Monday, April 14, 2014
Monday, April 7, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
“Jesus said to Martha, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (Jn. 11:25-26) It is Jesus’ own announcement of the resurrection. “I am the resurrection and the life.” And just as important as what he said about it is to whom he said it. Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary.
Martha is better known for another appearance in the Gospels, the story about Martha’s frustration with her sister Mary’s failure to help with the serving when Jesus was a guest in their home. (Lk. 10:38-42) Leaving aside what all that is about for now, Martha appears in one other event, a story again about Jesus being a guest in her home. (Jn. 12:1-8) All it is recorded is this: “Martha served.”
I think the overall message is that that is all one really needs to know. Martha served. And it is to her, the server, the one sometimes distracted by all the doing, that Jesus proclaimed the reality of the resurrection: “I am the resurrection and the life. . . . Do you believe this?”
The believing Jesus is talking about as essential to life is not something you do with your head. It is far too easy to say even that it is something you do with your heart, although that gets closer to the idea. The believing that leads to resurrection is much more active than something to keep on the inside. Rather, it shows forth in the work of the hands. It shows forth in walking with Jesus along the way of including the outcasts and healing the sick. It is active in proclaiming release to the captives. The life of the resurrection is not something that has to do with what one thinks. It has to do with what one does. It has to do with what one invests because of what one hopes. It has to do with acting. That is the only sort of belief that matters in a Jesus sense.
Belief in the resurrection is about acting on that belief. That’s the sort of belief Jesus said would defeat even death. And that’s why, I believe, he picked Martha to share this good news with. Servant that she was, she had already shown her believing abundantly.