Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sadness turned into joy

       John the apostle records a most important story in the life of the Lord Jesus. The story of Martha, Lazarus and Mary. As usual my comments will be brief, but I hope to inspire you to read again and be blessed by this chapter(11).
   The intrusion of death into a family can either crush faith of strengthen it. The world in which we live usually sees death as the end :- end of existence, end of relationships, end of hope.

    Faith in God paints a different picture. Faith says our loss is heavens gain.
Faith in God proclaims our accountability to God and rewards by God.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ looks ahead, beyond the grave to a moment when the dead in Christ will rise, and together we will be forever with the Lord.

      In our chapter, I would like to draw upon three verses linked to Martha. Chapter 11.3 the message comes to the Lord - " he whom you love is ill" . This is not God's general love for all humanity  but a more focused love upon responsive individuals who received Jesus into their hearts and home. They accepted His love and like John the writer, found identity in it.
       In verse 23, the Lord speaks to Martha words of hope beyond her understanding :- "your brother will rise again".  This unqualified statement rests upon the authority of the speaker and His ability to carry it into action - no one else can! It is by accepting HIS word that the hopelessness of humanism is removed and shows that this life is a preparation for the next life. - 'training for reigning'
         Verse27, Martha is challenged to believe His word, His power.  This is a pivotal moment, and still is today - will we believe HIM as to His claims, believe in HIM as to our hope for salvation  and  all things?? Martha reply's  "Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who is coming into the world". This answer  is not abstract faith, but living faith in a living person.  This faith opens the door for God to work. And so He does - Lazarus is called out of the grave and shortly afterward, Martha puts on a banquet to celebrate (ch 12)

    We rejoice in the faith of Martha and Mary, but sadly this greatest of signs was not received in faith by the jealous leaders of the nation. Instead, as John exposes their motives, they  chose to plan His death to save their own skin. We  must ask ourselves - where are we in this picture.
        Responses      ;   Faith in Jesus as the Son of God
                                  Indifferent to the Him
                                  Rejection of His claims
 Our response will determine our eternal destiny!

John McKee

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