“Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him—but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died’.”
Resurrection Faith is rooted in Who He is, not just what He can do.
Hers was a partial faith, if you will—this faith of Martha. She’d sent word to Jesus two days before that her brother, Lazarus, “the one Whom you love,” was sick (Jn. 11:3). And, knowing Martha’s propensity for being punctual, prim-and-proper (Lk. 10:38-40), we must assume she expected Him to drop everything and immediately come to Lazarus’ bedside.
But, He didn’t.
He “abode two days still in the same place where He was” (Jn. 11:6).
She was okay the first few hours after the servant returned and told her he’d given Jesus the message. She kept going to the window, looking out to see if this One with healing in His Hands was scurrying their way.
But, He wasn’t.
No sign of Him anywhere on the horizon. And when Lazarus gave up the ghost. . .after Jesus had had sufficient time to get there. . .her disappointment (and possible resentment) in Him began to surface.
“Where can He possibly be?” she asked Mary as they wept together when Lazarus died.
“Why didn’t He come when we called?” they kept asking as they prepared their brother’s lifeless body for burial and then placed it in the grave.
For two full days they grieved. And, they wept. And, they pondered why their beloved Friend hadn’t shown up.
And, when He finally did, both Martha and Mary said, “Lord, if You’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died” (vv.21, 32).
But, now Lazarus was dead.
Stone-cold dead. His lifeless, motionless, body lying on a cold, hard slab of stone in a tomb.
“Too little, too late, Jesus,” is what Martha was really saying that day.
And, if the truth be known, we still do the same thing today.
“Lord, I prayed and asked you do this or that or to heal ___________. I even fasted for x-number of days. I believed with all of my heart. I knew You were able. But nothing happened. He/she still died. If You’d simply shown up when I called.”
No wonder Jesus twice “groaned in His spirit and wept” (vv.33, 35, 38).
He still does today (Eph. 4:30).
That’s why He came to Martha and Mary (and us) and said “I Am The Resurrection and the Life.” They were living in the “bios” and “pusche” levels of life and He wanted them to move up to the “Zoe-Life” (Mt. 6:25-30; 10:29-31; Phil. 4:19), which elevates us from a future hope in the After-Life (Jn. 11:25) to a present hope in His Abiding-Life (v.26a). Trust Him.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 18, 2010