Bible Question:

If Lazarus was with God in Paradise why would Jesus resurrect him and bring him back on earth? He surely would have been happier in Paradise, no?

Bible Answer:

The book of John is the only gospel that contains the events surrounding the death and return to life of Lazarus. The events are recorded in John 11.

The Event

Early in John 11 we discover that Jesus was first told that Lazarus was sick. But Jesus did not rush to Lazarus. Instead He said the following and then remained for two days before going to Lazarus.

But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it. (NASB) John 11:4

As a result Lazarus died. When Jesus finally arrived, Mary was weeping and told Jesus that Lazarus would not have died if He had only come earlier (John 11:32-33). After Jesus was taken to Lazarus’ tomb, He commanded that Lazarus come out (John 11:39-44). Just before Jesus resurrected Lazarus He said this,

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. (NASB) John 11:40-41

Jesus brought Lazarus back to life for the glory of God.

A Greater Purpose

The Apostle John explains at the end of John that all of the events recorded in his gospel are for one purpose.

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (NASB) John 20:30

God is more interested in our discovering Him than in any one person’s comfort because He does not want anyone to end up in eternal punishment.


God has a greater purpose than the comfort or pleasure of His people. He will discipline us when we sin (Heb. 12:4-17). He calls us to suffer for Him (Matt. 5:10-12) and to pursue holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). God brought Lazarus back to life, not for Lazarus’ comfort but for God’s glory and purpose. Those who are Jesus-followers are urged to the following,

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (NASB) Rom. 12:1

This is the result of a love relationship. One who loves God willingly sacrifices himself/herself for Him.