Intimate Friendship (Part 4)



Jesus finally tells His disciples, “Let’s go to Bethany.”  It takes Him and His disciples a few days to journey from where they were to get there, and it seems as if He’s not in a hurry.  As soon as Martha learns that Jesus was approaching their town, being a woman of action, she ran to meet Him.  Mary on the other hand, was to paralyzed to move.   Nothing made sense anymore.

When Martha met Jesus, she came straight to the point and said in an almost accusatory tone, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now, I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”  She knew about His healing ministry and all the miracles.  She also knew enough of the Word to enter into a theological discussion with Him about the resurrection.  (John 11:20:27-27). At the end of their discussion, Martha matter-of-factly acknowledges His Lordship and goes her way to get Mary.

Mary was so distraught, disappointed, sorrowful and puzzled that she did not react when she learned that Jesus had finally arrived.  After all, she expected her friend to come in their time of need.  He was the One who validated her position at His feet, the One who gazed at her and made her feel significant, and the One who spoke the words of God and did signs and wonders that only through God were possible.  Her disillusionment was mingled with grief. She didn’t know what to think, whom to trust, or whom to cry to for help.

When Martha returned with the words, “The teacher has come and is calling for you,” Mary’s heart skipped a beat.  There was something so compelling about His invitation that she arose immediately and ran to where He was.  When she saw Him, she fell at His feet and said through tears of disappointment and confusion, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Although she said the exact same words as her sister moments before, her prostrate position at His feet, the tears of disappointment, sorrow, hurt and confusion tugged at His heart.  Mary was His friend.  Unlike the conversation with Martha, this was no time for a theological discussion.  The intimacy of the expression of Mary’s words which conveyed, “I trusted You because You’re my friend…” pulled at His heart strings.  He wept.

Jesus’ thoughts were probably “Mary, Mary, you can trust me even though it appears that I’ve disappointed you.  Mary, I purposely delayed because I wanted to fascinate you.  I want to wow you…it is you Mary, and your family that my Father chose to display Our power.  Mary, We will to do more than heal the sick.  We will raise the dead.  We want to show you Our power over death and the grave.”  As He groaned with compassion, His only response was, “Where did you lay him?” (John 11:34)

We know the end of the story. Jesus displayed all the glory of God and called Lazarus from the grave.  Even though He had raised the dead before, this was the first time, the only time, that scriptures tell us that He raised the dead from the grave with the sound of His voice.    What power; what glory displayed and He chose His friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus to lavish the splendor of His glorious, unmatched power.

Has God chosen You to show off His glory?  Like Mary, are you waiting and watching for His appearance in your current situation?  Are you in deep, dark silence feeling confused, disappointed, distraught and abandoned by your friend, Jesus?  Has your situation gone from bad to worse, and if possible, even to the point of death? Perhaps it’s because God has chosen you to lavish His power by not only healing the sick but raising the dead. You are His chosen one.  His friend.  The one He loves. Wait on Him.  He desires to do more than you could think of or imagine.