December 6, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
“Do you believe this?” Jesus asked Martha. The question might be asked of all of us! But in what are we to believe? Our Scripture today is John 11:25 through 27:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes
in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes
in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes,
Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come
into the world.”
Martha was the busy one of three apparently wealthy siblings who lived together in Bethany (see Luke 10:38, 39 with John 11:1), a town about two miles southeast of Jerusalem. With her domestic skills, Martha kept the large household running smoothly. But, we are told in Luke 12:40, “…Martha was distracted with much serving.” You see, Jesus and His twelve disciples where guests in her home, and Martha’s sister Mary chose to sit “…at Jesus’ feet and hear…His word.” (Luke 12:39). The serving sister wanted the listening sister to help her with the hostess duties! So it may be a bit surprising that busy Martha picked up on Jesus’ teachings and demonstrated that she did in our featured Scripture!
We can learn a lesson from Martha: Even if you are busy with the things of ‘real life,’ take the opportunity to ‘multitask’ and think about what the Lord is saying to you! And, by the way, to do this, you must observe regular times to “…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16).
Martha…said to Jesus, “…I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:27). Just what did she believe?
• She believed the Scriptures! All Martha had were the Old Testament Scriptures at that time. But the Old Testament Scriptures are full of specific prophecies concerning the coming of the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world! The website http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html lists 353 Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah! Here are just a few thoughts that probably apply to Martha’s perception:
✞ The Greek word Christ means the same as the Hebrew word Messiah.
▸ The Greek word is Χριστός (pronouned khris-tos’ ). It means, according to Thayer’s Greek Definitions, “annointed,” and refers to “Christ…the Messiah, the Son of God.”
▸ The Hebrew word is pronounced maw-shee’-akh (my computer program will not let me copy and paste the actual Hebrew word!) According to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary, it means “…anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah.”
✞ How did Martha make the connection that Jesus was the promised Messiah or Christ? She must have been familiar with passages such as Psalm 2:2, and Isaiah 61:1 and 2.
▸ Psalm 2:2 – “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His anointed….” (Read all twelve verses of Psalm 2 to get the whole idea that Martha must have perceived).
▸ Isaiah 61:1 through 3:
The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me
to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-
hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison
to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
and the day of vengeance of our God; to console those who mourn in
Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the gar-
ment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of
righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
✞ How did she know that Jesus was the Son of God (by implication God the Son)? This truth is powerfully implied in Isaiah 9:6 and 7 (English Standard Version):
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall
be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His
government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and
over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with
righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD
of hosts will do this.
• Martha was also prepared to believe Jesus’ words because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit! We are told by Christ Himself in John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…” And how does the Father draw one to His Son? By the Holy Spirit! In I John 5:6 it says, “…it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” This is why the Lord gave this warning in Matthew 12:32: “…whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” So if one continually pushes away the wooing (the leading, the drawing) of the Holy Spirit, he or she will never come to the Father through Jesus, and so will never be saved! (Read and heed the warning in Proverbs 1:20-33).
When Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” She was ready with her postitive answer! Are you?
More on Do You Believe This? on Friday.