One day as Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NIV )
Mary had chosen to partake of the Bread of Life and the Living water. In John 4, Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman that whoever drinks of the Living water will never thirst again. In John 6, Jesus declared that He is the bread of life, He who comes to him will never go hungry. Sometimes fasting is more filling than have a buffet meal. Preparations could always be done, but the Lord would only be in their home for a limited time.
Mary’s siblings were Lazarus and Martha.
This Mary, whose brother was Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus,“Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” (John 11:1-7 NIV)
Mary, Martha and Lazarus were friends of God yet Jesus did not leave immediately. What situation have you been through where you have felt as though the Lord did not leave immediately?
After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”
Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (Verse 11-16)
I really love the disciples. Their response made me smile, they were giving their expert opinion ‘Some bed rest will do the trick.’ When we hear that someone is sick, our first response, is go see the doctor and get some rest. 🙂
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “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.” (vs 17-27)
Even during the dark time, as Jesus had come ‘too’ late, Martha knew that the Lord was still Sovereign and able to do great things. When God has tarried it is so easy to give up hope, and sort of use the circumstance to measure His power, but whether ‘early or late’ He is still God. Your belief needs to be the same.
After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 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.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (Verse 28-37)
Our emotions touch the heart of God. We are friends of God and He is moved. During those low moments, He is there. He is truly close to the brokenhearted. People may speculate and ask if your God could have saved you from going through the hard time but He still remains God.
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “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?” (Verse 38-40)
No situation is to grave for the hand of God. He is faithful and will move things for you. He is not afraid of the ‘odor of the circumstance’. If you believe, you will see the glory of God. He raised Lazarus from a deep sleep,in the same way, He can raise that situation from its grave state. This will be for the glory of His name.