Summary: Jesus has power over life and death.
Text: “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23).
What does it mean to believe? If you believe something you accept it as true or real. Also, you might believe or expect that something is going to happen or something is going to take place. For example, you might say, “I believe it is time to have dinner.” Or you might say, “I believe the festival is going to be a big event.
As Christians, we believe Jesus Christ was God’s Son who came to this earth to pay the penalty for sins; past, present and future. We believe the “words in red” and we believe it was Jesus’ intent that we follow His words which will keep us on the straight and narrow path.
Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23). Jesus was not saying that we will receive everything we want if we just think positively. We know, we believe, we trust or we have faith that God can do anything, but not that He will grant us everything we ask for.
Nothing is impossible for God. He has the power to do everything. All the work God gives us to do, we believe without a shadow of doubt that He will give us the power and resources to do that work.
When we witness, the power to witness comes from God. At times we may feel spiritually weak, but we believe God will give us the power to become spiritually strong. He does this because the work we are doing will bring Him glory and honor.
Do you remember the story about the woman who had a bleeding problem for twelve years and truly believed that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment or robe she would be healed? She said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well” (Matthew 9:21).
Her belief or faith was so strong that when she touched Jesus’ garment, “The woman was made well from that hour” (Matthew 9:22). This woman took the initiative to believe although she was an unclean woman.
What do I mean by an unclean woman? Leviticus 15:19 says, “If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.”
During Jesus’ time, some of the old Levitical laws alienated or made people feel as though they were distanced or separated from God. Jesus didn’t go along with this particular law. In fact, He drew people near as demonstrated by the story of the woman who had the bleeding issue for twelve years.
In our Scripture reading, Jesus mentions the word “believe” as He talks about a man named Lazarus. Besides Lazarus, two other people are named. One is Mary and the other Martha. These two ladies were sisters to Lazarus.
This happy family of three lived in the town or village of Bethany which was close to Jerusalem. It is interesting to note that when Jesus was in the vicinity of Bethany, He stayed in the house with Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
“This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair” (John 11:2). Mary couldn’t stand to see her brother ill and at the point of death. This bothered her just as it bothers each of us. It is difficult to see a loved one sick and at the point of death. Their sickness causes us affliction, suffering and pain.
This same feeling was affecting Mary and Martha. The sickness of a loved one causes us to feel sorry for ourselves or to desire sympathy from those around us. These two women knew Jesus and they believed Jesus could help alleviate their pain and suffering. They also believed if Jesus were present their brother would not die.
The sisters sent word for Jesus to come and be with them and Lazarus. They said, “Lord, the one you love is sick” (John 11:3). These women desired and wanted Jesus to help their brother. They had been around Jesus to remember some of the miracles He performed.
Each one of us knows that Jesus still performs miracles. The Scripture tells us that He does and many of us have witnessed a miracle first hand. When we are hurting or when we need help, the One we call upon is non-other then Jesus. Mary and Martha called upon Jesus in their time of need. We, too, should call upon Him in our time of need. He is our resource for each of our needs.
There have been numerous times when Carol and I called upon the Lord for help. When our middle son was born, he had one lung that was collapsed and the other lung had a hole in it. As soon as he started to breathe, his lips and his little fingers, around the nails, also turned a pretty blue. He was immediately placed in an oxygen incubator. I happen to work at the hospital during this time and I was on night call, so I had a room there.