Martha went to meet Him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus,Â “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”
As we enter Passiontide we continue our focus on conviction and the kind of faith that shows we have not just accepted conviction but have been changed to people of deep faith.
Remember Jesusâ€™ earlier encounter with Martha and Mary. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him teaching, filled with faith. Martha was busy in the kitchen and was annoyed â€“ her sister wasnâ€™t helping. Martha complained to Jesus and Jesus told her straight out that Mary had chosen the better part. Mary saw the opportunity of Godâ€™s presence while Martha was convicted for busing herself with less important things.
Now Marthaâ€™s brother is dead. Heâ€™s been placed in the tomb and the tomb is sealed. They had sent word to Jesus while he was still alive, but He didnâ€™t show up. Now Jesus is approaching.
The woman who busied herself in the kitchen, who missed Jesusâ€™ teachings, who chose the lesser part, comes running out …but Mary sat in the house. What happened?
What happened is that Martha got something deeper from that earlier encounter and conviction. She received a gift of faith so deep and powerful that not even death could diminish it. Not death, not disappointment, nothing!
In running out to Jesus and in speaking with Him Martha proclaims the depth of that faith gift. Listen carefully: “Lord, even now I know…â€
Even nowâ€¦ Despite, nevertheless, notwithstanding. No matter what has happened, even now I know You are Lord.
The key is that Martha recognized there was nothing more powerful than God. Faith demanded that she lay aside all mistrust. While Mary listened to Jesus, what did she take away from that listening? Was her trust increased? How was her faith at her brotherâ€™s tomb?
Martha believed Jesus could have healed her brother â€“ same as Mary. Yet her faith differed. She exercised a much more powerful â€˜even nowâ€™ faith. She saw more deeply because she knew Jesus could see her heart. She trusted Jesus completely because He revealed what her true concern should be â€“ not in the kitchen, but in faith. She accepted the gift and made faith active.
If we look closely, Martha did not think Jesus would raise her brother. She knew he was dead She even told Jesus â€“ look, heâ€™s dead, heâ€™s rotting already. And that is the power of her even now faith. She is our example. Everything hasnâ€™t worked out, yet even now I trust in You, Lord.