Summary: You see Martha said she believed in the resurrection, but she wasn’t expecting it to happen. Here she was in the presence of the Savior of the world, the one who had already raised from the dead a widow’s son and the daughter of a centurion, but she didn
Sometimes men cry. It happens. A few years ago the BBC News blog posted an article called “80 more things that make men cry.” These were responses from men about circumstances that make them cry. Here’s a few of them.
“Being told by the girl you love that she wants you dead.”
"The last page of Winnie the Pooh, as Christopher Robin explains about school - does it every time, without fail. Oh, and when Bambi's mom dies."
"When I'm going on a long trip and know I won't see my mom, dad or sisters for a couple of months, then the goodbye always gets me. Nonetheless, I feel fine five minutes later."
"Watching my son get married. I'm not even going to go to my daughter's, I'd be incapable for weeks before and after."
"I cried at the birth of both my children. They are now teenagers, they presented me with the most wonderful handmade Father's Day card, filled with poems, quotes of mine and endless praise and thanks for the guidance and advice I have given them. I wept openly, it was the best Father's Day present ever.”
"I cried the weekend I wrote my 12th anniversary card to my wife. I realised how important she has been to me, how much I appreciate her and how grateful I am she puts up with me. A mixture of gratitude and guilt.”
"Seeing my mom cry is an automatic cry. But for some reason, when I see OTHER men cry it really makes me want to blame hay fever."
“I find it hard to watch Remembrance Sunday without getting emotional. The enormity of all the pain and suffering can get to you. It always feels better after and I figure it's a natural reaction for the body to have. I say you're not a man unless you DO manage a cry."
For the last two weeks we have discussed responses to Jesus. Two weeks ago we talked about Zacchaeus and how his response was immediate. We talked about how our response to Jesus needs to be like this tax collector. We must own up to our mistakes, repent, and then offer our lives as an example of what a follower of Jesus looks like. Last week we talked about how every life ends up like Judas or like Peter. We are all flawed like these men, but, we either submit ourselves to the authority of Jesus and spend our life in sacrifice for Jesus as Peter did, or we can choose to allow our sinful, selfish nature to dictate our choices and end up like Judas, desperate, empty, filled with shame and spiritually dead. There are those who like Judas can be in the crowd and hear all the things that Jesus says, they can even act like they are one of his followers, they can do and say all the right things, but, at the end of the day they aren’t willing to let go of their selfishness. And there are those who are like Peter, who aren’t perfect, who make mistakes, who sin, but, who more often than not offer their life in service to Jesus. The genuine follower of Jesus is defined by sacrifice.
And this week we are concluding our attention on responses to Jesus by taking a look at a couple of women and how they responded to him.
The gospel of John in chapter 11 records a moment in the life of Jesus when he is confronted with the death of one of his best friends. A man named Lazarus whose sisters are Mary and Martha. We don’t really know anything about Lazarus, who he was, what he did for a living or even how he met Jesus or how they became friends. There is a lot about the life of Jesus we don’t know because the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John don’t record his every move. John concludes his account with this statement, “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” In other words, there is a lot we don’t know about the activity of Jesus while he lived on the earth.
So we don’t know a whole lot about Lazarus, but, we do know that Jesus loved him. They were close. It’s interesting to me that Jesus didn’t call Lazarus to be a disciple. Lazarus was a close friend but he wasn’t in the inner circle of Peter, James and John. Verse 17 tells us that as soon as Jesus entered the town of Bethany he found out that his close friend had been buried for four days. When Mary and Martha found out that Jesus was in town, Martha went to go find him. She would’ve been upset. Not only because she lost her brother, she would’ve been worried about her and Mary’s financial future. As the head of the house Lazarus was tasked with taking care of his sisters. In that culture women who were widowed or alone were often neglected. On top of all these emotions she was processing, she was upset that Jesus didn’t respond to a message she had sent to Jesus days earlier that Lazarus was sick and asking him to come. So I hear some bitterness in the first thing that she says to Jesus.