20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”
32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
How difficult it is for us to get past our own opinions. Our opinions are based on our thoughts, our observances, and our emotions. We know what we saw and we know how it made us feel. We call this, our reality. Mary and Martha had their reality. They lived through the grief and the pain of their brother’s death. They wrapped up his dead body and laid it in the tomb. Before Lazarus died they sent a message to Jesus and they just knew that Jesus would show up before their brother died, but He did not. It was their opinion that Jesus had failed them and whenever He came they were going to tell Him the full weight of their opinion, and they did.
Have you ever given God your opinion based on what you saw and how you felt? Have you ever blamed God for letting something happen that He could have changed if He had just shown up? Before we get too self-righteous in condemning Mary and Martha let’s ask if we would have done it differently than they did.
Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. He wanted Lazarus to die so that He could teach a lesson to all people of all generations to come that He, Jesus Christ, was and is the resurrection and the life. In order for Jesus to give us this wonderful lesson, Lazarus, the brother of Jesus’ good friends, Mary and Martha, had to physically die. Was Jesus more concerned about the happiness of the sisters or the timeless lesson they and we were going to learn? For later, Paul would write that in the face of death we sorrow but not as those who have no hope. He wrote that if we believe Jesus died and rose again than we can also believe that God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Christ.
Having the resurrection of Lazarus in our memories we know that what Paul wrote was true. Jesus is the resurrection and the life and all who believe in Him, though they die, yet they shall life and all who live and believe in Him will never die. No, we never die! Our bodies go to sleep in the grave but our souls live forever in the presence of God who will, like He did with Lazarus, one day reunite our souls with our bodies to be resurrected forever.
So be careful about your gloomy and bitter opinions. God may have a plan to use your experience to teach a timeless lesson that is far beyond your current understanding. Mary and Martha were going to understand this but they had to go through their brother’s death to get there.
Join with us in prayer tonight. We do not pray as an exercise nor as an experience but we pray expecting God to do what we cannot do. We pray in faith believing that God is hearing our prayers and is working on our behalf through our prayers to accomplish His eternal purposes. Join us at 7:00 tonight to pray the God who alone can make a difference.
Have a great day in the Lord,