Day 32 (March 28), John 11:17-27
Context: Jesus delays, then leaves the region of Perea (where John had been baptizing) only to arrive in Bethany (Bethphage) after Lazarus had been entombed for four days. The Jews buried their dead on the day they died, so most likely it took Jesus two days to travel. Upon arrival he witnesses many people comforting the sisters in typical Jewish fashion, far more expressive and longer than our culture’s. Martha goes to greet Jesus and states that had he been there Lazarus would not have died; Jesus points her to the resurrection miracle soon to come.
Observations: Was Martha disappointed and upset with Jesus' ‘late’ arrival? Or simply stating the reality of the situation from her own perspective? Jesus gives her a promise of Lazarus’ resurrection; Martha takes it as the future life in heaven, Jesus means it as a physical resurrection and divine miracle. Jesus asks Martha, ‘Do you believe (that I am the resurrection and the life)?’ What do you think of her response?
Application: Try to be more honest with God. Do you feel he has let you down, disappointed you or even not cared about you? Fill in the blanks from YOUR perspective: ‘Jesus, if ___________________ then this _____________ would not have happened.’ Think of something you think God could and should have prevented or, at the very least, should have intervened in and stopped. Apply what happens in this story and what the Scriptures teach about God’s unfailing love to your circumstances and feelings.
Prayer: Jesus, help me be more honest and transparent with you … then help me to see things from YOUR perspective, not just mine. Help me, like Martha, believe: ‘Even now I know that whatever you, Jesus, ask of God, God will give you.’ Help our church Body to collectively work through our pain and disappointments throughout the past few weeks.