She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:27
I think it was on a day not unlike the ones we have this time of year. Bright blue skies. Soft green grass blowing in the gentle breeze. The freshness of spring. In contrast to that, there was a family in deep mourning over an untimely death. Before the miracle of restored life, John relates a private conversation between Jesus and Martha. It was Martha’s brother, Lazarus, who had died after the messages to Jesus to come heal him were left unanswered.
Martha gets a bad reputation because the other time we see her in Luke 10, she is stressed, stretched to the limit, and underappreciated. Or, basically how most of us feel on any given day. But I don’t think that’s who she was. We caught her on an isolated bad day. I think the conversation in John 11 proves that.
Even now I know – Her first words to Jesus in verses 21-22 were, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” She was not only convinced that Jesus could heal, but she was certain that Lazarus’s death was not an insurmountable obstacle.
I know he will rise – In verse 24, she confirms her faith in the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises and the hope that even death is not the last word.
I believe that You are the Christ – Finally, she testifies to her confidence in Jesus Himself. He is the embodiment of salvation. A few minutes later she would see Christ’s power over spiritual death displayed through his power over physical death when her brother walked out of the tomb.
Martha was a woman of tremendous, genuine faith. Don’t let the account in Luke detract from that at all. Her caring and skills made their Bethany home a respite for Jesus. That is an immeasurable act of devotion and service.
But here’s where I identify with Martha most of all. Just a few verses after the conversation, she stood at her brother’s tomb with Jesus, while Mary, the disciples and the rest of the mourners looked on. Jesus called for the stone in front of the tomb to be rolled away.
Martha tries to intervene. “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Martha believed Jesus was the resurrection and the life. She believed He would receive whatever He asked of the Father.
But she believed it in the abstract.
He was Lord of Big, Important Things. She struggled to grasp He was also the Lord of Immediate, Personal Needs.
Yes, He was the resurrection and the life, but not just in a vague, impersonal way. He was Lazarus’s resurrection right now. He was life, her life even, right now.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
Jesus says the same thing to me. Believe He is personally involved, personally at work, intimately concerned right now. Resurrection and life are not some far-off events or theological constructs. They are current. Urgent. Watch for the evidence. See His glory.