DayBreaks for 9/01/16 – Martha and I – the Practical Twins
John 11:38-40 (ESV) – Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
I really like Martha!
Martha was very much like me, or rather, I am very much like Martha. She was a woman of practicalities. When Jesus comes to dinner, it is Martha who is busy with the cooking and preparations while her sister sits at Jesus’ feet and listens to the teaching of the Master.
Here, in this passage, Martha is worried about something else. She is worried about the stench emanating from her dead brother’s corpse. Quite frankly, I would be worried about it, too, if I had been Martha or if I were in a parallel situation with Jesus. I have not smelled a decomposing human after four days, but I am told it is an unforgettable, sickening odor. Jesus, of course, knew about the stench. For some inexplicable reason, I’d always assumed that when the stone was rolled back and Lazarus came forth, it was as if Jesus had sprayed some heavenly Lysol in the air and there was no stench. But the Scripture doesn’t say that when the stone was moved away that there wasn’t a stench that was released from the enclosed space where Lazarus had been decomposing.
Martha, I’m sure, thought Jesus just wanted to cast one more glance on the face of her dead brother and was trying to let him know that not only wouldn’t it be a pretty sight, it wouldn’t be a pretty smell, either. She was a practical woman – she wasn’t expecting an entirely impractical resurrection. It just isn’t practical to let oneself hope for a resurrection. Such things don’t happen, so don’t even start to get your hopes up.
God, however, isn’t concerned with such trivialities as what is practical and what isn’t. For him, there is no impractical or impossible thing. Everything serves his purpose. Jesus is the God of the practical and impractical. Perhaps it is only my lack of faith that prevents me from seeing more impractical things become reality in my own life.
I am grateful that Jesus loves even practical people like Martha – and me!
PRAYER: Lord, I believe you can do anything you choose to do. Yet I know my practicality often leads me to not even expect things from you, rather than to expect amazing things when you are “on the scene”. Keep me from being so impractical that I don’t believe you can do far more than we can ask or even imagine! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.