My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A faith like Martha
Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
(John 11:21 NASB)
“Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
(John 11:22 NASB)
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
(John 11:23 NASB)
Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
(John 11:24 NASB)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
(John 11:25 NASB)
and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:26 NASB)
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
(John 11:27 NASB)
Of the two sisters, Mary and Martha, Martha is the with the
reputation for being too busy to spend time simply listening and
learning at the feet of the Master. Who would want to have faith like
her? Wasn't Mary the one with incredible faith? That may have been the
first scene in which we encountered the sisters but this time, when
Jesus comes to raise Lazarus from the dead something entirely different
unfolds before us. Mary is too overcome by grief to go out to meet
Jesus, but Martha comes to greet him and has this conversation. Jesus
tells her that her brother is going to raise again. Then she expresses
her faith in God and her belief that there will be a final resurrection.
You see, she has been listening and she has been learning. Then,
however, Jesus takes this up a notch. He tells her that He IS the
resurrection and the life. That there is a distinct connection between
having faith to believe who He is and eternal life. That is a pretty
deep concept and so He looks at her and asks if she understands. Her
response is not simply one of understanding or reiterating what He has
just said but rather, she takes it to another level as well. She
affirms that He is her Lord. To call Him Lord is to say that He is God,
and that He is greater than the cult of the Emperors. She's not saying
that Caesar is Lord -- she's saying Jesus is Lord. Not only is He
greater than the Emperors, but He is the Messiah (Christ) -- He is the
actual Son of God -- and He's the One they've been waiting for to come
into the world. That final sentence wraps up a complete and total
understanding of who Jesus really was and is. The faith of Martha has
moved in a dramatic fashion from the kitchen to a full-blown theological
statement of the understanding of Christ.
There is hope in the story of Martha. There is hope for all of us
who may, at times, become preoccupied with the tasks of daily living.
Somewhere along the way Martha really did learn to slow down and spend
time at the Master's feet. In doing so her faith grew and developed to a
depth that few others would ever reach.
Often we categorized Martha as the one who just never "got it."
Truth is, she didn't get it at first, but she really got it later on in
life. However, she still seems to have a rather negative reputation to
this day. Somehow I wonder whether we really give people the chance to
grow up and become fully developed in Christ. Too often there is a
tendency to remember the crazy things that people did when they were
young and we categorize them in that way. We comment on their
immaturity or their inability to "get it." Sadly this is how Martha is
remembered and yet that's not the whole story.
In the life of the Church if we are not willing to allow the grace of
God to transform people and accept them in their new and transformed
state, we are not genuinely being the Church. There are those who have
made serious mistakes earlier in life, but that's not the end of the
story. It wasn't the end of Martha's story. God took her and molded
her into an amazing woman. God is doing the same today with men and
women but often we, the good folks of the Church, don't allow them to
become all that God wants them to become because we remember the past.
Let's try and change Martha's reputation by focusing on the woman she
became. Any of us would be fortunate to have a faith like Martha's.
Look around -- we may be surrounded by Marthas -- people who have been
transformed by the power of God's Holy Spirit. Set them free to be the
new person God has created them to be. Stop judging them by who they
used to be. Oh, to have a faith like Martha's!
Lord, help me to see the new transformed lives which You have
created and celebrate what You have done. May we embrace Your power at
work in the world today -- giving new life. Amen.