Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” –John 11:40
Hundreds of times I have heard the story of Lazarus. All right, hundreds may be a slight exaggeration. In the first Bible I owned the colored picture associated with the story of Lazarus showed a dead guy lying in bed and his sister, Mary, weeping next to him. Martha, his other sister, is wearing her angry face and is shaking her fist at heaven. The exact details of the drawing are blurry. I was seven.
As the story goes, when Jesus finally arrives to tend to Lazarus, he is dead and buried in a tomb. Upset by his late arrival, Martha says to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” There is a hint of hope in Martha’s tone, yet she is still unsure and not very happy with tardy Jesus.
The sisters are unsure about Jesus’ plans. This I find amazing. The women are standing with Jesus in the flesh, the same Jesus who walked on water and fed 5,000 people with a smattering of fish and loaves of bread, yet they still doubt that He is capable of making a dead guy stand up and walk.
When they arrive at the tomb, Jesus says, “Take away the stone.” At this point I’m pretty sure I would have enough faith to say, “I’m on it Jesus!” knowing that Jesus, Son of God, was standing right there ready to do a miracle. However, Martha replies, “But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Really Martha? Really? You are worried about the odor? As if Jesus was going to reply, “Oh gosh Martha, that’s true. What was I thinking?” Where was her confidence in who Jesus is, the Son of God, the miracle worker? Had she forgotten all that Jesus had done?
Truthfully, I am no different than Martha. How many times have I worried about the odor instead of doing what I was asked to do? Why don’t I have complete confidence in God’s power at all times and for all things?
God’s power is something I should not take lightly. When I choose to “move the stone away,” He is able to do mighty acts of grace on my behalf.
In the end, Jesus performed a miracle, and Lazarus walked out of the tomb without a stench. Not only was he filled with thankfulness, but after four days of fasting, he no doubt had an unquenchable craving for a Chick-Fil-A sandwich and waffle fries.
1. In what area of your life do you currently need God’s power?
2. How does knowing about God’s power give you freedom to surrender your struggles to Him?
Psalm 68:28, Jeremiah 10:6