus’ good friend Lazarus had died (John 11:14,17). And so He performed an amazing miracle by raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44)—leading many who came to the funeral to believe in Him (John 11:45). But the Pharisees and priests responded differently. From that time on, they began to plot Jesus’ death (John 11:53).
News of the spectacular miracle spread throughout the thousands of Jewish pilgrims who had begun arriving in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. They greatly desired to meet with the Miracle Worker (John 11:55-56), but the religious leaders had issued an order to arrest Him.
Jesus, the wanted man (John 11:57), moved on over to Bethany—2 miles from Jerusalem—where He stayed in the home of Lazarus (John 12:1). A relative of Lazarus named Simon (Mark 14:3) also lived at the same address. Simon had at one time been afflicted with leprosy (Mark 14:3)—a disease that resulted in its victims living in isolation outside the city gates to prevent the spread of the infection (Leviticus 13:45-46). Jesus had healed Simon of his leprosy, and in gratitude Simon hosted a dinner to honor Him (John 12:2).
Lazarus had been raised from the dead and Simon had been healed of leprosy. Given new lives, they wanted to truly honor Jesus. But, due to the conspiracy to kill Him, it was a dangerous time to do so. They were risking being arrested or even killed (John 12:10). But the danger didn’t negatively affect or deter them. They counted the cost and were prepared to pay the price for honoring the One who had healed them.
It will also cost us to follow Jesus (Luke 14:28). May we be prepared to pay whatever is required to show our love and honor for Him.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Numbers 22:5-38
Jesus cautioned the large crowd following Him to count the cost, if they wanted to be His disciples. What will it cost you to follow Him? (Luke 14:25-33).
How have you been placed in a situation where following or honoring Jesus came with a price? How does Jesus’ example make it easier for you to follow Him?