“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ’I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ ” John 11:23–26
Lazarus has died.
Jesus had been given the message that his beloved friend was sick but he had not come. The only thing he’d done at that time was make a cryptic statement about this sickness not being unto death but for the glory of God, and then he continued with his teaching and healing of other people.
Now as he and his disciples approach the village of Bethany it feels like he hadn’t known what he was talking about. He’d said that the sickness was not unto death, and now Lazarus is dead.
Knowing the grieving customs of the people Jesus correctly assumes that the house will be full of people and stops just outside town, and sends a messenger to tell Martha and Mary that he’s arrived.
Martha gets the message and, saying nothing to anyone else, she goes to Jesus. Her first, grief fill, words to Jesus are a statement that rings as an accusation, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Jesus answers her with the comforting promise, “Your brother will rise again.”
Now Martha makes the mistake that we all too often make. She claimed the promise as something that would come to her sometime in the distant future.
Friends, God’s promises are given to us for today. I’m not saying that we’ll always get what’s promised today. Frequently we have to wait for the ultimate fulfillment to come at some time in the distant future. Still the promise is for today. To encourage us. To strengthen us. To embolden our faith so that we can live victoriously today.
It all comes down to believing, to faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” What is faith? Faith is knowledge and belief that leads to action. Knowledge and belief alone are not enough; we must act. Action alone isn’t enough it must be accompanied by knowledge and belief. Faith isn’t something we do tomorrow. Faith is today. Faith is right now. And since God’s promises are given to give us faith they too are for today.
For Martha the fulfillment of the promise did come that day. Jesus said the words and Lazarus rose.
Take hold of God’s promises today. Believe in them today. Act on them today. Jesus is faithful. He will keep his promise.