When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
Jesus’ power is apparent, not only because of the miraculous events he influenced, but also because he claims equality with God – a blasphemous notion to the Jewish leader’s point of view. Lazarus is quite symbolic of Jesus’ power, an actual living witness. If he is put to death, the witness is silenced, and he becomes less of a risk of attracting more Jewish followers. Because “many Jews were going away and believing in Jesus”, the Jewish leaders were threatened, and wanted to put Jesus and his witness to death.
If there is a call to ‘heart’ in this passage, it must be with poor old Lazarus – the power of the witness.