That They May Believe


One of the characters in today’s reading is a woman named Martha, someone I identify with so much. She loved Jesus, yet she didn’t understand why he didn’t do things like she expected him to. She had a deep faith in him, yet she missed what he was saying about himself. She was on the same path I am: having a secure faith in Jesus while being stretched and challenged to know him more.

  • Do you find yourself trusting Jesus yet having honest questions; with a deep faith yet still realizing there is so much more to know of him?


28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


(Today’s questions focus on verses 38-44. Verses 28-37 were covered previously.)

  1. What do you learn about Jesus in verse 38?
  2. What did Jesus say would be the result of their belief (vs. 40)?
  3. What was the purpose of Jesus thanking God for hearing him (vss. 41-42)?
  4. What does this miracle say about Jesus?
  5. Do you agree with this statement: The more you know of Jesus, the more devoted to him you will be? Why or why not?


Martha had an incomplete knowledge of who Jesus was, but he took her deeper. She believed that Jesus could have healed, but perhaps not raise her brother, Lazarus, from the dead. But that is just what Jesus did. He brought Lazarus back to life, and in doing so, he made clear to Martha and the others that he was the resurrection, the life, and the restorer of life. The miracles Jesus did were always for God’sglory andso that people would believe that he was the Christ, the Son of God. Here, he gave a clear visual of the gospel: that God restores life because of his great love. As we further understand this revelation of Jesus, may our incomplete knowledge turn to complete devotion.

  • Spend time thanking God for his unconditional love and for his life-giving power.
  • Ask him to take what you know of him and turn it into complete devotion.