Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”
~John 11:40, NLT
Faith is not hoping God can; it is knowing God will.
Mary and Martha were both perplexed by Jesus response to their prayer. Jesus did not treat Lazarus sickness, nor his physical death as an emergency or even a priority. When Jesus got their prayer-gram, He continued doing what he was doing. He did not drop everything and run to Bethany as the girls supposed He would do. They knew full well that Jesus had authority over sickness and disease; so when Jesus did show up, both girls blamed Him for Lazarus death. Both said exactly the same thing: “If You had been here, our brother would not have died.” They were both sure that Jesus could have prevented Lazarus from dying. Jesus mysterious behavior put the girls in a quandary, they didn’t know what was going on. They were like blind people stumbling through a room filled with furniture. Jesus gave them His word that things would work out…“Your brother will rise again.” But that did not seem to relieve them of their sorrow and grief because they continued to weep. Jesus simply gave the girls this one brief promise, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.”
What is important to us is the sequence: Jesus gives them the promise while Lazarus lays in the grave. He gives them the promise in their moment of darkness. They are still in the grief mode. They do not feel like celebrating anything–their hearts are filled with grief, doubt, fear and sorrow. So Martha and Mary meet Jesus on the road and eventually, he will follow them to the cemetery. But the promise comes before they get to the cemetery and there is a interim time in which they can express their faith in Jesus’ promise. It was here that both girls failed. They gave into the darkness and the doubt and did not fully grasp Jesus promise. At the tomb, Jesus demonstrates His power over death. He shows them visually that He is the RESURRECTION and the source of life. Then we have a massive celebration that goes on for days. Although our faith is founded on the resurrection of Christ some 2,000 years ago, we have yet to see our bodily resurrection. We are living in the age of promise. If we believe Jesus’ promise, we can celebrate long before seeing that promise fulfilled. We must be careful not to respond the way Mary and Martha responded. It is true, we don’t understand exactly what Jesus is doing in our own situation but we have His promise that all things work together for good to those who love Him.
Today is the last day of summer and it has been a mild summer indeed: Thank You Jesus. Only three brief heat waves and none of them exceeded the middle 90’s. It was unusually cool and wet. The grass is as green now as it was in April and I have never seen this before. Cotton blooming in September. Our ditches are too wet to mow; matter of fact, most of our yard is too wet to mow. The preachers have been eating at Reeves on Highway 36 just East of Hartselle. They serve BBQ and they have a deli. They have 10 Sandwiches and I have tried two of them: both were very good. They are expensive but the food is good.
Have a great day and thanks for reading the blog!