death, delay, faith, false beliefs, heal, healing, Lazarus, Mary and Martha, power
Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother (Lazarus) would not have died.” 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?” John 11: 32-37
There was a common, unspoken belief among those who followed Jesus. It was believed Jesus could heal anyone at anytime from any distance. Everyone in Lazarus’ circle kept telling the Lord, “If only You would have been here.” These types of statements implied the Lord’s reach of healing extended only unto death, not beyond the grave.
We know from reading the beginning of this chapter Jesus purposefully delayed so that Lazarus would pass away before He arrived. This helps explain why Jesus delayed. He wanted to correct the false beliefs of those who surrounded His ministry. Jesus purposefully delayed so that He might raise Lazarus from the dead, proving His power beyond the grave. I like the way Jesus dealt with false beliefs. He didn’t kick people out of His circle, He confronted their wrong beliefs with POWER!
Why couldn’t the people’s belief system allow Jesus to operate outside the area of healing? Remember, even the disciples couldn’t believe the Lord for food, calming the storms, or even for power to cast out demons. Since they had never seen power manifested in this way, it was beyond their spiritual comprehension.
Please know … These types of barriers were purposefully exposed by the Lord in due season. If the Lord confronted these good folks’ lack of faith, don’t you think He must do the same in our lives? Unfortunately, when God does expose our lack, we interpret His movements as being something else. Instead of correcting ourselves, we get angry, blame the Lord, and throw ourselves a spiritual pity party. Martha and Mary could have become angry because Jesus didn’t arrive in a timely fashion as they requested. They could have easily blamed the Lord for delaying and being unsympathetic to their needs. Like many other believers I know, they could have held this resentment for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, this was not the road they chose to travel and neither should you.
Jesus will never let us settle for less when the best real faith has to offer is fully available. Allow the Lord to expose all your vulnerabilities and areas of lack. If maturity is your goal, then only the best will do.
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