Lazarus, Mary and Martha, and Me

Anyone who has ever read my blogs knows I have a million favorite parts of my Bible. Another one is the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11. While the account itself is amazing and beyond words, I love the details in the middle of the story. Mary and Martha.

We all know the account – Jesus hears Lazarus is not well. He intentionally does not respond quickly. Lazarus dies. Jesus arrives at the home of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. When the girls hear Jesus has arrived, they are so distressed they begin to say some things we may consider objectionable. Martha says, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (v.21) When I read this, I can only imagine her grief and how upset she was and essentially said, “If You were here, doing something to help us, being the Friend you are to us and the Jesus we know You to be – my brother would not have died. The terrible thing that has happened would not have happened.”

It is Jesus’ response that melts my heart. He never scolds her or tells what her problems are and how little faith she has or how dare her accuse Him in any way of not caring. I can hear His soft, sweet, kind voice say, “Your brother shall rise again.” (v. 23)

Some in the crowd made similar accusations – “Could not He Who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (v. 37)

Then Jesus wonders where Mary is. When she comes, same thing – “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” (v. 32) Then, our wonderful Savior, does not scold her either or wonder if there is any faith to be had anywhere. He is so touched by her crying and grief, He cries too. (v.35)

Just like Mary and Martha and me too – when times are overwhelming and we cannot understand and we are filled with grief and questions and upset, we may wonder about things. But God is right there with us. Holding us in His Everlasting arms. No condemnation, just love. He is still God. He is still good. He is still real. He is still our Father. He will walk through the times with us when we feel the most lost. He will weep with us.

Isaiah 53 reminds us He carries our sorrows and griefs – we do not have to carry them. “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], ….He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” (Isaiah 53.4-5) 

God understands everything.

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