Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” (John 11:23-24)
Read: Jeremiah 8:4 – 11:23
Relate: Martha was clearly not on the same page as Jesus. I wonder how often we do this. Jesus was talking about right now. Martha was thinking about some esoteric later point. Jesus was talking, “I’m about to head over to the tomb and call for him, and your dead brother is about to get up and walk out dead no longer.” But Martha was responding, “Eventually, at some distant future, there will come a time when everyone will be judged, and my brother will rise again along with the rest of us. Because he believed in You the outcome for him will be good on that day.” She wasn’t completely wrong and Jesus didn’t technically contradict her, but they clearly were not on the same page.
Misunderstanding Christ is a lot safer, isn’t it? It does make faith easier, doesn’t it? The Kingdom of God is both now and not yet, but all too often we seem to focus on the not yet. At least I do. As I sit here and write this, it is one of those bad allergy days. I’ve had a steady runny nose that benadryl doesn’t seem to want to touch. One day I will rise again from the grave and have a new body and there will be no more runny noses. It is much easier for me to believe that than to actually my bow head and ask God to take away my runny nose right here, right now. It’s much safer to just say this runny nose is just a part of the “cross I have to bear” than to take a step of faith and ask God to get rid of it. There’s no disappointment of Him maybe saying no. There’s no fear of expectations dashed.
React: Obviously, runny noses and dead brothers fall into two vastly different categories. My annoyance and her genuine suffering can’t even begin to be compared. However, the principle is the same. When God says, “I can do it” we say, “That’s right. Amen.” When God says, “I will do it right here, right now” we balk. It is much easier to have faith when it doesn’t have to be proven. But then, if it isn’t tested, is it really faith? Am I really willing to believe that all God’s promises to me are for me in the here and now? When He says, “come forth” am I really willing to strip off these grave clothes and start walking it out? Am I really willing to rise… right here, right now?
God, I am tired of living a safe life. I am tired of sitting back in my comfort zone believing that at some point in the vague future You will do great things. I want to see them right here, right now. Help me to stop praying vague, safe prayers. Give me the courage to get specific and the faith that not only can You answer them but that You will. Help me to stop hoping to see a move of God at some point in the future. The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing right here, right now. Help me to get out of the boat and believe You for this moment in time. Help me to rise.