Believe And See The Glory Of God
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
There are days I can so identify with Martha, the sister of Lazarus. Sometimes I’m so concerned about what needs to be done or how something looks or “smells”, that I can neglect the quiet times with the Lord. Then there are other times the Lord will let me know to trust Him, I’ll be ok with that for a while, and then question what He’s going to do.
In the verse above, Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha and the friend of Jesus, was sick. Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus telling them of the illness of Lazarus and wanted Him to come heal their brother. In verse 4 we see that Jesus knew the illness of Lazarus would not end in death but was to glorify God. So He chose to stay another couple days where He was at, in order to wait until Lazarus has died. You wouldn’t think this would be a loving thing to do but Jesus wanted God to receive the glory. People had already seen Jesus heal many people but now they would see Him raise someone from the dead who had been dead for 4 days, something that was unheard of.
After a couple days Jesus told the disciples they would all now be going to Judea where Lazarus was. This did not sit well with the disciples and we see why in verse 8:
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
Jesus never allowed anything to stop Him from doing what His Father in heaven had called Him to do. He did not allow fear and intimidation to stop Him and trusted that God would cover Him in order so He could do His work. Jesus did go back to Judea and Martha was the first to approach Him telling Jesus that if He had been there, her brother would not have died. How many times has something happened to us and we ask God, “where were you? If you would have helped me or if you would have done this, none of this would have happened!” When things do not go as planned or the way we would have liked it to go, our faith can tend to waiver. We think it is the end and nothing else can be done. But in order for something to be raised up, something has to die first. The same with people spiritually. In order for Christ to resurrect us or raise us up, something within us has to die first. The old has to go for the new to come. But in the midst of the problem, we can’t see it. We try as hard as we can to hold onto the old thinking it just needs to be healed, but sometimes healing may not work. It takes having it die completely in order for something new to be resurrected. How can I have a forgiving heart if I can’t put to death unforgiveness that I had for so long? In order for me to have one, I must put to death the other. Due to her grief, Martha could not understand what was about to take place. All she was able to see was the death of her brother, someone she had loved and lived with all her life. However, Jesus was about to do a miracle so profound it would raise her faith level up several notches. It would be a monumental testimony for not only this family but for all those who were there watching. But most importantly, it would glorify God. Martha told Jesus if he would have been there, Lazarus death would have never happened but she also told Him that she knew that even now God would give Jesus whatever He asked. Martha was a believer and recognized the close relationship Christ had with God. Now watch closely the conversation between Martha and Jesus in verses 21-27:
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Martha believed in Jesus, but she couldn’t see beyond the surface level of what Christ was about to do even though Jesus told her that her brother would rise again. She was thinking more on the physical level instead of a spiritual level. We do the same when we are faced with problems so difficult for us that we tend to limit in our minds to what God can do. We place God on our level of thinking and think that only so much can be done, sometimes forgetting that with man it’s impossible but with God all things are possible! Even though Martha said she believed that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, she still didn’t get it as we see in verses 39-40:
“Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
Martha was concerned about the smell instead of the miracle that was about to happen. Yet it was Jesus’ words to her that caused me to pause and reflect: “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
How many times in our trials and problems were we concerned about how something would look or “smell”. We put such a focus on it that we weren’t watching and anticipating for what God was going to do, therefore blocking our spiritual vision. We should always be in great anticipation of what God can do in our situations. We should be looking for it with excitement so we can tell others what God has done.
Where are you at today? Do you say you believe what God can do but then sit and fret and worry about the “smell” or how big the problem is? Do you pray and excitedly anticipate what God is going to do next or do you pray then automatically try to fix the problem yourself?
Today, lets decide to pray about our problem then excitedly wait with great anticipation of what God is going to do to help resolve it. It doesn’t mean you will never have to do something, but what it does mean is that we will wait for Christ to do His part with great anticipation so we can share a great testimony with others who will need to hear about our great God who can help them, heal them and restore them.
Lord, I do believe in You and wait with great anticipation for your work to be done in my life. I know that whatever problem I have, you will be there to help me. Help me to look beyond the surface instead of just on the surface. I thank you Lord because I know that You are in control. In Jesus name…Amen!