But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37).
When Jesus arrived in Bethany and spoke to Martha and Mary, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days, but both expressed their faith, saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21, 32). They had sat at Jesus’ feet when He taught about the Father and himself and what it meant to follow Him, because Jesus taught everyone who would listen, whereas the rabbis of the time would not teach women. They knew that Jesus had the power to heal the sick and raise those who had died when He reached them in time. They did not express explicit faith that Jesus could raise someone who had been in a tomb four days.
After Lazarus died, mourners who were mostly women came to console Lazarus’ family. Traditionally, they would stay seven days with the family. During that time, we have every reason to suppose that Jesus—who He was, what He had done, and what He could do—had been an important part of their conversations, because Lazarus’ sisters had sent messengers to tell Jesus that Lazarus was ill. Knowing that in Jerusalem Jesus had healed a man born blind, and learning more about Jesus and what He taught from Lazarus’ sisters, the mourners were prepared to believe in Jesus after they met Him and saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead. No doubt the Holy Spirit inspired Mary and Martha to teach about Jesus while everyone eagerly awaited His hoped-for coming. We can do the same for others whether we are rejoicing or suffering as the Holy Spirit leads us!