Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why Jesus Can Meet Our Every Need

Last Sunday, I preached on the story of the raising of Lazarus (the brother of Mary and Martha) from the dead (John 11).  One of the fascinating aspects of this story is understanding why Jesus responded differently to Martha and to Mary even though they both came to Jesus and said, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died."

Martha came to Jesus first and made this statement. Jesus' response to her was a mini-sermon (vv. 23-26).  But when Mary came to Jesus and made the exact same statement, Jesus was almost speechless and His response was: "Jesus wept" (v. 35).  Why the disparity in what Jesus said?

Apparently the hearts of Martha and Mary were in two completely different places. Martha seemed to be falling into a pit of 'woe is me'. Jesus needed to reach down and pull her from that pit by splashing cold water on her face: "Martha, I am more than someone who has access to power to raise Lazarus--I am the power! Get a grip on eternal truth and who I am."  This is re-enforced in verse 40 when Jesus has to once more mildly rebuke her.

But for Mary, her grief was based on the profound sadness of death taking her brother. Instead of 'preaching' at her, Jesus recognized her greatest need was not spoken truth, but participating in her emotional loss. "Jesus wept."

These two responses are astonishing because in one short narrative, we see Jesus reiterating His claim to be 100% God ('I am the power--the giver of life') while He is also 100% man ('Jesus wept').  He is not 50/50 God and man--but 100/100.

We may not fully understand this, but Jesus is qualified to meet our every need.

- Because He is 100% God, He has the power to meet every need. And because of that--He sometimes has to 'shake us by the shoulders' to get our attention and remind us who He is.

- Because He is 100% man, He understands and know exactly how you feel. And because of that--He can walk with us, hold us in His arms, and comfort us like no one else can.

My wife pointed out that Mary had the proper perspective of Jesus and circumstances in life because she spent time at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42) while Martha was constantly distracted by the cares and concerns of the world. Martha seemed to struggle with spending time and attention on 'good things' while Mary focused on the 'best thing.' 

And when the heartache and tribulations of life happened--Martha had difficulty coping while Mary was able to turn to the only source that mattered: Him who was Life!

Do you have an emotional, or physical, or relational, or spiritual, or psychological need?  Fall at and embrace the feet of Truth, Jesus--He who is 100% God and 100% man.  Be a Mary--not a Martha.

(If you want to be notified of future blog postings, friend me on Facebook 'John Schmidt'.  Also, my recent sermons in both an audio and video format can be found at

No comments:

Post a Comment