Complaining or Confidence
“Martha [said] unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died…Then…Mary…[said]… Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
Folks are divided as to the meaning of the words spoken by these two saintly sisters; some say it was showing confidence, others say it was complaining. I believe it to be a little of each; a display of faith and frailty. Much like the father in Mark 9:17-29 whose son was possessed by a demonic spirit.
And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Jesus told the father that if he could believe, all things are possible. Then the father cried out, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Evidently, Martha and Mary had forgotten Jesus’ presence is not necessary in tough times; he can take care of difficult things from a distance!
Notice, Martha and Mary said exactly the same things to Jesus, because they had time to discuss the illness and death of their brother among themselves. Several days had passed since Jesus was notified of their brother’s sickness. Their thinking was perplexed, because they did not yet understand Jesus’ delays in coming were not a rejection of their request.
When Jesus doesn’t give us an immediate response to our requests, it’s because he is going to eventually give us the very best answer to our petitions. In Mary and Martha’s circumstance, it was a miracle. What they thought was their loss was, in reality, their gain. It worked for their good, but more importantly, for God and his Son’s glory. This sickness is…for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
The important lesson to be learned from these events is to seek the glory of God first, in any and all situations, and to leave everything else to him.