Four Days

Four Days
 
It had been four days. Martha and Mary were still in shock. When Lazarus fell sick, they had sent for the Lord (John 11:2) whom they loved. They had seen Him perform many miracles, they had believed in Him, they had known He loved Lazarus (John 11:3), they had been certain He would come and heal their brother. But He hadn't come. Now they found themselves surrounded by a house full of family, friends and acquaintances, mourning the death of their brother Lazarus. It wasn't supposed to happen this way.
 
“So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you’” (John 11:20-23).
 
Finally, Jesus is coming and Martha goes to meet Him on the way. He hadn't come when she called, He hadn't brought the healing she wanted; and from Martha's perspective, He was four days too late. Nevertheless, she goes to meet Jesus, don’t miss that. She did not know that Jesus had delayed His coming for a purpose; she did not know that His purpose was to glorify the Father, that He would raise Lazarus from the dead. Martha takes her circumstances to Jesus, instead of allowing the circumstances of the moment to turn her away from Him.
 
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’  Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:23-26).
 
When Jesus says, “Your brother will rise again,” Martha’s thinking is focused on the resurrection at the last day. The Old Testament Prophets (Daniel 12:1-4) and Jesus Himself (John 5:28) had spoken of this resurrection. Martha believed in the resurrection as a future event, but Jesus is teaching her – and us – that the resurrection is much more than an event – the resurrection is a Person. Jesus says that victory over death is not just a hope for the future -- it is a present reality.
 
Jesus finishes this conversation with a question:  Do you believe this? The question is not do you know this, or have you been taught this. The question is do you believe this? Can you respond with Martha today?
 
“Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world” (John 11:27).
 
By Jesse Smith
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