“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.”
The village is identified by two sisters.
Mary is identified by her sacrifice.
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”
Mystery. Simplicity. Jesus loved them. Jesus loved them.
He arrives at Bethany four days after Lazarus’ burial and Martha meets Him; “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
The Gospel of John records unbelieving Jew after unbelieving crowd. Martha stands in bold contrast: she declares faith.
Jesus responds, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Did angels draw their breath at this unveiling? Did they lean forward to hear the words of a hardworking Jewish woman standing face-to-face with her Maker?
“Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
When Mary heard that Jesus had come, she got up quickly and ran to Him.
“when Mary came to where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’”
She speaks the same words as her sister. She faces the same trouble. But her heart is not crying for creedal confession. Instead, Jesus “saw her weeping.”
This Mary sat at the feet of her Lord to listen because He is Life. She spilled her greatest treasure on the feet of her Lord because He was going to face Death. Mary is once again at her Lord’s feet.
When she had sat there to hear Him speak, He had defended her from accusations. When she had poured perfume over His feet and wiped them with her hair, He had affirmed her action as beautiful. Now, when she falls at His feet in tears, Jesus’ response is to be deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Jesus wept.
As a wee child, I learned in phonics that that is the shortest sentence. Is that why we’re so quick to pass it over?
Today, I pause here and I thank the kind Shepherd for knowing what His sheep need.
Because some women are most comforted by their Messiah when they recall truth, but I am not Martha. It’s ok. When the world crashes in around me and distress fills my soul, I need to know that my Messiah weeps with me. He knows. He knows. He loves us.
Miracles come and the dead rise and people believe and God is glorified: but on the journey to that place, my Jesus lets me fall at His feet in tears. This is the wideness of God’s mercy; that all His children can come as they are. He comforts.
There’s so much broken in this world, Jesus Messiah. You are coming to make all things new. Martha was right: You are the Christ, the Messiah. All glory to You, beautiful King. My heart is Yours.
You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry
Set me like a star before the morning
Like a sun that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I’ll illuminate the path You’ve laid before me
But for now just let me be
Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and bring me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
No, not before You show me how to die
So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me