Summary: Examines the faith of Martha after the death of Lazarus
Where is he? Where? Where is he? How many times had she asked that question over the past four days. Her only brother had come down with some mysterious virus and nobody could do anything for him. Well nobody except for their friend Jesus. How many times had he reached out his hand and the blind had seen, or the lame had walked. If there was any hope for Lazarus it would only be through Jesus. Granted she hadn’t actually asked Jesus to come, she had only sent word that His friend was deathly ill. If Jesus was the friend that he professed to be wouldn’t he have come?
But she had waited and Lazarus got worse, and she waited and Lazarus died, and she waited and Lazarus had been buried. Jesus had healed the paralytic and he didn’t even know him, he healed the blind man who was just a face in the crowd, surely he would come for his friend. And still the thought tormented her, where was he, surely she couldn’t have misjudged Jesus so badly. He had eaten at their table and slept under their roof surely that had meant something to him, or maybe not.
And then a murmur began to weave it’s way through the crowd that had gathered to mourn with the two sisters, the master is here, Jesus has arrived. And Martha couldn’t help herself, she was on her feet rushing to meet her friend. The thought that had burned in her heart was already on her lips,
John 11:21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.
I don’t think it was said with a mean or vindictive spirit, but I don’t think it was simply a statement of fact either. I think she was disappointed in Jesus and felt betrayed and I’m sure the question even though unasked could be read in her eyes, “When you heard he was sick, why didn’t you come then?”
Max Lucado says that “The grave unearths our view of God” And he’s right how often have we heard “God if you existed my child wouldn’t have died, if you’d have answered my prayers my life wouldn’t be empty, if you cared my mother wouldn’t have developed cancer.”?
How often are we guilty of dealing with God in that very same way, of demanding to know why he doesn’t do it the way we want it done, when we want it done? The experts tell us that it would have been a two day walk from where Jesus heard the news to Bethany, and you all know how an expert is defined? X being the unknown quantity, spurt being a drip under pressure. So if we take the experts word for the distance and add to it the two days that Jesus waited before he left we come up with a grand total of four days, the exact number of days that Lazarus had been in the grave. So Lazarus was dead before Jesus was even told that he was sick. Sometimes we just don’t know.
And then she said the most incredible thing, something that revealed volumes about her character and her faith, John 11:22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”