Years ago, my husband was rushed to the hospital while suffering a heart attack. Then, few years later, I drove him to the hospital again when he was suffering life-threatening pulmonary embolisms. Both times, God was merciful to my husband and to me. But what if these trips to the hospital had not ended well? What if, when I cried out in prayer, Jesus had been silent? What if my husband had died? What would I believe about Jesus then?
- In a crisis, in the moment you need him most, who has Jesus revealed himself to be?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 11:1-27 (ESV)
11:1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
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.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 17-27.)
- What do Martha’s actions and questions in verses 20-22 tell you about her?
- What does Jesus’ response to Martha tell you about him?
- What claim did Jesus make about himself in verse 25? What did he say would happen to those who believe in him (vs. 26)?
- What did Jesus ask Martha, and how did Martha respond?
- How do you answer the question, “Do you believe this?” What about when things in your life are difficult, uncertain, or painful?
RESPOND TO GOD
I take great comfort in the fact that Jesus wasn’t put off by Martha or by her questions. In her moment of pain and confusion, Jesus revealed himself as the one who provides life and can resurrect the dead. And while Lazarus was still in the grave, he asked Martha to believe in him.
When Jesus asks, “Do you believe this?” may we be like Martha and run to him without hesitation, saying, “Yes, Lord, I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
- Take a moment to thank Jesus for being the source of life, for redeeming death. Boldly proclaim your faith in him.