41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.
(Giotto di Bondone 1267-1337)
Thoughts: Jesus says that He knew God heard Him before he called for Lazarus to come out- meaning God made Lazarus alive before he came out. Jesus even today prays for us. He still calls us out of the grave of selfishness into the newness of life. He calls us from the prison of death into the freedom of life. He often calls us in the midst of our hopelessness- our disasters- our earthquakes- our losing battles into His hope of life.
Prayer: Call me today, O Lord, to leave my selfishness and find freedom in service to you.
John Calvin Commentary Abridged: Why didn't he raise all the dead? The answer is found in the hidden purpose of God- enough miracles to confirm the gospel. By not touching him but just reaching out to him, the power of God was more fully demonstrated. The way the napkin and grave clothes are described, Lazarus went out of the tomb in the same way.