I Do Believe
These were the events preceding Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
Upon hearing of Jesus’ arrival in the town, Martha went out to meet Him.
John 11:21 (NIV)
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
Martha was devastated at the loss of her beloved brother, Lazarus. The moment she met with Jesus, Martha started to complain and wail. However, Martha clearly knew and understood the power and authority of Jesus.
John 11:22 (NIV)
But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.
After all her complaining and wailing, there is a “but”. This word “but” was used to introduce content that contrasted with what she had previously complained about. Martha knew very well that Jesus was the Anointed One. She knew that God worked through Jesus in a mighty and powerful manner. Martha confessed Jesus’ power. However knowing and understanding Jesus’ power is only the first step.
John 11:25-26 (NIV)
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?”
The next step after knowing and understanding is to believe. Jesus told Martha that He was the resurrection and the life. After He told Martha of His identity, He then asked Martha in John 11:26, “… Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:27 (NIV)
Like Martha, let us believe in our heart and declare with our lips that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. I also encourage you to think about and write down who Jesus is to you in your life. To me, Jesus is my Shepherd, my Counsellor, my Helper, my Comforter, my Lover, my Friend, my Teacher, my Salvation, my Strength!
All the knowing, understanding and believing are not enough! In order to experience the miracle we are waiting for, we also need to exercise faith and obedience.
John 11:38-41 (NIV)
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, 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. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
Jesus asked the people to “take away the stone.” The stone was used to seal the cave in which the dead body was laid. Very quickly, Martha started to reason. Her logical thinking and human reasoning kicked in. She started saying how much the body would stink as it should have already started to decompose by then. However, once again, Jesus reminded Martha to believe in Him. The people then exercised their faith and obeyed Jesus. They took away the stone. Mind you, the stone isn’t something small and light. It could easily weigh hundreds of kilograms.
Only after the stone was taken away, Jesus thanked God and cried out with a loud voice to call Lazarus to come forth. And Lazarus was raised to life!
In our life, there could be a Lazarus that needs to be raised to life too. This Lazarus could be a desire, a dream, a God-pleasing lifestyle, joy, peace or an abundant life. For some, this Lazarus could be also a calling from God to serve Him in a certain area or the commission from God to make disciples and invite people to know Jesus.
Before Lazarus was raised from the dead, Jesus called for the people to exercise their faith and obedience to first take away the stone. What is that stone that Jesus is commanding you to take away? What is that thing, emotion or area of your life that could be a possible hindrance to you receiving the resurrection and revival? Maybe it is procrastination, fear, discouragement, unforgiveness, laziness or ineffective time management?
As we know, removing the stone might be tough, but Jesus said in Matthew 19:26 (NLT)
“… Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
With Jesus the Overcomer and Conqueror over all things with us, we can overcome and conquer all things! So, declare with your lips that you believe who Jesus says He is. Take away the stone with faith and obedience.
Join me in this prayer.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. I believe that Jesus is the resurrection, the life and everything I need. With my lips, I declare the power of Jesus over my life and receive His authority and strength. As I exercise faith and obedience, I pray for Your power and perseverance to help me take the stone away. I thank You in advance for the revival and resurrection that I will experience as I obey all that You have taught me through Your Word. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!”
Further study: John 11:1-44