When Jesus Doesn’t Come
When Jesus Doesn’t Come August 20, 2023
At separate times, both Martha and Mary said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (cf. John 11:21,32).
There a few ways to understand these grief-stricken words.
First, it is likely these were often repeated words around the home: “If only Jesus was here.” It was common sentiment in that household that life was better when Jesus was around.
Second, there is an acknowledgement that Jesus has the special power and ability to accomplish feats that others cannot.
Third, it seems likely that there is also regret and confusion in these words. When Jesus was so greatly needed, He was not there. Why not? Didn’t He know that they needed Him? Did He care? Yet, because they were so confident He loved them, they struggled to understand why He did not do anything about the situation. Why didn’t He prevent the tragedy from occurring?
We have probably found ourselves in similar situations. We all hurt and suffer. It is natural for believers to ask God where He is and why He allows such painful events to transpire (Psalms 13:1; 42:9; 43:2, etc.).
The response of Jesus to these sisters, particularly His response to Martha, is instructive (John 11:23-26).
Their greatest need was not to have their brother back. Their greatest need was to trust Jesus.
They needed to trust that, as the Lord of life, Jesus would provide for them in ways they did not yet see or understand.
He was always there. He always knew.
The same is true for us – we must trust Jesus through the pain. We must acknowledge that He is matchlessly powerful and that life is better when He is involved. But we must also admit that He is always “here” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-6; Psalms 139:1-16). He blesses and restores in ways that bring Him glory and are often surprising to us.
Let us acknowledge that, in spite of any suffering we may be experiencing, our greatest need is to trust our Lord Jesus who is “here” even now. By Bart Warren