February 28, 2023 – Tuesday
John 11:38-39 NIV
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
Yesterday, Monday, we ended with Jesus still being questioned about why He let Lazarus die. First it was Martha, then Mary, and then the Jews who were mourning with the two sisters when they said, 37 Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?
This was not an unreasonable question from all those who asked it for they knew He had given sight to a man blind from birth. And it is likely Mary and Martha likely knew how He had healed a favored servant of the centurion in Capernaum who loved Israel and had built a synagogue for the Jews there. The key is that Jesus healed the servant from a distance without even seeing him (Luke 7:1-10). He had never met the centurion or his servant, yet He healed the servant.
It is even more likely they knew how Jesus a few days after healing the centurion’s servant, as He and His disciples approached the town city gate of Nain, they saw a dead person being carried out to be placed in a tomb. The dead person was the only son of a widow. Jesus’ heart went out to her and told her not to cry. Then He stopped those carrying the bier he was on and said, Young man, I say to you, get up! Whereupon The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother (Luke 7:11-17).
Which brings us to the first verses for today, 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Everyone there would have agreed with Martha, for they did not understand and sensibly so for Lazarus has been dead for five days and in the tomb for four days. The widow’s son had only been dead for a day, so this was different, much different. They knew Lazarus’ body had already begun to decay and had a bad odor as is common with dead people, especially people dead for five days.
The five days did not matter to Jesus, so He said, 40 Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? This reply would have confused Martha for she must have thought Jesus wanted the stone removed so He could see the corpse and mourn. His reply is reminiscent of what He said to the father of a boy possessed by a demon who said, If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus rebuked him, saying, 23 If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes. 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out[and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Jesus commanded the demon to come out and after convulsions and crying out it left him looking like he was dead, but Jesus took him by the hand and he rose (Mark 9:17-29 ESV).
In other words, Jesus is telling Mary to believe (as He tells us) and get rid of her unbelief (and us our unbelief) for she and all those there are about to see the glory of God.
Bottom Line: Let us truly believe all things are possible, even when we do not understand.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for Your Son Jesus and all that He has done for us, as well as all that He has taught us. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton