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! Introduction:
this passage is a dynamic conversation between Jesus and Martha.
What happened caused a great growth in Martha’s faith.
A seeking heart and a study of the conversation will cause any believer’s faith to grow and to grow significantly.
The scene was Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem about 2 miles away (v.17-20).
Martha’s complaining, limited faith (v.21-22).
Martha’s fundamental faith (v.23-24).
Martha’s declared faith (v.25-27).
!! A.                  a growth in faith
!!! 1.                  Jesus Brings His Comfort (v.17-20)
!!!! a)                  Lazarus: Had Been In The Grave For Four Days (v.17-18)
!!!!! (1)                 The scene was Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem about two miles away.
When Jesus arrived, someone told Him that Lazarus had already been buried for four days ( John 11:6).
Jesus did not actually enter the city of Bethany.
He apparently stayed on the outskirts of the city.
Just why we are not told.
Perhaps the multitude following Him was too large to crowd into the city, or perhaps He was simply avoiding those who were so bitterly opposed to Him.
!!!! b)                  Friends: Comforted The Family (v.19)
!!!!! (1)                 There was an enormous number of mourners who had come to comfort the family, and some of these were opposed to Jesus (John 11:46).
!!!! c)                  Martha: Went To Meet Jesus (v.20a)
!!!!! (1)                 Whatever the reason for remaining on the outskirts of the city, Jesus apparently sent a messenger to tell Martha that He had arrived (John 11:28).
As soon as she heard, she quietly left the house and ran out to meet Him.
(John 11:28 for what apparently happened with Martha as well as Mary).
Mary, however, remained at home.
!!!! d)                  Mary: Sat At Home (v.20b)
!!!!! (1)                 Note the striking contrast between Martha and Mary, a contrast that is so characteristic.
!!!!!! (a)                 Martha was the woman of action and energy, the one loaded with initiative; therefore, she was the one who went out to meet Jesus.
!!!!!! (b)                Mary was the contemplative and meditative one; therefore, she remained at home to receive the mourners (cp.
Luke 10:38-42).
!!! 2.                  Martha’s Complaining Limited Faith (v.21-22)
!!!! a)                  Her /complaining/ belief (v.21)
!!!!! (1)                 Martha’s Complaining, Limited Faith In Jesus.
Martha believed in Jesus.
She even believed that Jesus could have healed Lazarus and kept him from dying.
But Jesus had not come immediately when He was called; therefore, her brother was dead.
!!!!! (2)                 Why did Jesus not come when he was called?
Why did He not heal Lazarus, when she and the family loved Jesus so much and had done so much for Him?
Why did He let Lazarus die?
!!!!! (3)                 *The point is this:* Martha Did Believe In Jesus, But Her Faith Was A Complaining Faith.
She did not believe to the point of /resting/ in faith.
She did not believe with an /unlimited and resting faith/.
She was not entrusting the matter completely into the Lord’s hands.
She was not yet convinced that what had happened was for the best.
She trusted Jesus as her Savior, but she questioned what had happened.
She complained and even reproached Jesus.
!!!! b)                  Her /limited/ belief: That His power was less than God’s power (v.22)
A complaining, questioning faith is a /limited faith/.
It is a faith that questions Jesus’ Lordship...
·                     that questions if Jesus has done what is best.
·                     that questions if Jesus knows what is best.
It says to Jesus, “If you had been here, if you had acted differently, if you had done this or that, then this trial would not have happened.”
Note that Martha was convicted immediately for having complained and reproached Jesus.
She blurted out:
*      “But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you”  (John 8:22).*
!!!!! (1)                 But note even here how her /limited faith/ showed itself.
She did not say, “Lord, I know that you can do anything you will.”
She said, “Whatever you ask of God, God will give it to you.”
!!!!! (2)                 She did not realize that /“the Father had given all thins into His hands” /(John 3:35), & “that all authority has been given into His hands (Matt.28:18).”
!!!!! (3)                 She was still limiting Jesus to some level below God.
She was not grasping that Jesus Himself was the Resurrection and the Life.
She had a complaining, limited faith in Jesus.
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”
Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm (Matt.8:26
/And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased (Matt.14:31-32)./
/But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?
Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?
/Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works (John 14:10)./
/ /
!!! 3.                  Martha’s Fundamental Faith (v.23-24).
!!!! a)                  Jesus’ declaration (v.23)
!!!!! (1)                 Jesus made a striking declaration, “Your brother will rise again.”
He could have said it no clearer.
Lazarus was to be raised from the dead.
!!!! b)                  Martha’s expression of faith (v.24)
                        Martha misunderstood.
She thought Jesus meant that Lazarus would rise in the resurrection at the last day.
!!!!! (1)                 *Note that Martha had a /fundamental faith/*.
Fundamental means /the foundation… /She believed in the resurrection, one of the fundamentals of the faith.
She believed what Jesus had taught, and He had been drilling the resurrection into His followers (*John 5:28-29; John 6:39-40, 44, 54; John 12:48*).
!!!!!! (a)                 The Deity of Christ; The Trinity; The */Bodily/* Resurrection of Christ
!!!!!! (b)                The Vicarious (Substitutionary) Atonement of Christ; The Second Coming of Christ and; Salvation by Grace through Faith.
!!!!! (2)                 *Martha’s fundamental faith experienced disappointment.
*The promise of a future resurrection and reunion is not always a comfort.
!!!!!! (a)                 Her loved one was gone.
There was now no contact and no relationship with him, not on this earth.
!!!!!! (b)                Everything about her life was now completely changed.
Her household was radically different.
She believed in the resurrection and believed in all the fundamentals of the faith, but the resurrection was so far in the future, it was of little comfort to her then.
!!!!!! (c)                 However, Paul did give some revelation concerning those who are asleep (dead) in Christ (1Thess.4:13-18).
!!!!! (3)                 *The point is this: a /fundamental faith/ is essential.
*A person must believe in the fundamentals of the faith, but a fundamental faith is short.
!!!!!! (a)                 What is so desperately needed by man is what was needed by Martha: a living faith, a faith that is alive and vibrant, dynamic and moving, conscious and acting, communicating and fellowshipping.
!!!!!! (b)                What is needed is the knowledge that Jesus, the very One who stands before us, /i*s*/* “the resurrection and the life.”*
/“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (Matt.7:21).
/And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7).
/You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me (John 5:39).
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