Critical unbelief

November 25, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

John 11:38-41 a  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.
It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.

Jesus and Martha

“Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man,
“by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. (NIV)

Martha was mixed-up in her mind and heart.

The death of her brother, Lazarus, was a profound shock:
so too was Jesus’ apparent lack of interest,
until He arrived four days after the funeral.

Nevertheless she had been willing for Jesus to teach her
about His power to raise the dead (John 11:21-27).

She said she believed that Jesus had the power to raise the dead.

Jesus weptWhen they arrived at the tomb (a cave cut out of the rock and sealed by a heavy stone)
Jesus was visibly emotional.

It was clear that He cared very deeply.
Although they did not know it, Martha and her sister, Mary,
were on the brink of welcoming their dead brother home, alive and well.

But they could not imagine it, even after Jesus’ teaching.
So when He commanded that the stone be removed,
Martha could only think about death and decay.

After four days the body would be unrecognizable and very smelly;
and she did not want to add to her grief.

It was her way of asking Jesus to let death have the final word.
But the Lord challenged her with their previous conversation;
if she believed she would see God’s glorious power.

jesus and lazarusShe must have told Him that she did believe in Him,
and that He could do whatever He chose to do,
because John writes “So they took away the stone.”

Faith is easy until it is put to the test.

But when we are confronted by God’s decision to take action,
will we agree to cooperate with Him or will we resist Him?

Are we going to let our circumstances have the last word,
or trust Him to complete the work He has already started?

Jesus confronts our doubts, reminding us of God’s authority and
challenging us to believe what He has said.

But after the reminder, we must not delay.

The time has come for God to take action and we must not stand in His way!

– fwd: v c mathews

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