Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 18: Year 2
“Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11: 40)
Jesus does not respond to Martha and Mary in the same way. As he approaches their home, but not quite there yet, each sister of Lazarus greets him and both say the exact same thing; “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” While Jesus has a long conversation about the Resurrection with Martha, he only asks Mary where Lazarus was laid.
This difference in how the sisters were responded to may have to do with Jesus’ knowledge of what their faith revealed. “[Martha] said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’” (John 11:27) But maybe Martha didn’t really believe after all. She only said what she thought Jesus wanted to hear.
Jesus says to her, and to us, that if we only believe, we will see the glory of God. Two people can witness the same event and one will sense only a reasonable outcome, (the smell of death) while the other will see the hand of God at work, (Lazarus alive).
We must make room in our hearts and minds for God to do things outside of what we are expecting. The waters will still part, we can still feed the multitude with “not enough.” However, if we don’t believe we can, or that God can, then it can’t be done. The point here is that we must first believe. Or as sung in Amazing Grace: “’Twas grace that taught My heart to fear; And grace my Fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.” This is not just a hymn; it is our Christian code of life. We must believe, not just say what we think Jesus wants to hear. When we truly believe, God’s presence is made manifest.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John