June 27 – If You Had Been

Read: John 11:17-27

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21 ESV)

Jesus’ friend Lazarus had died. He and his disciples arrived at Bethany in Judea after he had been in the tomb for four days. He was met with a mixed reception. Mary, the one known for anointing his feet with costly perfume, stayed at the house while Martha met his party.

Martha’s reaction was one shared by many of us during times of deep uncertainty and confusion. She questioned Jesus and his timing. She blamed God. Have you ever done that? I know I have. It is easy to doubt God’s timing in a situation.

During the seasons of life when we are deeply tempted to question God we would do well to realize that questioning Him is missing the point. Sure we feel justified in casting our doubts upon Him, but the truth is that God is the only assured focal point for all reverent belief. He is the only sure thing.

Martha acknowledged that. She confessed her belief in Jesus as the Christ, and his power to raise her brother to life. But it was so much bigger than that. She moved from doubt and blame to accepting Jesus’ ability to meet her immediate need. This served as a catalyst to her help her recognize her belief in Jesus as the way to meet the needs she wasn’t even yet aware of. The next time we are tempted to doubt Jesus, blame Jesus, or question Jesus we would be well served to remember the example of Martha.


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