John writes his gospel with the expressed purpose of relating the story of Jesus so that the reader might believe. By the time we get to John's account of the raising of Lazarus, Jesus has already fed five thousand people, walked on water, healed a man born blind and a man who couldn't walk. Over and over he describes himself as God's son. John of course has described him as God himself, the word made flesh.
One would wonder why John needs to add the story of Lazarus. It certainly is likely the most spectacular of Jesus' miracles. Raising a man who had been dead, (and lots of people knew he was dead) after he had been in the grave for four days, seems like overkill. Shouldn't the other stories have been enough? All through the passage though, there seems to be a background of skepticism, an underlying "but". Maybe raising someone from the dead is not enough to inspire belief.
This Sunday we will look at what Lazarus' raising means for us today.