By Brooke Holt
“So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?’” John 11:36-37
What is the hardest thing about true abiding faith? It requires looking beyond yourself for answers and understanding and calls you to trust in one that is greater than you. Skepticism seems an easier posture to take because it ultimately rests on you. You doubt, ask questions, and often take a cynical and/or judgmental posture.
Right in the center of their grief, skeptics surrounded Mary, Martha, and Jesus. If Jesus truly loved this family as it seemed he did, why didn’t he come sooner? Why didn’t he choose to heal Lazarus? Did Jesus have the power to keep one from dying or to heal one with such infirmity?
We see the skeptics and we see the faith of Mary and Martha. Even while they lament that Jesus did not come and heal their brother, they hold to an abiding faith in Jesus.
This faith allows for pain, lament, and grief alongside relationship with Jesus.
When Martha comes to Jesus, she tells him her brother would still be alive if only he had come. Jesus responds to Martha’s lament, “I am the resurrection and the life. whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25) Jesus reveals his messianic identity to Martha and Martha believes: “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world”(John 11:27).
Martha has abiding faith, a faith that believes in Jesus and trusts Jesus even in the grief. The beauty of this abiding faith is Martha has Jesus right there with her. He is with her in her grief as both a friend and her Messiah.
Skepticism or abiding faith? You can have one or the other. Martha chose faith. May you do the same today!
Do you live like Martha or like the Jewish skeptics? What is your first response to disappointment, pain, and loss? Do you bring yourself fully before God believing he is with you as both friend and Messiah? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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