Martha... I AM

“Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes LORD; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”’ John 11:21-29

I am often like Martha… I think I know the answer and I think there is another way/goal/solution to something in my life other than simply Jesus. I forget what happens when I put all my trust the weight of His words. I think I know how He will work and how He will conclude a scenario (Martha: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day”). But Jesus Himself looks to His beloved Martha (who He knitted together in her mother’s womb btw…crazy) and said to her the two most powerful words in the history of the world.. “I AM… the resurrection AND the life…“

You don’t quite understand, Martha. I am enough. I am life. I am the one who restores to life what is dead. I am the one who makes possible what is impossible .. because if you believe in me you are never going to DIE…even if you die. You will live. In this life and the life to come. Do you believe this? Do you really actually believe this?

He is asking us too.

Martha responds with “Yes, LORD; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” In saying this… she references Psalm 118:26: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.”

She needed to remind herself of what her soul knew to be true…. she had to take action herself to remind her soul of what she was existing for and where her hope was rooted. She was acting like a Pharisee in her acknowledgment of the resurrection and lack of faith in the Jesus in front of her (Acts 23:8). She was forgetting to rest and be united with Christ.

The I AM, the Eternal Deity, is in front of us asking if we believe that He is who He says He is… because if we truly believe it, we will not be spared from pain. We will not be spared from tears and rejection. We will not be spared from confusing and hurtful circumstances. We will not be taken away from situations that lead us into greater patience and trust in Jesus as He sovereignly orchestrates our lives according to His glory and pleasure and our good.

…And although we will not be spared from all of those discomforts, I think I have a greater glimpse of why He has chosen such a pattern for His friends and followers.

He wants us.

He wants us to see Him as He is… not as what we “think we know.” He wants us to experience life as He gives it… not life as we “think we know it.” He wants us to see life through death. and death through life (during this temporary stay in a country not our own). (ex: 1 Corinth 15:31; Mark 8:34-35, Gal 5:24, etc)

“Resurrection from the dead and genuine eternal life in fellowship with God are so closely tied to Jesus that they are embodied in him and can only be found in relationship to him.” The phrase, “believes in me” automatically implies a personal trust in Jesus and not a pharisaic outlook on religion or the ideas of God.

YHWH wants us to be in such close fellowship with Him that we break off our other patterns of thinking and begin to be “renewed in the spirit of [our] mind[s]” and put on the new self as a result of putting off the old self that is corrupt and stupid… (Ephesians 4). He wants us to take hold of the freedom of being His and transform our way of thinking and make use of having “the mind of Christ.” WHAT A GIFT.

He wants us to behold His glory and not the empty satisfaction of our manufactured circumstances.

“Did I not tell you, [Hannah], that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

Life is so empty when Christ is not seen as glorious. Life is so empty when He is forgotten as Lord and is instead seen as our demanding and controlling slave master or boring duty. Life is so empty when we try and do life on our own… having the knowledge of Him but missing out and not comprehending what He means by saying “I AM….” There is so much more to His promises… so much more to His friendship… so much more to HIM.

Yes, He wants us. That is why He waited two extra days to go to Lazarus… “that they might believe” (John 11:15). He waited because of His love. He waited so He could use the situation (that seemed hopeless from worldly eyes) as a testament to His power and as a captivating model for how He pursues personal relationships with His disciples. He was willing to let them endure discomfort, pain, loss, impatience, confusion, irritations, and even death so He could give Himself the opportunity to display His irrational love and affection for His followers.

He calls us to Himself and He is relentless.

Despite our blame, pride, bewilderment, and even anger towards Jesus, He is so very patient with us. He is so very sympathetic (see verse 33 in John 11 for cryin out loud). He is so pleased to show us more of who He is and show us that He knows best… and above all else, to show us that He actually cares.. actually loves… actually knows what He is doing. He is offering Life to those who believe that’s who He is.

“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (PS: remember that this verse {which is also referencing the psalm Martha quoted from Psalm 118:26} which is a few verses down is saying that “the KING is coming… sitting on a donkey…” huh. a DONKEY y‘all.

We must wake up. He is trying to show everyone that He has come for THEM… for us… {heart, mind, soul, and strength}… not to conquer by force as earthly kings on fancy stallions would come.. no no. My Friend came on a donkey.. He came in captivating confidence. He is true religion… and He extinguishes my fears, doubts, worries, and distractions. How dare I look away from such a great GOD.

“Hosanna! Blessed is he who coms in the name of the LORD, even the King of Israel!“

May we forsake our old ways and BELIEVE HIM. and in doing so, may we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, mind, and may we love our neighbor as ourself.

Hannah Taylor