Weekly Devotional – Wednesday, March 9, 2022
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20, NLT)
Mary and Martha believed Jesus had the power to heal their sick brother, but they never would have imagined that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead…until he did!
Their family had become convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, but even in their belief they still did not fully understand all that Jesus could do. So, when Jesus received word that Lazarus was sick, he did not respond immediately. He waited until he knew that Lazarus had died.
Looking from one perspective, we might question Jesus. Why allow his friends to undergo the deep and seemingly needless sorrow they would have experienced at Lazarus’ death? Just to prove a point? But there is another perspective we must consider: Jesus was providing an incredible gift to this family—not simply giving good health to Lazarus, but proving to them that their faith wasn’t misplaced, by giving them a front row seat and a role in one of his greatest miracles—bringing a dead man back to life! God had chosen their family to be participants in the miracle that would prove that Jesus had power over death! Yes, Mary & Martha had to be deeply grieved in the process, but I don’t think they would have resented the necessity as they watched their brother emerge from the tomb after being dead for four days. I suspect their experience of sorrow was much like the pain of a woman in labour…once they were able to hold their brother in their arms again, the grief would have faded instantly with the joy that replaced it.
They had asked Jesus to come and heal their brother from an illness to prevent his death. He provided them with the assurance that death did not have the final word by raising their brother to new life. Mary & Martha were oblivious to the fact that they had limited the power of Jesus…until he showed them. He gave them more than what they had asked or could even have imagined. And, in so doing, they came to a deeper understanding of who Jesus was and what he was capable of.
The same principle holds true today. We may experience grief because God does not choose to answer our prayers immediately as we would wish, but that should not cause us to doubt his love, goodness or the fact he has heard our prayers. God may have a much bigger surprise in store…we simply need to keep praying, trusting and watching to see how he will answer. God can do more…beyond anything we can think or imagine!
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!