Summary: Take all your problems to Jesus ~ the only One who can give you hope in every situation you face.


JOHN 11:1~6 &

JOHN 11:17~28

1. Introduction

I am not too sure how Mary and Martha sent their urgent message to Jesus for help – perhaps it was a letter or an oral message entrusted to a faithful friend to pass on. All we can know for sure is that they were desperate. It was urgent, and they needed Jesus to come as soon as possible. Can I ask what message would you like to send to Jesus today?

Maybe you too have a life or death situation that only Jesus can sort out. Maybe you have some questions to which you know only Jesus has the answer. One thing you can know ~ you are coming to the right person for help. Just like Mary and Martha only Jesus could do what was urgently needed. Whether you write out a message to Jesus, or just tell Him the problem in simple words you are going to the right person with your trouble.

2. Trouble comes because of the Word

Isn’t it interesting that here are probably Jesus’ closest and best friends yet they are in serious trouble? There seems to be a popular myth that when we become Christians, that’s it, no more problems, troubles or worries. Not so. Maybe that’s where your troubles begin! You can see in Mark Chapter 4 verse 17, in the parable of the Sower that:

“ trouble or persecution comes because of the word”.

It’s almost hidden away there but I believe there is an important message for us. We can expect trouble to come. Now I don’t mean we should go looking for it! But don’t be surprised when you have made a commitment to follow Jesus that trouble comes. Yes, even to those whom Jesus loves.

But take heart. Jesus has overcome this world. John 16:33:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus can still every storm you face in this life. Just remember Barbara Johnson’s favourite verse “and it came to pass!” So will it for you.

3. Where were You?

Perhaps if you could get a personal message to Jesus today it would be along the lines of Mary and Martha’s ~ “Where were You?” The unthinkable had happened, their brother had died and Jesus had not come to put things right. When Jesus finally arrives, both sisters confront Him with exactly the same words:

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21 (Martha) & 32 (Mary).

If its OK to come to Jesus asking for help with your problems believe me its OK to come and confront Him when everything has gone wrong. Jesus can handle your anger, fears and questions. Whatever has gone wrong in your life, come to Jesus with all your feelings of hurt and betrayal. He’s the only one who can sort it all out.

5. The Master is calling you

Just like Martha you need to go to the Master with your questions, expressing your anger, hurt and disappointment. It’s interesting that we tend to hold Mary up as a more “spiritual” person than busybody Martha. But look who goes first to meet Jesus when she heard He was coming. Yes, it’s Martha. Mary is laid so low with grief that she stays at home.

You know there are dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, who love Him so much, have been so faithful and loyal, but when something happens that breaks their hearts its interrupted their relationship with Him. They are beside themselves with grief and pain. We need to go to Jesus for them, tell Him their troubles, cover them in prayer and love. Then we can go back to them as Martha did and say, “The Teacher is here, and is asking for you”. What a joy to see them going quickly to Jesus, yes with their questions and pain, but going to Him. Lets not condemn them, let’s help them up and get them back to Jesus.

6. Even Now

We read in John 11:22 Martha’s extraordinary expression of faith in Jesus,

“But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

This wonderful declaration of faith in Jesus comes from surprise surprise ~ Martha. Even though her brother Lazarus had died. After all it’s all over. This verse was put on my wife Julie’s heart the day her mother died. “Even now…”. She pondered a lot on those words. What could it mean? Just like for the sisters it seemed too late. You may smile sadly with me when I tell you that my wife found herself wondering if God would raise her dear Mum from the dead at her funeral. What a shock that would have been! What faith! You know I don’t think she really supposed God would do that but she knew He could!

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