"And when he thus had spoken, he
cried with a loud voice,
Lazarus, come forth. And he
that was dead came forth, bound
hand and foot with
graveclothes: and his face was
bound about with a
napkin. Jesus saith unto them,
Loose him, and let him
If anyone doubts the binding of dead Jews, just read the lengthy details of their burying process, and one will easily find that Lazarus could not walk out after having life. Therefore, the power of the Lord must have brought Him out of the grave as well. This call only gave Lazarus natural life again, but it is a clear picture of what happens in the effectual call spiritually to every child of grace (much more could be said).
The next statement of the Lord deals with the utility of the gospel. The gospel is a loosing of the graveclothes that bind God's children. Could the Lord have loosed the clothes when He called Lazarus out? Most certainly! Could the Lord automatically give every child of grace complete knowledge in truth upon regeneration? Most certainly again! Yet, it pleased Him in both cases NOT to do so. It pleased Him to have those that stood by to loose Lazarus from his clothes. It pleased the Lord to use earthly men to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Are ministers perfect? No in no wise, as I am sure those that loosed Lazarus were not perfect either. Yet, in both cases the Lord used men on the scene to open the eyes and release the burden. And, when the Lord reveals Himself to those that are blind, and they are made to hear the gospel and know that their burden upon them (that binds them) has been removed, then they can look upon their Saviour!
Notice Lazarus heard the voice of the Lord, but He could not see Him until the napkin around his face was removed. Likewise, God's children have heard and felt Him (He is not far from every one of us, and we feel after Him). But, they do not really begin to see Him (through the eye of faith) until the pages of the Scriptures begin to be opened through the gospel. The gospel does not bring life, but it shows the one who has life how they got it and where to set their affection upon. Notice that Lazarus was not set free to thank those that unloosed the burden. He was set free to thank Him who gave Him life. Likewise, preachers get ZERO credit, and the Lord gets ALL the credit for any revealing or life.