Anne Boulier, mother, sister, friend, Harvest House worker, Amedisys volunteer, Choir member, 5th Grade Sunday School teacher, editor, best friend, and unofficial Bible scholar.
This guest post features my mother’s insight into John 11: The Story of Lazarus and Martha
While I do not consider myself a Bible scholar, I have been reading the Bible for over 60 years. It still amazes me sometimes that I can read a scripture, a story I have heard and read many times before and the Holy Spirit teaches me something new from it.
This week I have been slowly reading John 11. The chapter about the death and resurrection of Lazarus, familiar to most Christians. This time I saw things in a different way. Not just the miracle of Jesus raising His friend He loved from the dead. But buried in this story was a new revelation for me.
Martha, best known for complaining her sister wasn’t helping with the housework, revealed in a different way in John 11. It was Martha who went to meet Jesus first as He came to Bethany where Lazarus and his sisters lived. And for the first time, I saw Martha as a woman of great faith and wisdom.
In John 11:20-21 we read:
Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
(Yes, she believed Jesus could and did heal the sick. She had undoubtedly seen it for herself as a follower and disciple of Jesus. The next statement revealed a deeper aspect of Martha’s belief, and it spoke to me in a new way.)
John 11:22 “But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
Martha knew Jesus could ask God to raise Lazarus from the dead and God would do it. Why? Because she knew without any doubt, that when Jesus prayed God, not only listened He answered Jesus’s prayers. Wow. That takes faith to a whole new level, doesn’t it? Martha spoke her faith, left Jesus and went to tell her sister, Mary, that Jesus had finally come.
She didn’t hang around to complain or whine that things weren’t done on her time table. She didn’t beg Jesus to take care of the mess she was in. Her actions left everything that followed in Jesus’s hands.
It’s true that a six days later Martha was thinking as a hard-working woman and complained about Mary sitting and listening to Jesus, but that doesn’t change what Martha knew and believed about Him. It does mean she was human and sometimes got caught up in the everyday doings of life. Does that sound familiar?
What do I take from this? Jesus said if we ask the Father anything in His name, it would be done. The One who God heard and answered, said God will hear me and will answer my prayers also. Somehow that seems even more powerful to me now. And yes, God knows I miss the mark a lot and sometimes. I too get caught up in the doing, and not listening to the One who loves me best and answers my prayers. Thankfully, His grace and mercy are new every day.
Now it’s on to John chapter 12. Let’s see what God has to show me next.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
My mother mentioned the new insights God had given her about Martha and offered to guest blog today. I think she did fantastically and I always learn so much from her. She doesn’t call herself a Bible scholar, I do!
Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,