Faith Even Though


“Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:27). I believe even though I don’t fully understand Your ways. I believe even when I am disappointed, discouraged, or depressed. You are the resurrection and the life, and it is only in You that I have hope for eternal life.


How can your faith shine like a light to others even though you may be going through hard times and difficult circumstances?


Read John 11:17-27 (ESV)
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”


Where do you think you will spend eternity? Does this passage support your belief?

It seemed hopeless. Lazarus had been dead for four days. His body would have already started to decompose. Jesus had the power to heal Lazarus, but He didn’t. If you were Mary and Martha in this situation, how would you feel? Would you be depressed because it was too late now? Would you be angry because you thought Jesus didn’t show up when you really needed him? Or would you have complete faith in Christ, even now?

Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly what Mary and Martha were thinking and feeling. It’s likely that they were a complex mess of emotions. But we do have some indication about their state of mind in today’s passage. When Martha heard that Jesus was on His way, she went out to meet Him. That seems in line with her character. Martha was a woman of action and even confrontation (Luke 10:38-42). But when she confronted Jesus after her brother died, she didn't seem angry. Instead, she seemed full of faith.

She knew that if Jesus had been with Lazarus, he wouldn’t be dead right now. Her heart was broken that her brother had died but she had full confidence in Jesus’ ability to heal. Her next words indicate her understanding of Jesus’ relationship with the Father. All Jesus had to do was ask God and He would fix this somehow, she reasoned. Even though her brother died, she had faith in her God.
Jesus reassured her that her brother would rise again. But she misunderstood what Jesus was really saying. Many Jews believed in the bodily resurrection at the end of times that is taught in Old Testament in passages like Job 19:25-27: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another….”

Also, remember that she and her siblings were close followers of Jesus. They would have known that Jesus Himself taught about the resurrection of the dead and eternal life. We have already read Jesus’ words teaching about this: “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will…Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:21,24). Jesus also taught that the dead will hear His voice and come out of the tombs (John 5:25, 28-29). She believed that her brother would experience this resurrection. But she didn’t understand that Jesus meant that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead right then and there.

Then, Jesus revealed more about who He is by making His fifth I AM statement: “I am the resurrection and the life.” Whoever believes in Jesus may die a physical death but will be physically raised to life on the last day. Everyone who believes in Christ will never die a spiritual death, but their souls will live on for all eternity. Jesus affirmed the future bodily resurrection of the dead that Martha was referring to. But He wanted Martha to understand and believe that He is the source of that resurrection power. He is the Author of Life! He didn’t want her to merely believe in a future resurrection. He wanted Martha to understand that He is that life and He is that resurrection and that it is only in knowing Him that we can experience it.

Her response? Even after the devastation of losing her brother and the likely disappointment and discouragement that Jesus hadn’t been there to heal him, Martha believed. She believed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. She believed in the Lord. Do you believe in Christ even though your circumstances might lead you to believe otherwise? Do you believe that He is the resurrection and the life? Do you believe that He is the Son of God? Do you believe even though…