JOHN 11:23-27: “Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Do you believe this? This was the question Jesus was asking Martha. Martha’s brother had died. Amid her grief, Jesus told Martha – “Your brother will rise again.” Martha heard these words through her grief. She did not hear what Jesus was really saying to her.
As we go through life our faith is impacted by the things that we see and experience. There are times when we suffer a great loss as Martha had just experienced with the death of her brother. There are other times when we face great disappointment and we see our dreams come to an end. These life-changing experiences can affect our spiritual hearing. If we are not careful they can influence the way we approach God’s Word and hear God’s voice.
Martha’s spiritual eyes were closed to the question that Jesus asked her. It was not that she did not believe. She believed, and she did not doubt that Jesus could have prevented her brother Lazarus from dying. However, Martha could not see anything happening in her present situation. Her faith was relegated to what would happen only in the next life.
- “Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus came to Martha speaking words of life – “Your brother will rise again!” Martha could not see this promise as one for the moment. It was something she could only see in the final outcome of all things. How many times do we fail to appropriate God’s grace and promise for the moment and relegate it only when we get to heaven? When we are in heaven – then we will experience the fulfillment of His promises.
BUT – WHAT ABOUT NOW?!
Jesus was not speaking to Martha about the last days. Jesus was speaking to Martha about the present day. It was to Martha’s present day that He was bringing a word of hope and life to Martha. Jesus was not simply the promise of resurrection and life on the last day. Jesus was the resurrection and life today!
- “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
We do not experience resurrection and life only when we die. Jesus is our resurrection and life as we live. Paul writes that the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead now lives in every believer through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. This resurrection power is not something we will experience when we die. It is the power of Jesus Christ living in us each and every day as we live!
I am so much like Martha. My spiritual vision has been impaired by the pitfalls of life. I find myself pushing back the resurrection power of Jesus to the last days. The simple faith I had as a new believer has been tarnished by the battles of life. I call this wisdom but it really is a lack of faith. I need to hear Jesus speaking to me this morning.
“DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?”
Even now I am tempted to throw in some words of balance and caution to these reflections. Yet, I feel like I need to lay down this urge and stand before the Lord asking for a renewed and childlike faith. I need to see Jesus as my resurrection and life – TODAY! I need to read His promises and know that He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I can ask or think. I need to come to Jesus with a hungry heart and cry out, as Martha cried out…
- “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Lord, open my heart this morning. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart filled with childlike faith! Come, Lord Jesus. Be my resurrection and my life – TODAY!
In Jesus’ Name!