Lazarus died, God’s glory to be seen and Thomas is ready to die with the Lord Jesus was the topic of the first part of John 11. Our passage today is John 11:17-27.
17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Jesus delayed two days going to see Lazarus but today’s passage tells us the Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days already. This makes me wonder if Lazarus died shortly after he got the call to come. Would it take Jesus four days to walk to their place? I don’t know how long it would have taken. Even if it took two days, that puts Lazarus’ death shortly after he got sick.
Regardless of how long it took, by the time he got there many of the Jews in the area had come to console Mary and Martha. It’s hard when a loved one dies and so folks where coming to offer their sympathies. They would have had a houseful of folk, but Martha saw him coming. She didn’t sit and wait for him to come but went out to meet him. Mary stayed behind.
Remember Martha? She’s the one who liked to take action, and here she is again, taking action. She wanted to let Jesus know that he could have saved Lazarus if he had come. Even now she knows that God will do whatever he asks.
Jesus surprises her I think though when he says “Your brother will rise again.” For Martha says, indeed he will, in the resurrection. Jesus corrected her though. Telling her that HE is the resurrection and the life. He went on to explain that “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” And then asked her “Do you believe this?” The beauty of this passage is this: she clearly stated her faith in him, as Christ, the Son of God.
Isn’t that a great statement? To be able to clearly say that you know that Christ is the Son of God. When you’ve just heard him say that he is the resurrection and life, belief in him means eternal life. Oh, Martha knew it! She believed it, and it’s a grand thing to hear.
Don’t you just love reading statements of faith?