“Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe [in Me], you will see the glory of God [the expression of His excellence]?”” JOHN 11:40 AMP
Don’t you just love Jesus? Man I do. I love him for so many reasons, and this verse shares a few of them. I don’t know about you, but I find it so refreshing to know that there aren’t any guessing games with Him. He tells you like it is, in love, and in a way you can understand. They say that clear communication or the lack there of, can make or break a relationship. It’s so true. Without clear communication you don’t ever know where you stand with someone. You’ll drive your self nuts assuming, getting it wrong, and over analyzing everything until you just shut down in defeat. It’s exhausting. I’ve been there. But not with Jesus. With Jesus, I know exactly where I stand, and I love it.
This verse is a prime example of what having a personal relationship with Jesus looks like. Clarity. I love the clarity of My relationship with Jesus. Now in this particular verse Jesus is talking to Martha, the sister of Lazarus. Earlier in the conversation Martha had told Jesus if he had only been there Lazarus wouldn’t have died. I’m sure in some small way this was reassuring to Jesus to know that she believed he could heal the sick. So Jesus responds by telling her that her brother will rise from the dead. Praise God right?! No guessing, no assuming, no wondering. Jesus just said exactly what he was going to do. Martha believed in him right? So if she said anything at this point it should be thank you. That’s not what she said. She over analyzed the clear, precise, plain statement made by Jesus.
She tells him that she knows he will be raised in the resurrection, and then goes on to say that she knows whatever He asks, God will give it. Poor Jesus. Did she really believe that? Or did she just think that Jesus was trying to comfort her by telling her Lazarus would rise in the resurrection some day, and was throwing in the other statement with a bit of sarcasm? Jesus simply responds by telling her that he IS the resurrection and the life. Again, very plain, very simple. But before Jesus could get to Lazarus, Mary (Martha’s sister) would begin a similar dialogue with him. But at this point Jesus was done talking. He wept.
When Jesus wept, the Jews with Martha and Mary simply thought it was because he loved Lazarus and was sad he was dead. It was partly. He was human after all. He experienced the grief and pain caused by death first hand. But have you ever been so frustrated and angry that you wept? I always tell people that if I am so angry I cry, you best just stand back. I think the same was true for Jesus that day. He went to his friends, Martha and Mary, because he cared for them, and he cared for Lazarus. He told them exactly what he was going to do, and they still didn’t believe him. That’s where we come to this verse. Jesus was standing at Lazarus’s tomb, ready to raise him from the dead. He called for the tomb to be opened. But ol Martha interrupted the process again. She was telling Jesus that the tomb would stink at this point, so why open it? Not even considering that Jesus was opening it to raise him from the dead like he had said. So once again Jesus lays it out for her. He had already told her that all she had to do in order to see Gods glory manifested was believe. Just believe.
This story makes me feel so many things. I am sad to think of how Jesus must have felt. I mean, he couldn’t have been any more clear with Martha, and she still didn’t believe a word he said. This was someone who was supposed to believe in him, yet had limited him in her own life by her unbelief. The reality of this makes me saddest of all. Why? Yes for Martha’s sake, but also for mine. I mean here Jesus is with unlimited power, wanting to show me his glory through not just spiritual, but physical expressions all day every day. But here I am limiting him, watering down what he said to fit my level of belief. “Oh you said you were going to raise Lazarus from the dead? You must mean in the resurrection when you raise us all.” Dear Lord in heaven forgive me at the times I have been exactly like Martha. I have taken his literal statements and made them figurative so many times because I couldn’t believe that big. Did you hear me? I am not seeing the glory of God manifest in my life the way I should because I have limited Him by not believing. God won’t force me into seeing his glory manifest. He will operate according to my level of belief, because that’s as much as he’s welcome to do. Does he do things despite my unbelief sometimes? Absolutely. I believe it’s for the same reason he raised Lazarus, to help my unbelief, and help others around me to believe. But for the most part, He stays within the limits I allow Him.
Just think about it. How many times has God opened a door for you, I mean a real opportunity, and you didn’t pursue it? You didn’t believe you could possibly do that. You weren’t equipped, you didn’t have the skills or expertise or finances. You just let it pass on by. You know what you did? Or I guess I should say do you know what you didn’t do? You didn’t believe that the same God that could open the door of huge opportunity for you, could possibly equip you for that same opportunity. You had a Martha moment. You misconstrued and watered down, and interrupted what Jesus was saying until it fit your level of belief. And then you kept on living in your comfort zone, and let that door close right back up.
Have you ever asked yourself why you didn’t see Gods glory manifesting in your life more? Why is this Jesus who said and proved that he could do ALL things, NOT doing them in your life or mine? I believe it’s our unbelief. Perhaps He’s waiting on us to finally wake up one day and stop interrupting Him. To stop telling Him why it can’t be done. To stop convincing Him that He’s got the wrong person. To stop telling him our limitations, and then placing those same limitations on Him. To stop watering down what He said to fit our level of belief, but instead to bring our level of belief up to what He said.
I don’t know about you but I’m ready. I mean I am soooo ready to really see the glory of God. I want to see it with no limits. I want to see what God can do. Perhaps you’re ready too? Maybe you’re tired of limiting God and want to really see what He has for you. Do I think it will be easy? Absolutely not. I think it’s going to take some extensive prayer time, digging in the word, and letting the Lord change our hearts and minds. I think we will feel growing pains, and experience being uncomfortable. But I KNOW it will be worth it all.
So ask yourself today “Can I see the glory?”. If the answer is anything but absolutely yes, I urge you to join me on this journey to see the Glory of God manifesting in our lives to the fullest extent.
Thanks for joining me!