In this week’s passage, we are told that Lazarus has been dead for four days.
Martha confronts the emotions she feels surrounding this reality in a very honest and faith-filled conversation with Jesus. In her conversation we see how Jesus is worth believing in miracles for. We see how his resurrection power is alive in both the bad and good things we experience in this world.
Let’s read together.
Read this from the Bible together:
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God,who is to come into the world.”
Some key statements and questions put forward that are important for us to talk about…
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Lazarus is dead. Show’s over. Hope is gone. The Orchestrator of the universe shows up on the 4th day on purpose. What runs through your mind when you hear that? What feels “four days dead” in your life?
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Martha wasn’t shy in telling Jesus how she really felt about Lazarus’ death. Her permission to be honest with Jesus came from the close proximity and intimacy she experienced with him. Do you struggle to tell Jesus how you really feel about things? If so, why do you think that is?
But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Have there been times in following Jesus when you’ve looked at everything around you and still felt compelled to respond like Martha? Identify an area of your life where professing “even now” would feel emotionally risky and absolutely appropriate?
”Do we expect Jesus to have only bad news or do we expect him to provide miracles too?Pastor Brian challenged us to ask if our experiences have robbed us of our expectancy. Have there been seasons or things in your life that have turned expectancy into apathy? What are those things?
”God shows up when it seems like bad scenarios are winning.” Belief in what Jesus is capable of doing is more important than the evidence or acts that he is doing something. How do you respond to that idea?
Have you checked out because something really bad has happened?” Some of us have plateaued in our faith because Jesus didn’t show up for us like we wanted him to. Have you had an honest Martha-like conversation with God about what happened? Would you like to do that now?