Summary: Martha and Mary could not confine themselves in the disbelief any longer, after seeing their brother Lazarus who returned to life.
Martha and Mary could not confine themselves in the disbelief any longer, after seeing their brother Lazarus who returned to life. The weeping of the Jews ended at that very moment. The mind of everyone who was there was changed by the faith of Jesus Christ, namely the work of life. Our beloved Jesus Christ saved Lazarus from the tomb, and drove out disbelief of everyone who was there. Finally He planted the faith in God into their mind. Today Jesus Christ wants to perform the same work in our mind. He is knocking the door of our heart, telling us to take away the stone blocking our heart. Ock Soo Park, Pastor
IF THE LORD HAD BEEN HERE
In John, chapter 11:25-26, Jesus said to Martha, "...I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" The Lord headed toward the tomb of Lazarus to bring him back to life. The tomb was in the town Bethany of Judea. Martha went out to meet Jesus when Jesus was coming near to Bethany. In the place where Jesus Christ was received by Martha, He spoke to her. After then, Jesus came to the tomb of Lazarus that was a cave in Bethany. And He ordered to move away the stone laid across the entrance of the cave. Jesus had to go through the many processes one by one before He brought Lazarus back to life. Likewise, whether it is the stone door or the long distance, every obstacle that blocks us from Jesus Christ has to be overcome. Including not only the stone door, but the long distance that is the material obstacles in time and space, the Bible tells us that there are also the obstacles in our hearts barring the work of Jesus Christ. That is to say, the hearts of the people which is fully occupied with the disbelief obstruct the heart of Christ which is fully occupied with the faith to bring Lazarus back to life. Therefore, just like opening and entering through the door step by step, Jesus had to solve the confronting problems one by one to bring Lazarus back to life. The very first thing that He had to face was the disbelief of Martha.
Martha's first word to Jesus when she met Him was, "If You had been here, my brother would not have died." Martha had seen several times before that Jesus had healed the many sicknesses. Accordingly, she believed that her brother would not have died, if Jesus had come to see him while he was sick. Of course, Martha believed that Jesus Christ was competent to heal the sickness of Lazarus. And yet it didn't mean that the faith of Martha was complete. Martha believed only that Jesus could heal the sickness, but she did not believe that Jesus could bring stinking Lazarus back to life who had been dead four days. That was the distrust that exactly Jesus wanted to change in the heart of Martha. Jesus had the faith that God would bring dead Lazarus back to life. However, He was disturbed because of the disbelief of Martha. Thereupon, Jesus said to Martha, "Your brother shall rise again." Martha heard what Jesus said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." though she did not have faith that Jesus could bring Lazarus back to life.
As a result, she did not receive the word of Christ with the faith. Instead, she did disclose disbelief of herself with saying, "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to Martha again, "I am the resurrection and the life. he who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" If Martha had believed what Jesus Christ said to her, it means that Martha would have believed as well that Lazarus could be alive again, even though he had been dead four days. Nevertheless Martha said, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world." Martha believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. As well as she believed that Jesus Christ could heal the sickness of Lazarus if He had come before Lazarus died. Unfortunately she could not believe at that very moment that Jesus Christ was able to bring Lazarus back to life too, even after he had died.
DO YOU BELIEVE THE LORD WHO CAN SOLVE YOUR CONFRONTING PROBLEMS?
I think our faithful life of these days is very much same as Martha's. Without any doubt, we all believe the fact that Jesus walked on the sea, brought Lazarus back to life, fed five thousand people with five barley loaves, and healed the man who had been sick for 38 years. However, not many of us believe that Jesus can solve our confronting problems, too. Of course, the reason why Martha cried in sadness was that her brother had been dead. But the actual reason why Martha cried in agony was that she did not have faith that Jesus could bring her dead brother back to life. Jesus was not able to do anything on the basis of distrust. If we do not have the individual faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of ourselves, what we believe in Christ does not mean anything, even if we know that He, as the Son of God, died on the cross to forgive the sin of everyone. If we do not believe the Lord as the one who can solve our confronting problems, what we believe in God is the same as the disbelief that we do not believe the Lord at all. Although the Lord has a power to solve all our problems and wants to take care of them for us, our disbelief is the main obstacle blocking the work of God. Just as it was the problem that Martha could not trust the Lord who could bring her dead brother back to life, even though she believed all other miracles that the Lord had performed, our distrust of God who can solve all our confronting problems is the problem in these days.