Wednesday, July 2, 2014
If You Would Believe
Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there." Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."
Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see."
Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!" And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?" Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"
I'm stopping a hair short of the climax to this account. I'm sorry, but I'm welling up with tears. The question goes through my head: Did Jesus know that by delaying His visit there would be so much heartache? He only did the will of His Father and He must have had some inclination that Lazarus would have died before He arrived because He said in verse 4, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. But was He expecting the emotion?
I have been slowly reading and taking in the words of John. Things pop out that I have previously missed because I've read too quickly or skimmed over because I know the event. I'd seen that Jesus wept, but somehow missed that He was so very grieved in His spirit.
He had to have known that He would be raising Lazarus from the dead...and wouldn't that have given Him a sense of relief and joy...but He couldn't bear the grief Martha and Mary went through...or even the fact that Lazarus was dead and He did not prevent it. But, oh, the glory of God would so soon be revealed.
Today I was saddened to tears when hearing about some difficulty someone I know, an unbeliever, is going through. And while we cannot ever surmise that this is the thing God will use to bring them to Himself, into right relationship with Him, the thought went through my mind. What surprised me most was that for a split second I, too, was saddened for an unbeliever like I've not felt before. I hate to admit that... It should happen more often. I hope it is not the last time because then I know God is doing something in me! Something good.
In verse 40 Jesus says, Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God? We just cannot underestimate the power and glory of God. How He can even take the most hardened heart and transform it and gloriously transform minds to the knowledge of Him. Tie this in with the difficulties I've seen people face lately. And to see the world in the turmoil it is in... It tells me that no matter what the circumstance, no matter who the person, God can be glorified in ways we cannot know. He can take a circumstance in one life and cause another life to change. And we cannot foresee this. And we don't know how He does it, but He does. And we don't need to know how! As Jesus has said, if you would believe...
I think about a time when I might also fall down at the feet of the Lord, but in absolute thankfulness because His glory has been seen. Praise the Lord! Oh, that we all would see the beauty and glory of God in our own lives.
Ephesians 1:17-21 - that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.