Are we limiting our minds to the constraints of this world or are we living and thinking according to God’s Kingdom?
37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, *came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus *said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, *said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus *said to her, “ Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “ Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”
This part of the story is part that we never really talk about. It isn’t the “fun” part, so we tend to just breeze on by. There are some great elements in here, though, that we miss. First, we see a reference back to the blind man story. This tells us that either word spread of Jesus healing the blind man or the people here during this incident were also following Jesus when He healed the blind man.
Next we get a peak into how God works in our lives. Notice, He called the people to act in faith and remove the stone. He didn’t go in there and do all the work Himself. No, He chose to use faithful bystanders. This makes me think of a any magic show where the magician calls an unsuspecting audience member to help. It adds a certain level of realness to the trick, doesn’t it? We all know the magician doesn’t have to use an audience member, but he chooses to, in order to prove himself. Likewise, Jesus uses us for the things He wants us to accomplish because it increases our faith and adds realness to it. I’m pretty sure the guys that rolled away the stone will be able to testify about their role in this event, “I was there, I even rolled the stone away from the tomb.”
Martha’s statement in verse 39 shows us how God works. At this point, she isn’t even thinking about what Jesus said about the glory of God. Her mindset is framed by the constraints of this world, not God’s Kingdom. Yet, Jesus reminds her that this whole event is to glorify God. He reminds her in verse 40.
The final two verses truly reveal who God is…and the “main event” hasn’t even happened yet! God hears us. He hears our hearts, He hears our prayers, He always hears us without sound coming from our lips. Yet, Jesus says, He prayed out loud for the benefit of others knowing the communication that was going on. This wasn’t about people hearing how great of a prayer Jesus was, it was about bringing glory to God. It all points back to Him.
Who are you in this story today? Are you Martha, still thinking in a worldly mindset? Are you the guy rolling the stone away, being obedient and content in the role God has called you to play? Maybe you are Lazarus, the dead body that has been decaying for four days. Are you like Jesus, acting wholeheartedly to bring glory to God in whatever you do?