DayBreaks for 11/18/16: A Point of Faith
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2006:
John 11:21-27 (NLT) Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “when everyone else rises, on resurrection day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish. Do you believe this, Martha?”
“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.
I have read and re-read and preached and taught on this passage many times, but I never got it until now. For years, I read this and thought that Martha was expressing great faith – faith that Jesus would raise Lazarus right then and there if he only asked God to do so. But after Jesus makes the statement, “Your brother will rise again,” Martha makes it clear that she expects no such thing – at least not until the day of the resurrection. Her faith was sufficient to believe he would rise then, but not before.
Bear in mind that she was in grief from losing her brother. Jesus deals with her very patiently, very gently, but he sees that Martha needs to re-focus. The problem Martha was having was that she was trusting in the resurrection at some point in the unknown future. Her faith was in the resurrection, so Jesus redirects her faith with the words: “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Standing right before Jesus, Martha had missed him entirely. She’s seen him many times, heard his voice, spent countless hours in his presence with her sister and brother and others. But she’d never seen him as the resurrection and the life before. Jesus wanted to help her understand that her faith needed to be in HIM, not in some event in some unknown future. What she wanted was to be found not around Jesus, but IN Him, for he is the resurrection and the life. Jesus won’t bring the resurrection with him when he returns, for He IS the resurrection.
Where is your faith? What is your faith in? Is it in the positive-thinking world of pop-psychology, in self-help books, in prayer, in Christian fellowship, or in the resurrection? It doesn’t matter, if your answer isn’t simply “Jesus”, your faith if misplaced.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to find the Resurrection and the Life, both now and forever, and to place all our faith in Him! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.