Cover to Cover
Martha has often been seen as the woman who was wrong to be so busy and distracted by work that she missed her opportunity to be with Jesus, unlike her sister, Mary, who sat at His feet. John 11 gives us another perspective of Martha.
In verse 22, Martha runs to meet Jesus, hearing He was just outside of Bethany. Martha was a woman of action. She believed if He had come earlier, and He could have, her brother would not have died. However, He was there. She said, “But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Martha knew that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead, but not sure she was thinking that He would.
In response to her faith, Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha, from her own understanding, stated that she knew he would rise again after the resurrection of all saints. Jesus responds to Martha, “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.” Jesus said, “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Martha acknowledges that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God that came into the world as a man.
Jesus asks for Mary. Martha travels back home, quietly pulls Mary away from the mourners, letting Mary know that Jesus is asking for her. Let’s remind ourselves that Jesus loves us and desires our attention. As soon as Mary knows that Jesus is there and is asking for her, she gets up quickly to go to Him outside of her town. Let’s have the same attitude to run to spend time with the Lord when we realize He wants to be with us.
Mary was grieving, and when she went to Jesus, she expressed her faith, stating her brother could have been healed if He had only come earlier. She wept in front of Him, mourning her brother. Some Jews who had come with her were weeping as well. Jesus, even though He knew a miracle was about to happen, wept with them. He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. There are times in prayer, when we identify with the hurting person and intercede for them with groanings.
The Jews saw Jesus weeping, seeing His love. Others questioned why He didn’t keep Lazarus from dying. In general, many of us question why God does not intervene when we pray for healing. We know healing is God’s will. In this case, we know Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit, allowing Lazarus to die, in order to perform a miracle of resurrection. The miracle would get attention and point to the Triumphal Entry, and the miracle points to Jesus’ upcoming resurrection the next week. It also points to Jesus as being the resurrection Himself. It points to Jesus being the life.
Jesus, who carried Himself with authority, instructed the stone to the tomb be removed so the grave would be open. Martha shared concern about the smell, showing us that she was not expecting her brother to live again.
Jesus said, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Jesus wanted Martha to not only believe that the Lord COULD give life, but that He WOULD give life. Not only was the Lord ABLE, but He was also WILLING.
Jesus wanted the people around Him to hear Him say that “God hears Me.” God hears Jesus, but not just giving a listen; God heard AND ACTED when Jesus was doing what God had called Him to do. Again, this resurrection was an attention-getter to point to Jesus’ own death and resurrection the following week.
With a loud voice, Jesus cried out and declared, “Lazarus, come forth!” Jesus loved Lazarus and the people of Bethany, but Jesus also was aware of His own upcoming crucifixion for the sin of the world. When He called for Lazarus to come forth, His depth of understanding went beyond Lazarus to Himself, to the captives in Hades, and to each of us that will believe in Him.
Lazarus comes back into his body that was wrapped in burial cloths. Jesus said, “Loose him, and let him go!” The life Jesus gives to us brings freedom from sin and the effects of sin including sickness, addiction, poverty, shame, guilt, and fear.
Many believed in Jesus, but others went to the Pharisees to let them know what Jesus had done. We can be certain that in our lives as Christians, some will be supportive, some will be religious, and some will show rejection. If you are a Christian leader or a Christian with a calling to the 5-fold ministry, more than likely, you will see this principle even more so. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and fulfill our kingdom purpose, whatever it may be.
1 Chronicles 26-27
Chapters 26 and 27 record the gatekeepers, the treasuries, other temple duties, military, tribe leaders, and other state officials. Know that whatever you in this life, when you do it for the Lord, He notices, and He will reward.