Sermons

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.”

“Jesus I may not understand what you’ve done, I may not be able to explain it, I may not like it but even now I still believe that you are capable of anything.”

How about it people? Are you convinced even now that he is able to do anything? Are you? What do you believe that God can do even now through Cornerstone Wesleyan Church? All we have to do is look at what He has done in the past to see what he can do in the future; because what he did yesterday he is capable of doing today.

1) Even Now God Can Do The Impressive. I love the story of Gideon. Maybe you don’t know it, after all it happened almost three thousand years ago. It was during a time that Israel had come under foreign rule, the story is found in the book of Judges. The Midianites had conquered Israel and the people had run for the hills, literally living in caves and ravines. Not satisfied with that the Midianites made a nasty habit out of burning any Israelite fields they found and killing their animals.

In a situation like this who do you need? You need a hero right and where do you find a hero, well I checked the yellow pages and they skipped right from herbs to hobbies. But if you’re God you don’t need the yellow pages and so an Angel was sent to a young farmer named Gideon. Well to make a long story short Gideon raised an army of 32,000 men not bad. But God said “Hey you guys could defeat the Midianites all by yourself, tell anyone who is afraid to go home.” That did it, 22,000 of them left. Imagine how Gideon must have felt. But still 10,000 is better then none. But God said “Hey Gideon still too many, get everyone to drink from the stream and keep only those who drink from their cupped hand.” Well maybe you know what happened 9,700 of them knelt down to drink and Gideon was left with 300. To quote God in Judges 7:7 The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” And he did!

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