The DEEP

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Something significant is going on there.

John 12:9–11

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

Lazarus is converting people left and right, so they plotted to put Lazarus to death. Of all the things the chief priests did, this one is the craziest. Why didn’t they just talk to him? He wasn’t in hiding. As this passage notes, people were coming to see him. Why does killing him even require plots?

Scripture doesn’t say. Also, scripture doesn’t record any of the conversations that Lazarus had with all these folks who were coming to see him. If you had a chance to talk to someone who had been dead—really, truly, stinking dead—and then came back, would you be interested? Any questions you might want to ask?

Right. Lazarus makes the Dos Equis “most interesting man in the world” seem positively boring.

So, he’s converting multitudes to Jesus without even trying, and this is a problem for the chief priests.

See how comical, and profound, this is getting? The chief priests have worked themselves into a position that is becoming almost impossible to defend. They’re not that far from wanting to execute half the population.

But they don’t have an army. They don’t have a police force. The Romans have all the big weapons. Plus, they have to avoid actually talking to Lazarus, or Jesus, or even any of the converts, for fear of how that conversation might go. God forbid they should find out they’re wrong.

It’d all be funny if it wasn’t so serious.


What’s happening to the chief priests is a common psychological behavior. People simply aren’t good at changing their minds or at admitting fault. This leads to an amazing phenomenon.

Prison ministers often admire many of the people they minister to. This isn’t just words; they’re serious. To the uninitiated, this is hard to understand. Many people assume that convicts are the worst society has to offer.

But no—at least not always and not in the end. People who have been completely humbled in court and in prison often learn a lesson that the rest of us could use a dose of.

I do not understand this—God has not called me to prison ministry—but I have seen this secondhand. Something significant is going on there.

Many of these folks have been radically transformed by Christ.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.