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43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”


Having put the approaching miracle in the context of answered prayer, Jesus performed the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.


Now when He had said these things,

Jesus finished His prayer.

He cried [shouted] with a loud voice,

The only other occasion where Jesus cried with a loud voice was on the cross (Mt 27:50).

Lazarus, come forth [out]!”

Jesus shouted only three words for Lazarus to rise from the dead. His absolute power over death is obvious here.


We must be careful not to read our theology into Scripture.


Some hyper-Calvinists use this passage to support their idea of being regenerated before we have faith in Christ and of that act of God as irresistible. There is nothing exegetically to support these ideas in this passage. This is the fallacy of imposing syntactical parallelism on a passage; that is, they draw a parallel where none expositionally exists.

There is nothing in the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead whatsoever that deals with salvation. To impose salvation on this passage is the hermeneutical fallacy called interpolation or reading something into the passage that is not there. Interpolation is reading into the text a previously concluded theology where there is no textual evidence to support that doctrine. This, in effect, is what we call the spiritualization of Scripture, which does not interpret Scripture in a literal or normal way.

It is true that man cannot come autonomously to God because he is spiritually dead to God (Eph 2:1); it takes divine initiative to put man in a place where he can believe. The situation with Lazarus did not require volition from a dead man, but the Bible requires a decision for a person to become a Christian. Thus, the comparison of Lazarus with salvation is an apple-and-orange false parallelism. Analogical reasoning is a logical fallacy that attempts to support a doctrine not found explicitly in Scripture.

Predestination has to do with God’s plan of salvation. God’s plan involves concurring with man’s volition. He gave human beings limited freedom under the concursive process of God’s sovereignty. That is, man has free moral agency but in a limited way. No one can come to Christ without the prior drawing of that person to God by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. When God does draw, then the individual has the option to accept or reject that drawing or convicting work of the Holy Spirit.

To impose irresistible grace on this passage is another exegetical fallacy. Exegesis is what takes something from the text; it does not impose something on the text. The word exegesis means to raise out; good interpretation does not read into the text but raises its doctrine out of the text.

Regarding regeneration before belief, note that both Cornelius (Acts 10:4) and Lydia (Acts 16) were unregenerate when they sought the Lord. Paul mentioned to the Athenian philosophers that they “should seek the Lord, in hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Ac 17:26, 27).

It is important to note that hyper-Calvinists use this text as an illustration; however, some make the mistake of going beyond illustration to exposition.

If you wish to study the doctrine of concursus further, go to this study: