Jesus, Our Hope
By Stefan Johnsson
John 11:17-27 (NIV)
Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[a] from Jerusalem,
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
How should we deal with sorrow in our lives? I believe when we look at both Martha and Mary in the story of Lazarus, we can see the way we should react. Martha and Mary tell Jesus the same statement, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. Martha(v. 21 and Mary, V. 32). They both knew that Jesus could have healed Lazarus from his sickness if He was present. What is the difference after Lazarus died? The story clearly tells us that Martha is full of hope while Mary is full of sorrow.
Martha is the one who runs out to meet Jesus while he was still far away. She does not wait for Jesus to call to her but runs to him. Mary on the other hand decides to stay at home. Then we see Martha’s added words of hope to her statement in verse 22. She add, “but I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” She knew deep down, and with hope, that God will answer any prayer. She runs too Jesus because she knew that He will give her comfort and hope. She expresses her belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that He can do anything.
Mary’s response to Jesus is that she waits for Jesus to call to herinstead of going to Him. When she comes, she gives the same statement as Mary, knowing that Jesus would have healed Lazarus, but it is not with hope. Instead of declaring hope like Martha did, she weeps and is full of sorrow, without any hope that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead. Her hope in God was limited. Jesus was moved by her sorrow and showed compassion, but her hope was not found in Christ the same way that Martha expressed.
When it comes to trials and sorrows in our lives, let us be like Martha. Let us run to Jesus instead of waiting for Jesus to come to us. Let us rush into his arms, declaring His Majesty, His utmost love for us, and show hope that in Him, anything is possible.
Lord, help me remember who you are and what you have done for me. Let me run into your arms and not wait for you to show up in my sorrow. Help me to find comfort in what you’ve done on the Cross for my sins, to declare your majesty in my weakness. Let me be full of hope, to believe that you died for my sins and rose again and in you, anything is possible. Thank you Father for being there for me and let me not run to anyone or anything else.