Journey Group Devotional, 11/6/15
39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone.
Two very important things jump out at me in these verses from John 11. First, Jesus pointed out to Martha that if we believe we will see the glory of God. Does that mean that if we don’t believe that the glory of God won’t happen?
No, not at all. Here’s the deal: the glory of God is going on all around us, but when we don’t believe we just don’t see it.
Jesus wanted to reveal the blessings to Martha and the others that He had in store, but logic kicked in. Martha said, “Jesus, he’s been dead four days, he stinks by now.” How many of us won’t trust Jesus with out stinking situations. Our marriages, our jobs, our finances. . . .? Logic says “I’m broke, so I can’t afford to give money to the church or to the poor.” Jesus says to us, “Trust Me in your dead situation; I have it under control.” Logic says, “My marriage is awful, I can’t be humble and love my husband today.” Jesus says, “Submit to him, show Me to him.”
Christ didn’t ask for a situation report or an autopsy. He asked for Martha to trust Him. He didn’t ask her what she thought about the situation. He merely asked for obedience to the will that He’d revealed (“Roll away the stone”). Why do we expect God to reveal anything else to us when we refuse to obey that which He has already revealed?
My second favorite part of this text is in the wording in verse 41. “So they. . . . ” Did you notice how Martha didn’t roll away the stone by herself? Jesus sometimes gives us challenging feats as Christians, but he also sends us help to live out his commands. It doesn’t say who helped Martha roll away the stone, only “they”. I choose to believe it was all the characters that were aforementioned: Mary, Martha, Jesus. . . . You see, Jesus gives us things to do that we are unable to do in our own strength. Then, He gives us the help to do them. That’s why Christianity in the context of community is so important. Part of that community is what we call a Journey Group. Whatever we call it, Jesus doesn’t mean for us to follow Him alone.