There are two people with this name specifically mentioned by Jesus. The first one is Lazarus, the one whose sores were licked by the dogs. If you’re interested in reading about this guy, you can go to this old post entitled On Agony & Intellect.
This post is about the other Lazarus, the one whom Jesus allowed to die.
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Bad things happen to all people, good and bad people. This passage illuminates that God sometimes purposely delays in responding to pleas for help for an even greater purpose (verses 4,6), which in this case was so that Jesus could display in full glory who He is, by raising Lazarus from the dead in the midst of all the witnesses, those who walked with Him and also to those who will believe in Him.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may consider and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, and after Me none will come.”
I, yes I, am the LORD, and there is no Savior but Me.
Should God tarry in coming to your aid, hang in there just a bit longer. As the beginning passage shows, there’s no such thing as too dead too late for God. It is for your benefit (Romans 8:28) and everything ends up for His glory.
“The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.”